2016 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament: Colorado rolls over Washington State 80-56 at Pac-12 tourney
LAS VEGAS (AP) — George King scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half, helping Colorado run away from Washington State for an 80-56 victory Wednesday in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Colorado (22-10) took advantage of Washington State's persistent double teams on Josh Scott, working the ball around for open shots while building a 19-point halftime lead.
King got many of those, shooting 7 of 12 from the field while Scott finished with six points, five rebounds and five assists.
The fifth-seeded Buffaloes move on to meet No. 4 seed Arizona in Thursday's quarterfinals.
The 12th-seeded Cougars (9-22) kept it close early, but were no match for Colorado once the Buffaloes got going to end the season on a 17-game losing streak.
Ike Iroegbu led Washington State with 13 points and Josh Hawkinson finished with 14 rebounds, though he was held to eight points on 3-of-9 shooting.
The Buffaloes had a strong NCAA Tournament case heading into Las Vegas, though didn't want to have a letdown against the Cougars after blowing a 14-point second-half lead in a regular season-ending loss to Utah.
[Related video: Colorado's Josh Scott: 'Sometimes, you've got to sacrifice to win']
Colorado and Washington State met twice during the regular season and the Buffaloes won both: 75-70 in Pullman, 88-81 in double overtime in Boulder.
Scott didn't play in the second game and the Buffaloes needed a last-second 3-pointer by King at the end of the first overtime to extend the game.
The Cougars clearly did not want Scott to beat them, double teaming him on nearly every touch.
The strategy worked early. Scott missed the only two shots he took and Washington State managed to keep the Buffaloes in reach.
But Colorado began to pull away late in the first half behind King.
The sophomore guard scored 11-straight points for the Buffaloes and had 17 by halftime — five fewer than Washington State.
Colorado also began to shut the Cougars down, too, holding them to 7-of-27 shooting in the first half, including 0 for 6 on 3-pointers.
King slowed a little in the second, but the Buffaloes didn't, making 7 of their first 12 shots to build the lead to 59-33.
Colorado faces No. 15 Arizona in the quarterfinals on Thursday.