Las Vegas, NV – The semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament are set with UCLA, Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State getting wins in the quarterfinals on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena.
UCLA broke open the game midway in the second half to get past Colorado 80-69. The Bruins missed the perimeter defense of Jaylen Clark, who was lost for the season in their last game with an Achilles injury. The Buffaloes hit six of the first eleven three-pointers and took a one-point lead into the halftime break. Then the Bruins turned their defense up, resulting in two late turnovers that gave them a comfortable lead. Amari Bailey took up the slack offensively, scoring a season and career-high of 26 points. Bailey was active throughout the game, connecting on 8-of-12 from the field and making it to the line nine times, converting eight. Tyger Campbell added 18 points and seven assists while Pac-12 Player of the Year Jaime Jaquez Jr. contributed 16 points and nine rebounds. Jaquez didn’t have his best game, but competed defensively and came up with one of the late steals in which he converted into a fastbreak three-point play. Center Adem Bona was also impressive with 11 points,10 rebounds and three blocks. Tristan da Silva led Colorado with 17 points while the Buffaloes stayed in the content by making 10-of-23 3’s.
The second game looked like an easy Oregon win as they took a 19-point first half lead over Washington State. But then the Cougars came all the way back and took a late four-point lead helped by their three-point shooting and strong second half play from 6-11 Mouhamed Gueye. Gueye scored 14 second half points after missing part of the first half due to illness. The Cougars connected from deep (11-of-23) and scored 15 more points than the Ducks on three-pointers. The Ducks came back thanks to solid play late from Keeshawn Barthelemy (17 points). Barthelemy connected on two three-pointers and a mid-range jumper to bring Oregon back. Oregon closed the game on a seven-point run featuring a put-back from N‘Faly Dante (16 points, 11 rebounds) to give them a 72-70 lead and then Dante made an outstanding block at the rim, in which he feel to the floor and had to leave the game. Oregon held Washington State scoreless over the last three minutes for the win. Jermaine Couisnard also scored 17 points for the Ducks. TJ Bamba led the Cougars (17-16) with 19 points. Oregon and UCLA will face off in the first semifinal tomorrow night.
In the first game of the night session No. 2-seed Arizona pulled away from a game Stanford team in a 95-84 victory. Both teams shot well from deep, with the Cardinal connecting on 14-of-29 and the Wildcats 9-of-19. The difference in the game was inside where Arizona enjoyed a 54-22 edge in points in the paint. 7-foot center Oumar Ballo scored 24 points on 10-of-13 from the field and 6-10 Azuolas Tublelis added 20 points (9-of-12), eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. Cedric Henderson also scored 23 points, connecting on 3-of-5 from deep. Spencer Jones impressed for Stanford, paying hard throughout the game, scoring 22 points (3-of-7 3’s) with six rebounds and three assists.
No. 6-seeded Arizona State kept its NCAA Tournament up with a 77-72 win over third-seeded USC. The Sun Devils connected on 14-of-32 from deep and were led by 27 points and seven rebounds from Desmond Cambridge. Cambridge was 10-of-21 from the field including 6-of-12 from deep. The Trojans came back from a 14-point halftime deficit with a 47-point second half to make the game close at the end but couldn’t complete the comeback. Arizona State will face No. 2-seed Arizona for a spot in the championship game.
This article was written by Carl Berman, Managing Partner of NetScouts Basketball. You can follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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