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No. 15 Arizona surges past Colorado 83-67 at Pac-12 tourney

LAS VEGAS (AP) Arizona was not particularly crisp on offense and big man Deandre Ayton missed shots that normally fall for him.

None of it slowed the Wildcats on their way to the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.

Scrappy and suffocating on defense, No. 15 Arizona rolled over Colorado 83-67 on Thursday in the Pac-12 quarterfinals.

''I really liked our defense, especially in the second half,'' Arizona coach Sean Miller said. ''We had plenty of transition opportunities because of our defense and that's when we're at our best.''

Ayton missed numerous shots near the rim, fouling out after scoring 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting and grabbing six rebounds. The Wildcats (25-7) were disjointed at times on offense, unable to find seams in Colorado's zone defense.

But Arizona was superb on defense most of the day, though, holding Colorado to 5-of-20 shooting from 3-point range and nabbing 11 steals, including four by Rawle Alkins.

Allonzo Trier scored 22 points, and Dusan Ristic had 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Wildcats move on to face UCLA in Friday's semifinals.

''I thought our ball screen defense was good,'' Miller said. ''Our team defense was good. We had a lot of players working together. I didn't really look at them having a lot of great looks that they missed. I think our defense was intact.''

Colorado (17-15) managed to hang with the Wildcats well into the second half despite playing a tough opening-round game the day before. The Buffaloes suffered a huge blow with about 13 minutes left, when point guard McKinley Wright IV went down with a right ankle injury. Arizona reeled off 14 straight points and the Buffaloes never recovered.

George King had 19 points, and Lucas Siewart 16 for Colorado.

''McKinley goes out, it might take us a while to figure things out offensively, but we weren't getting any stops,'' Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. ''They went on that run, and it was kind of all she wrote.''

Arizona played through a season of turmoil, winning its fifth Pac-12 regular-season title in six years despite twice being linked to a federal investigation into shady recruiting practices.

Miller's job appeared to be in jeopardy late in the season, when an ESPN report alleged he was caught on an FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment to lure Ayton to the school. Miller missed one game and three practices while the school investigated, but returned for the final two games after vehemently denying the report and the university president saying he will remain as coach.

The Buffaloes and Wildcats split during the regular season, each winning at their own arena.

Colorado used a big second-half run to beat Arizona State 97-85 in its Pac-12 opener, a game that put Boyle in a walking boot after injuring his right calf trying to break up a fight.

The Buffaloes made 13 of 21 from the 3-point arc in that victory and their hot shooting continued early against Arizona, making five of their first eight shots.

The Wildcats turned up the defensive pressure and that got their offense going - not to mention the pro-Arizona crowd - for a 15-2 run that put them up 27-19.

Colorado answered with a short run of its own, cutting Arizona's lead to 35-33 by halftime.

The Buffaloes kept Arizona close to start the second half, but suffered a huge blow with when Wright appeared to come down on someone's foot. He had to be helped off the court and didn't return.

The Buffaloes had a hard time getting into their offense without the freshman leader and Arizona took advantage, going on a 14-0 run to push the lead to 58-41.

''McKinley's a warrior,'' Boyle said. ''I thought, if we could have gotten that thing within striking distance, I probably would have gone with him, but I certainly didn't want to risk him or his ankle for the sake of just putting him back in the game.''

BIG PICTURE

Colorado looked like it had a shot at hanging with the Wildcats until Wright's injury.

Arizona showed it doesn't have to fire on all cylinders or need a big game from Ayton to advance.

REBOUNDING

Despite Ayton dealing with foul trouble and not having a huge impact on the game, Arizona still controlled the glass against Colorado. The Wildcats had a 34-24 rebounding advantage and scored 10 second-chance points on 10 offensive rebounds.

''We were not good rebounding all night,'' Boyle said.

UP NEXT

Colorado could end up in a smaller postseason tournament.

