Colorado Holds Off Late Cal Run
LAS VEGAS – California made a valiant run in the closing minutes against third-seeded Colorado, nearly coming back from a 13-point deficit, but the Buffaloes held on for a 61-58 victory in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena.
CU broke open a tight game to move ahead, 52-39, with 7:31 left. At that point, Matt Bradley hit a driving layup – his first basket of the game – and added two 3-pointers to key a 10-1 Cal run. Colorado pushed its lead back to nine with 1:05 remaining before Jalen Celestine scored six straight for the Bears – three free throws followed by a 3-pointer to make it 61-58.
The Buffaloes turned the ball over on their next possession, giving Cal 11.5 seconds to try for the tying shot. However, Makale Foreman's 3-pointer rimmed out, and Colorado advanced to the semifinals.
Grant Anticevich led the Bears with 11 points and six rebounds, while Bradley had 10 points before fouling out with 3:28 remaining. D.J. Thorpe also contributed a career-high-tying nine points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Cal opened the game with back-to-back 3-pointers from Anticevich and Celestine, and Joel Brown hit a free throw for a quick 7-0 lead. Colorado scored the next six to get within one point before both teams cooled off from the floor. Cal was able to maintain its advantage until Colorado edged ahead, 17-16, with 3:39 left in the half. The Buffaloes built a 24-20 lead at the break. At that point, the Bears were 8-for-24 from the field, while Colorado was only 8-for-28.
Cal scored five straight to begin the second half to go up, 25-24, and the teams traded the lead for the next several minutes until the Buffaloes went on an 11-2 run to move a 30-28 advantage to 41-30 with 11:34 to go. The lead reached as many as 13 points before Cal made its late run.
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