LAS VEGAS (AP)
Arizona spent much of the flavour winning lopsided games with one of the nation’southward best offenses.
The Wildcats faced a rare opposing offensive onslaught to open the Pac-12 Tournament by a hot-shooting Stanford team and a forward who couldn’t seem to miss.
Arizona establish a way to win in a good starting point for what the Wildcats hope is a long postseason run.
Christian Koloko scored 24 points, Bennedict Mathurin added 20 and No. 2 Arizona held off Stanford 84-80 on Th in the quarterfinals.
“It was expert to become tested today,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “Obviously, Stanford gave united states everything we wanted and and so some. I love this fourth dimension of year. I love coaching in these games. They mean a lot. Y’all’ve got to win or go home.”
The top-seeded Wildcats (29-3) had a hard time shaking the Cardinal in a win late in the regular season and faced a like issue to open the tournament.
Ninth-seeded Stanford (16-xvi) crush Arizona State on a buzzer-beater to open the show in Las Vegas on Wednesday and striking Arizona with a flurry of iii-pointers in the encore.
The Cardinal went 11 for 20 backside the arc and Spencer Jones hit shots from everywhere while scoring 28 points. Stanford shot 54% against the Pac-12′due south best defensive team in an atmosphere that felt like McKale Center north.
“Nosotros executed our game plan really well downward the stretch, gave ourselves opportunities,” Stanford motorcoach Jerod Haase said.
Arizona was the team that cashed in.
Koloko put Arizona up 82-77 on a 2-handed dunk, but Harrison Ingram (16 points) cut the lead to two on a corner 3 with 13 seconds left. The Cardinal quickly fouled Pelle Larsson and he fabricated two free throws with eight.5 seconds left to ship the Wildcats into the semifinals against Colorado on Friday.
“Nosotros have a immature squad, so we need to take those kind of games to get ready for what’south side by side for us,” said Koloko, who had nine rebounds and four assists.
Arizona took an unexpected road to Las Vegas, winning a Pac-12 regular-flavour title non even their motorbus expected.
Using principles he helped forge 22 years equally Mark Few’s assistant at Gonzaga, Lloyd turned the Wildcats into a fast and furious pack.
Arizona’s offensive possessions are the shortest in Division I — just over 14 seconds — and the Wildcats were tertiary nationally in scoring at 84.7 points per game.
The Cardinal managed to drop an anchor on Arizona’south aerials for a flake in the teams’ 2nd meeting this season — they were diddled out in the get-go — earlier the Wildcats pulled abroad for an 81-69 win.
Stanford well-nigh shot for shot with the Wildcats in the third go-round. Jones striking Arizona with an array of midrange jumpers to score xiii points and the Cardinal went vi of 8 from iii in the first half.
“I merely had to exist equally aggressive as I mayhap could exist,” said Jones, who finished 12 of 18 from the flooring and iv of 7 from 3.
Arizona had success getting the ball into the mail service and Mathurin seemed to accept an respond each fourth dimension the Cardinal tried to get on a run, scoring 14 points to requite Arizona a xl-37 lead.
Stanford kept dropping in shots to showtime the second one-half. Jones opened with a pair of 3s and the Key hit six of their vii shots, 3 of those 3s.
Arizona kept pace, trading baskets with Stanford in a dorsum-and-forth second half, neither squad able to gain much separation.
The Wildcats threatened to pull away twice, stretching the atomic number 82 to five. Stanford stopped the momentum and quieted the oversupply both times past continuing to drain shots, setting up the tight finish that Arizona eked out for a win.
Stanford showed a lot of grit and in what may be its season finale with an incredible shooting performance. It still wasn’t enough against one of the nation’s best teams.
Arizona was put to the test by the tournament’s ninth seed and passed. The Wildcats seem to discover a way to win even with everything doesn’t go right.
Arizona lost point baby-sit Kerr Kriisa to a sprained correct talocrural joint with 32 seconds left.
The Estonian guard landed on a Stanford role player’s pes while making a pass. Kriisa was in a not bad deal of hurting and could not put whatsoever weight on his right leg as he was helped to the locker room.
Lloyd was unsure of his availability the rest of the tournament.
Stanford: Won’t exist going to the NCAA Tournament, but could get an invite to another postseason tournament.
Arizona: Will face Colorado on Friday in the semifinals.
More college basketball game
No. two Arizona rides into Pac-12 tournament with top seeding
Wildcats’ Bennedict Mathurin named Pac-12 histrion of the twelvemonth
No. 2 Arizona beats California 89-61 for 18th Pac-12 win
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