Arizona post players Oumar Ballo and Azuolas Tubelis combined for 44 points, and the No. 8 Wildcats used a late offensive flurry to put away Stanford 95-84 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament on Thursday night in Las Vegas.
The Wildcats’ high-low interior passing was nearly unstoppable, helping Ballo score 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting, and Tubelis was right behind with 20 points while making 9 of 12. Arizona (26-6) shot 63.8 percent, also getting a big outing from Cedric Henderson Jr. (23 points).
No. 10 seed Stanford (14-19) got 22 points from Spencer Jones and 19 from Brandon Angel. The Cardinal also was plenty hot, pulling within four points with 5:22 left. But 3-pointers from Courtney Ramey and Pelle Larsson helped Arizona close the door by building the lead to 14.
Second-seeded Arizona will play the winner of Thursday night’s late quarterfinal between third-seeded Southern California and No. 6 seed Arizona State.
Arizona starting point guard Kerr Kriisa injured his right shoulder late in the first half and came back after halftime with his shoulder taped. He didn’t attempt any shots in the second half until going to the free throw line with 1:43 to go. He airballed his first attempt and then switched to his left hand to make the second try for his only point of the night.
Stanford drilled 14 of 29 shots from 3-point range, but the Wildcats turned the tables from an 88-79 loss at Stanford on Feb. 11, when the Cardinal held a 42-24 edge in points in the paint. In the rematch, Arizona dominated down low with a whopping 54-22 advantage in the paint.
Most of the game was an entertaining tug-of-war between Arizona’s interior scoring and Stanford’s long-range prowess. The Wildcats held a one-point lead at about the midway point of the second half.
Ramey then started a 10-0 run with a 3-pointer and also contributed a three-point play after getting fouled on a drive to the basket. When Henderson made two free throws at the 8:42 mark, Arizona held a 79-68 lead.
–Field Level Media