2016 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament: Billings leads No. 12 UCLA past Arizona, 72-51
SEATTLE (AP) – Monique Billings scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and No. 12 UCLA raced past Arizona for a 72-51 win in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals on Friday.
UCLA (23-7) used a big first half to take a 21-point halftime lead and cruised into the semifinals. The Bruins will face California on Saturday after the Golden Bears upset No. 10 Arizona State. The Bruins knocked off Arizona 80-53 a week ago in Los Angeles and followed up with another dominating performance to reach the Pac-12 semifinals for the first time since 2013 when UCLA lost in the championship game to Stanford.
Nirra Fields added 17 points and UCLA won for the seventh time in eight games.
LaBrittney Jones led Arizona (13-19) with 15 points. No other Wildcats scored in double figures.
It was the final game at Arizona for coach Niya Butts. The school announced earlier this week that Butts would not return next season. The Wildcats knocked off sixth-seeded Oregon in the opening round on Thursday, their second straight win after an 11-game losing streak, but Arizona couldn't keep it going for one more game.
The Wildcats lingered for the opening moments, but UCLA took over late in the first quarter and turned the game into a blowout. UCLA outscored the Wildcats 26-6 from the end of the first quarter until halftime and had a 36-15 halftime advantage. The Bruins dominated on the interior, making up for the backcourt duo of Jordin Canada and Kari Korver shooting a combined 4 for 17. Canada finished with seven points and Korver had five.
Billings made 9 of 14 shots and her 18 points were her most since scoring 19 in a win over Washington State in the middle of January.
Arizona: Taryn Griffey finished with five points off the bench, while her dad, new Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. watched from the stands. A redshirt freshman, Taryn Griffey appeared in 22 games this season for the Wildcats. ... Arizona shot just 31 percent.
UCLA: The Bruins split the season series with California but only one of those was a conference game. The Bruins lost at Cal 108-104 in double overtime in a December non-conference game before beating the Bears 75-56 in Los Angeles in January. ... Korver, a 38 percent 3-point shooter for the season, missed all eight attempts from behind the arc. Over the past four games, Korver is just 3 of 21 on 3s.
Arizona: Season over.
UCLA: The Bruins will face California in the semifinals on Saturday.
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