Arizona plays the Stanford-UCLA winner in the semifinals Friday.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
M. Wright IV
25 G
D. Ayton
13 F
33.2 Min. Per Game 33.2
19.9 Pts. Per Game 19.9
1.6 Ast. Per Game 1.6
11.4 Reb. Per Game 11.4
45.1 Field Goal % 60.4
30.4 Three Point % 34.4
77.0 Free Throw % 73.3
+ 1 Tyler Bey made 2nd of 2 free throws 12.0
  Tyler Bey missed 1st of 2 free throws 12.0
  Personal foul on Emmanuel Akot 12.0
  Offensive rebound by Colorado 12.0
  Lucas Siewert missed 3-pt. jump shot 14.0
+ 2 Keanu Pinder made jump shot, assist by Dylan Smith 22.0
  Defensive rebound by Emmanuel Akot 38.0
  Tyler Bey missed 2nd of 2 free throws 38.0
+ 1 Tyler Bey made 1st of 2 free throws 38.0
  Shooting foul on Dylan Smith 38.0
+ 1 Dusan Ristic made 2nd of 2 free throws 48.0
Team Stats
Points 67 83
Field Goals 22-52 (42.3%) 25-57 (43.9%)
3-Pointers 5-20 (25.0%) 7-18 (38.9%)
Free Throws 18-22 (81.8%) 26-38 (68.4%)
Total Rebounds 27 36
Offensive 2 10
Defensive 22 24
Team 3 2
Assists 10 11
Steals 3 11
Blocks 3 4
Turnovers 15 8
Fouls 28 18
Technicals 1 1
19 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST
22 PTS, 3 AST
12T
away team logo Colorado 17-15 333467
home team logo 15 Arizona 25-7 354883
Team Stats
away team logo Colorado 17-15 72.1 PPG 40.6 RPG 12.8 APG
home team logo 15 Arizona 25-7 80.5 PPG 38.5 RPG 15.2 APG
Key Players
00
G. King G PPG RPG APG FG%
00
A. Trier G PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
G. King G 19 PTS 4 REB 1 AST
A. Trier G 22 PTS 0 REB 3 AST
42.3 FG% 43.9
25.0 3PT FG% 38.9
81.8 FT% 68.4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
G. King 31 19 4 1 2 0 3 4 6/12 2/3 5/5 1 3
M. Wright IV 22 8 4 5 0 0 2 0 3/5 0/1 2/2 0 4
D. Walton 19 7 2 0 0 2 1 2 3/6 1/2 0/0 0 2
T. Bey 21 7 9 0 0 0 2 4 2/4 0/0 3/6 1 8
L. Nikolic 22 4 0 2 0 0 2 5 2/5 0/2 0/1 0 0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
G. King 31 19 4 1 2 0 3 4 6/12 2/3 5/5 1 3
M. Wright IV 22 8 4 5 0 0 2 0 3/5 0/1 2/2 0 4
D. Walton 19 7 2 0 0 2 1 2 3/6 1/2 0/0 0 2
T. Bey 21 7 9 0 0 0 2 4 2/4 0/0 3/6 1 8
L. Nikolic 22 4 0 2 0 0 2 5 2/5 0/2 0/1 0 0
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
L. Siewert 30 16 3 0 0 1 3 4 4/10 2/6 6/6 0 3
D. Collier 21 4 0 1 0 0 1 5 2/7 0/4 0/0 0 0
N. Wright 13 2 0 1 1 0 0 1 0/2 0/1 2/2 0 0
D. Schwartz 21 0 2 0 0 0 1 2 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 2
J. Repine - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Strating - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Martinka - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 67 24 10 3 3 15 28 22/52 5/20 18/22 2 22
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
A. Trier 36 22 0 3 1 0 1 1 5/9 2/5 10/10 0 0
D. Ristic 35 16 11 0 0 0 0 2 5/10 0/0 6/8 2 9
P. Jackson-Cartwright 29 14 5 4 3 0 2 3 4/7 3/6 3/6 1 4
R. Alkins 34 12 4 0 4 1 1 1 3/8 2/4 4/6 2 2
D. Ayton 25 10 6 2 2 3 3 5 4/14 0/0 2/6 2 4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
A. Trier 36 22 0 3 1 0 1 1 5/9 2/5 10/10 0 0
D. Ristic 35 16 11 0 0 0 0 2 5/10 0/0 6/8 2 9
P. Jackson-Cartwright 29 14 5 4 3 0 2 3 4/7 3/6 3/6 1 4
R. Alkins 34 12 4 0 4 1 1 1 3/8 2/4 4/6 2 2
D. Ayton 25 10 6 2 2 3 3 5 4/14 0/0 2/6 2 4
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. Pinder 15 5 6 0 0 0 0 2 2/4 0/0 1/2 3 3
D. Smith 8 2 1 1 0 0 1 2 1/4 0/3 0/0 0 1
E. Akot 14 2 1 1 1 0 0 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 1
A. Barcello 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
B. Randolph 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
T. Denny - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. DesJardins - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Trillo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Jones - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Lee - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Weyand - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 83 34 11 11 4 8 18 25/57 7/18 26/38 10 24