UCLA men’s basketball rolls into Pac-12 tournament semifinals
UCLA beats Oregon, 82-63, and will face Stanford next. Earlier, the No. 4 Wildcats trounce the Utes, 71-39, in a rout that matched the largest margin of victory in a Pac-12 tournament game, and Colorado beat California.
The Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — Jordan Adams scored 15 points and UCLA ran away from Oregon with a big second-half run for an 82-63 rout over the Ducks in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament on Thursday night.
UCLA (24-8) had a superb night shooting and clamped down on Oregon in the second half to turn what had been a close game into a runaway after halftime.
The Bruins opened the second half with a huge run and kept dropping shots, hitting 57 percent from the floor to advance to Friday’s semifinals against Stanford, which beat Arizona State, 79-58.
Travis Wear and Zach LaVine added 14 points each for UCLA.
“We started exploiting things at the offensive end,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “But we’ve been pretty good most of the year coming out of halftime.”
The Ducks (23-9) matched the Bruins in the first half, but had no answer when they started to pull away, ending an eight-game winning streak.
Joseph Young was the only Oregon player to have any sustained success against UCLA, scoring 29 points.
The Ducks shouldn’t have to worry too much; they should be a lock for the NCAA tournament when Selection Sunday rolls around.
The Ducks were arguably the conference’s best team at the end of the regular season, overcoming a shaky stretch by winning their final seven games. Oregon kept it going in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament, blowing past rival Oregon State with a big second-half run for an 88-74 victory.
UCLA stumbled a bit down the stretch, losing three of its final five games, including a not-so-great one to struggling Washington State in its finale.
Stanford 79, Arizona State 58
Stanford’s win over Washington State to open the Pac-12 tournament was more of a placeholder, a game that only meant something if the Cardinal lost it.
Beating Arizona State, particularly the dominating way they won it — that could go a long way to boosting the Cardinal’s NCAA tournament resume.
Stanford (21-11) shut down Arizona State’s best players and pulled away with a dominating second-half offensive performance, picking up a marquee win by blowing out third-seeded Arizona State (21-11).
“It’s one of the best efforts we’ve had this season, where we’ve put everything together on both ends of the floor,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said.
It couldn’t have come at a better time.
Chasson Randle scored 21 points, Dwight Powell added 15 points and the Cardinal shot 54 percent.
Arizona 71, Utah 39
Nick Johnson scored 14 points, T.J. McConnell added 13 and No. 4 Arizona overwhelmed Utah defensively in a rout to match the most lopsided game in Pac-12 tournament history.
After playing two close games against Utah during the regular season, top-seeded Arizona (29-3) opened the tournament with a spirit-crushing defensive performance.
Energized by a raucous crowd that made it feel like the McKale Center, the Wildcats provided a glimpse of what can happen when one of the nation’s best defenses gets rolling.
Arizona ran through the record book against Utah (21-11), setting marks for fewest points allowed, fewest field goals (12) and lowest shooting percentage (25).
The Wildcats held the Utes to 13 points in the first half, another record, and matched UCLA’s 32-point win over Oregon State in 2006 to move into Friday’s semifinals against Colorado.
Colorado 59, California 56
Askia Booker scored 17 points, Xavier Talton added 13 and Colorado held off California in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament on Thursday.
The Buffaloes went ahead 58-54 when Booker hit two free throws with 12.1 seconds left, but Eli Stalzer only hit 1 of 2 free throws after Justin Cobbs scored on a layup. Cal raced down the floor for a potential tying three-pointer, but Cobbs’ shot came up short.