2017 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament: Arizona's offense explodes in win over Colorado
LAS VEGAS – About the only thing that could stop Arizona’s offense on Thursday was the buzzer going off.
Three-pointers, dunks, jumpers – you name it and the Wildcats did it. Behind a dominant offensive performance, No. 2 seed Arizona topped No. 7 seed Colorado, 92-78, in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas.
“Colorado’s a really good team and they showed it,” Arizona guard Allonzo Trier. “They battled us really hard. We’re just excited to come away with our first win in the tournament.”
In a continuing theme on Day 2 of the Pac-12 Tourney, the two teams entered the locker room at halftime engaged in a close game. The Wildcats led 38-37 at the break but went on a quick 11-0 run to begin the second half. Colorado would cut its deficit down to seven points with 12:18 left, but Arizona once against went on an 11-0 run to really put the game out of reach.
In all, Arizona shot a scorching 64 percent (16-of-25) from the field in the second half and Colorado couldn’t keep up. All five of Arizona’s starters scored at least 13 points, with Lauri Markkanen scoring a team-high 20. Big man Dusan Ristic went 7-of-8 from the field, scoring 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
“They were offensive juggernauts tonight,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “My hat goes off to them. They’ve got some good players. They’re well coached. They’ve got good balance inside and out.”
But for Pac-12 Coach of the Year Sean Miller, Arizona is just getting started. The Wildcats, ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25, are set for a high-profile matchup with No. 3 seed and No. 3-ranked UCLA in the Saturday's semifinals (8:30 p.m. PT / 9:30 p.m. MT on ESPN).
“It was a good test for our team,” Miller said. We passed that test. Tomorrow, guess what, the stakes grow.”