Amari Bailey powers No. 2 UCLA over pesky Colorado


Amari Bailey had a career-high 26 points as top-seeded UCLA held off Colorado 80-69 in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas.

The No. 2-ranked Bruins won their 11th straight game despite allowing over 50 percent shooting for only the second time this season. They were playing without guard Jaylen Clark, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the regular-season finale.

Bailey was 8 of 12 from the field and the freshman made 8 of 9 free throws as UCLA (28-4) connected on 24 of 31 from the line compared to 7 of 11 for Colorado.

The ninth-seeded Buffaloes (17-16) were led by Tristan Da Silva, who had 17 points, while Julian Hammond III added 14.

Colorado led 38-37 at the half thanks to a 7-of-12 shooting performance from 3. A Hammond triple gave the Buffaloes a 49-46 edge with 14:47 left, but they followed that with a four-minute stretch in which they missed three straight shots and turned it over four times, twice on offensive player-control fouls.

UCLA went on a 9-0 run to build a 55-49 lead on David Singleton’s 3 with 10:49 to go.

Da Silva drained consecutive 3s to give Colorado a 61-60 lead but Jaime Jaquez Jr. hit a 3 on the other end to start another 9-0 run that put UCLA up 69-61 with 3:22 remaining. Jaquez, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, had 16 points and nine rebounds while Tyger Campbell scored 18 and added seven assists.

Colorado got within four with less than two minutes to go and had multiple chances to make it a one-score game. Jacquez stole it from Da Silva and converted into a game-sealing 3-point play with 1:21 left. Not long after, Colorado coach Tad Boyle was ejected in the final minute for receiving two technical fouls.

Colorado made its first four shots to lead 10-5 before UCLA stormed back and took its first lead about eight minutes in on a corner 3 from Bailey. He had 12 of the Bruins’ first 19 points.

UCLA will face either No. 4 Oregon or No. 5 Washington State in Friday’s Pac-12 semifinals.

–Field Level Media

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