In the opening game, Arizona (25-7) used a 14-0 run in the second half to top Colorado (17-15) 83-65. Allonzo Trier led the Wildcats with 22 points while center Dusan Ristic added 16 points and 11 rebounds to help compensate for an off-night from freshman sensation. Deandre Ayton. Ayton had one of his most unimpressive games of the season as he missed shots inside and out and fouled out after only scoring 10 points. He shot 4-of-14 from the field and only grabbed six rebounds. The Buffaloes kept the game close and only trailed 33-31 at halftime. However they were hurt early in the second half when starting point guard McKinley Wright injured an ankle, had to be helped off the court and did not return. George King led Colorado with 19 points.
Aaron Holiday continued his exceptional play to lead UCLA (21-10) to a 88-77 win over Stanford (18-15). Holiday finished with a game-high 34 points to go along with eight assists, seven rebounds and only two turnovers. He connected on 5-of-9 from deep. He was aided by a solid 18-point, 11-rebound effort from senior Thomas Welch. Welsh made 4-of-6 shots from deep. The Bruins shot a solid 44 percent (12-of-27) from long distance. KZ Okpala led the Cardinal with 23 points while Reid Travis had another double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. The Bruins forced Stanford into 14 turnovers while committing only seven. UCLA built a 13-point first half lead before Stanford came storming back to tie the game at 32. UCLA held a 44-40 lead at the half. Stanford was hurt by Daejon Davis picking up his fourth foul in the first 66 seconds of the second half. After that point the Cardinal did not have anyone who could guard Holiday effectively. Davis (13 points) was limited to 22 minutes of action. UCLA advances to face Arizona in the first semifinal tomorrow night.
No. 2 seed USC (22-10) had little problem dispatching Oregon State (16-16) 61-48. Chimezie Metu led the Trojans with 21 points and 10 rebounds highlight by two transition dunks off long passes from point guard Jordan McLaughlin. McLaughlin added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Jonah Matthews also added 13 points for the Trojans connected on 3-of-5 three-pointers. Oregon State shot only 25 percent (5-of-20) from long distance and 30.4 percent overall from the field. Helped by Metu, USC had a 34-14 advantage in points scored in the paint. The Beavers’ Tres Tinkle had his second straight poor shooting game. Tinkle only scored 11 points on 4-of-14 from the field including 1-of-5 from deep. USC led 29-19 at the half and coasted to the win.
Oregon (22-11) turned it around in the second half to top Utah (19-11) 68-66 as, for the second straight night freshman center Kenny Wooten blocked a last second shot that would have tied the game. Elijah Brown made 7-of-12 three-pointers to lead the Ducks with 21 points. Mikyle McIntosh added 18. The Utes shot an efficient 8-of-17 from long distance while 6-10 center David Collette helped them dominate the paint. Collette scored 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting while Utah had a 20-14 advantage in scoring in the paint.
After Oregon’s extremely poor offensive performance in their overtime win last night against Washington State, it appeared that they turned the corner in the early moments of tonight’s game vs. Utah. Helped by an Elijah Brown three-pointer the Ducks went out to a 5-0 lead after the first minute and a half. However then Oregon’s offense returned to muck as they only scored 20 points in the remainder of the half, enabling the No. 3 seeded Utes to take a 30-25 lead at halftime. Oregon shot 29.6 percent from the field in the half including 28.6 percent (4-of-14) on 3s. Utah shot 4-of-8 from deep and were led by point guard Justin Bibbins’ nine points. Bibbins led the Utes in the game with 20 points.
Oregon’s offense started to come together later in the second half. Utah held a large single digit lead through most of the half but then the Ducks starting connecting, cutting the lead to three (60-57) on an Elijah Brown three. The Ducks edged within 64-63 after Kenny Wooten made 1-of-2 free throws. Two free throws by McIntosh gave Oregon a one-point lead with 1:13 left.Donnie Tillman’s two free throws put Utah back up by one. McIntosh then made a spectacular shot inside, was fouled and converted on the three-point play. Oregon was up 68-66. Utah had a last chance after the Ducks didn’t get a shot off on time. They had 9.7 seconds. That’s when Wooten came up with another game-winning block on a Sedrick Barefield drive.
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