Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Holiday hoists UCLA into Pac-12 semis

Holiday hoists UCLA into Pac-12 semis

Here are six takeaways from the game.

BC-BKC-T25-P12-Colorado-Arizona, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 755 No. 15 Arizona surges past Colorado 83-67 at Pac-12 tourneyAP Photo NVIB106, NVIB104, NVIB105, NVIB103, NVIB102, NVIB107Eds: No. 15 Arizona 83, Colorado 67.

"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.

The Buffs finish the season 17-15 and will cross their fingers for a second consecutive NIT berth, though with several teams within their own league ahead of them in the NIT's pecking order, that destination appears unlikely.

Thursday's game against Colorado had Miller singing a very different tune. We had plenty of transition opportunities because of our defense (the Wildcats recorded 11 steals) and that's when we're at our best.

The big blow to Colorado's chances came with about 13 minutes left in the half, as Pac-12 All-Freshman Guard McKinley Wright went down with an ankle injury while battling for a rebound under his basket. "I think our defense was intact".

Scrappy and suffocating on defense, No. 15 Arizona rolled over Colorado 83-67 on Thursday in the Pac-12 quarterfinals. UCLA in Arizona, it's going down! There's a committee that's made up of smart people that will look at everything and if they feel like we're deserving, we'll be invited and we'll go. Boyle said he considered bringing Wright back into the game but decided against it.

"McKinley is important to us, there's no doubt about that", Boyle said. I thought a lot of 50-50 balls that could have gone either way went to Arizona, which, again, they deserve them because they got them.

Davis went to the bench with his third personal foul with just more than five minutes remaining in the first half, and UCLA quickly turned a one-point game into a 42-34 lead. Trier dealt with re-suspension from the NCAA for performance enhancing drugs that kept him out both games in OR and then when he returned for senior day against Cal, he couldn't seem to find the bottom of the net, shooting 1-for-10 and finishing with two points.

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

Arizona shot 43.9 percent but kept Colorado to 42.3 percent overall and just 5 of 20 from 3-point range.

He said he never lost confidence. "... I will say I'm confident in the team that we have right now, and that we can compete with some of the best teams in college basketball". "Watch what I do the rest of the season, too".

Without freshman forward Deandre Ayton dominating (10 points and six rebounds), senior forward Dusan Ristic picked up the slack in the paint. He's dating a former Arizona soccer player.

While Ayton was dealing with his shooting woes, Dusan Ristic found a rhythm.

On Thursday, UCLA created separation from Stanford in the second half, as Aaron Holiday caught fire to match a career high with 34 points.

At one point he had to be separated from a Colorado player after the player tripped Parker Jackson-Cartwright.

"It was me", Ayton said of his performance Thursday.

In the second half, however, it was all Wildcats. Afterward he spent about an hour wandering the arena taking pictures with fans and watching the UCLA-Stanford game.

The win moved Arizona (25-7) into a Pac-12 Tournament semifinal game on Friday at 7 p.m. against the victor of Thursday afternoon's UCLA-Stanford game.

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