Las Vegas, NV – Colorado pulled away in the second half to eliminate Oregon from the Pac-12 Tournament by a score of 80-69. Jabari Walker led the Buffaloes with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Center Evan Battey was effective with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Quincy Guerrier led the Ducks with season-highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds. Guerrier was aggressive throughout and shot 4-of-10 from deep, got to the foul line eight times and blocked two shots. Jacob Young was effective once more adding 18 points, seven assists and four rebounds but shot only 7-of-19 from the floor.
Oregon led through most of the first half but then went on one of their offensive funks that has happened repeatedly this season and didn’t score a field goal for over six minutes of play while Colorado went on a 12-0 run to take the lead. A three-pointer by Luke O’Brien put the Buffaloes up 36-30 at the half. Guerrier kept the Ducks close with 14 first half points and eight rebounds. Oregon shot 1-of-12 from deep and 28 percent overall from the field. Colorado wasn’t much better at 35 percent from the field and 4-of-16 from deep. Battey led Colorado at the break with 12 points and six rebounds.
The Ducks crept to within one or two points of Colorado several times in the second half, the last time on a Young three-pointer to make the score 56-54 with 8:49 remaining. But it seemed like the Ducks couldn’t get the important shot to fall or grab a defensive rebound when it counted. The Buffaloes went on a 13-4 run capped by a dunk from Tristan da Silva (12 points) to extend their lead to 13 points with three minutes remaining. Oregon couldn’t make a serious challenge from that point.
Oregon just didn’t shoot or rebound well enough to win this game. They also missed some defensive assignments late in the game that resulted in easy Colorado baskets. The Ducks shot 34 percent from the field while making 8-of-27 3s (30 percent). Colorado didn’t shoot any better from distance (7-of-24, 29 percent) but hit on 44 percent from the field overall. They outrebounded the Ducks 55-42 including 17-12 on the offensive boards. They had a 16-7 edge in points off turnovers and a 40-28 advantage in points in the paint.
The Buffaloes (21-10) will play Arizona in the semifinals tomorrow evening while the Ducks (19-14) go home and wait to see if their season is over or if they will receive an NIT bid.
In the opener, Stanford, coming off their miraculous victory over Arizona State yesterday, gave the No. 1-seeded Arizona Wildcats all they could handle. Spencer Jones, after scoring 26 points in yesterday’s win, was hot again, filling it up with 28 points, hitting 4-of-7 from deep. In front of a predominantly Arizona crowd that filled up the lower arena bowl, the Wildcats came through late for a hard-fought 84-80 win to advance to tomorrow night’s semifinals.
Christian Koloko showed why he’s a potential first round pick in this year’s NBA draft. Koloko scored repeatedly as a roller in the pick & roll and on offensive rebounds. He led Arizona with 24 points and nine rebounds. Ben Mathurin hit some big 3s and finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, hitting 4-of-9 from deep. Harrison Ingram scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half including a big three-pointer from the corner that brought the Cardinal within 82-80. Pelle Larsson then made two free throws to seal the game for the Wildcats. Stanford held their last lead at 75-74 with 3:25 remaining. A subsequent Mathurin dunk put the Wildcats ahead for good.