UCLA vs Arizona

No. 7 Arizona beats No. 3 UCLA 86-75 in Pac-12 semifinals

AP
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LAS VEGAS (AP) A spot in the championship game secure, Arizona coach Sean Miller called a timeout with 0.9 seconds left against UCLA, threw the ball onto the floor and began shouting in the face of Kadeem Allen.

Miller said it was to give the senior guard his due and make sure his team was poised at the end the game. His actions showed there might have been a little more to it following a celebration by the Bruins two weeks ago in Tucson.

Lauri Markkanen scored 29 points, Allonzo Trier added 20 and No. 7 Arizona shot its way to an emotional 86-75 win over No. 3 UCLA on Friday night in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.

''We learned from UCLA in that game, making sure your team is poised when they called that timeout,'' Miller said. ''We wanted to do the same thing, make sure our team was poised moving forward.''

UCLA lost to Arizona at home early in the season and returned the favor at McKale Center with a 77-72 victory on Feb. 25. Coach Steve Alford called a timeout with a second left in that game and it apparently riled up the Wildcats, who were hoping for a rematch after advancing to the tournament semifinals.

Arizona (29-4) made the most of it, advancing to Saturday's title game against No. 5 Oregon. The co-Pac-12 champion Wildcats shot 50 percent and made 10 of 20 from 3-point range in front of a rowdy crowd that made T-Mobile Arena feel like McKale Center west.

''I guess they were upset when I called timeout at their place,'' Alford said. ''We made two free throws and I didn't mean disrespect at all. It put us up five and I wanted to set my defense. We hadn't won there, so I didn't want anything goofy to happen. Apparently he thought we were being disrespectful and that was his way of getting back at us.''

UCLA (29-4) won the game in Tucson by outscoring the Wildcats 20-4 on second-chance points. Arizona shored up its rebounding issues and hounded the Bruins into one miss after another.

UCLA shot 4 of 25 from 3-point range, with Lonzo Ball and Bryce Alford combining for 13 points on 2-for-16 shooting from beyond the arc.

Isaac Hamilton led UCLA with 20 points and TJ Leaf had 15 before fouling out.

''We didn't shoot the ball well,'' Alford said. ''We missed a lot of open looks that we normally make.''

The Bruins and Wildcats played two entertaining games during the regular season, each winning on the road.

The first half of the rubber match between Pac-12 powers was an entertaining mix of athletic plays, superb defensive stretches, followed by runs of fantastic offense.

Arizona had the last burst, taking a 41-35 lead into halftime after making 7 of 13 from 3-point range while the Bruins went 2 for 12.

Ball struggled with foul trouble in the quarterfinals against USC and wasn't much of a factor in the first half, with as many turnovers (four) as points and assists combined.

Arizona continued to hit shots as UCLA continued to clank, stretching the lead to 63-48 as the decibel level in T-Mobile Arena continued to rise.

The Bruins tried to make runs , but couldn't get shots to consistently fall to make up enough ground, allowing the Wildcats to get a little payback.

''Never been prouder of a group of kids,'' Miller said. ''We lost a tough game at home in our last game and I think it really stuck with these guys and motivated them to be better. We had the opportunity and we took advantage of it.''

BIG PICTURE

Arizona can look unstoppable when it's making perimeter shots and playing defense, which it did against UCLA.

The Bruins had been playing solid defense recently, but struggled to stop the Wildcats and couldn't outscore them.

MARKKANEN ON THE MARK

Markkanen went through a shooting slump in February, but has found his stroke in Las Vegas.

The Finnish 7-footer went 4 for 10 from 3-point range against UCLA and is 8 of 17 in two games of the tournament.

UP NEXT

Arizona faces top-seeded Oregon in Saturday night's title game.

UCLA should still get a high NCAA Tournament seed.

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More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2017 by Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

 
Scoreboard
UCLA #3 (29-4)354075
Arizona #7 (29-4) «414586
UCLA:I. Hamilton 20 Pts
UCLA:T. Welsh 8 Reb
UCLA:L. Ball 6 Ast
ARIZ:L. Markkanen 29 Pts
ARIZ:L. Markkanen 6 Reb
ARIZ:K. Allen 4 Ast

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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
UCLAArizona
UCLA
Isaac Hamilton
ARIZ
Lauri Markkanen
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
20412961
UCLA Bruins
L. Ball, G352-73-35648
B. Alford, G332-120-01115
I. Hamilton, G317-135-541320
T. Leaf, F303-99-1083515
T. Welsh, C255-53-481213
A. Holiday, G253-110-02337
I. Anigbogu, F/C152-23-44137
G. Goloman, F60-00-00020
A. Wulff, G00-00-00000
P. Ali, G00-00-00000
I. Okwarabizie, C00-00-00000
A. Olesinski, F00-00-00000
J. Smith, G00-00-00000
A. Dodson, G00-00-00000
I. Wulff, G00-00-00000
Totals 24-5923-2632162375
 40.7%88.5% 
Arizona Wildcats
A. Trier, G355-97-1044220
L. Markkanen, F3210-225-661329
K. Allen, G303-75-844412
R. Alkins, G273-41-25148
D. Ristic, C185-60-040310
P. Jackson-Cartwright, G291-31-23414
C. Comanche, C181-31-25013
K. Pinder, F70-10-22010
K. Simmons, G40-10-00010
R. Smith, F00-00-00000
P. Cruz, G00-00-00000
J. DesJardins, F00-00-00000
T. Trillo, G00-00-00000
K. Jones, G00-00-00000
Totals 28-5620-3233142086
 50.0%62.5% 
Pac 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Arizona16-232-52
Oregon16-233-69
UCLA15-331-516
Utah11-720-1283
USC10-826-1041
California10-821-1353
Colorado8-1019-1599
Arizona St.7-1115-18124
Stanford6-1214-17100
Wash. State6-1213-18163
Washington2-169-22210
Oregon St.1-175-27281
 
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MICH 74 Final
PUR 70
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SMU 81
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UK 71
SETON 53 Final
NOVA 55
IND 60 Final
WISC 70
DUKE 93 Final
UNC 83
TCU 63 Final
IAST 84
TULSA 61 Final
CINCY 80
VANDY 72 Final
FLA 62
NW 72 Final
MD 64
CAL 65 Final
ORE 73
KSU 50 Final
WVU 51
ND 77 Final
FSU 73