Big second half propels Arizona to win

Kaleb Tarczewski

Arizona used a big second half to defeat Colorado and advance to the finals of the Pac-12 Tournament. Read on for a full recap.

Arizona's first half was unimpressive, but its second half is what did Colorado in.

The Wildcats shot 60 percent in the second half to defeat the Buffs 63-43 Friday at the Las Vegas MGM Grand.

Xavier Johnson scored to start the game, but T.J. McConnell had two consecutive hoops. Askia Booker then scored off a turnovers and Aaron Gordon hit one off the offensive glass to put the Wildcats up 6-4 four minutes into the game.

Booker and Gordon exchanged buckets before Dustin Thomas got his first one to tie the game at eight with 13 minutes left in the first half.

Jordin Mayes made a three-pointer and Tarczewski hit a free-throw before Thomas scored again. A jumper by Tarczewski then gave the Wildcats a 14-10 lead.

Xavier Talton made a three for his first point of the game, but Nick Johnson scored on a lob from Gordon and then hit a three to force a Colorado timeout with Arizona up 19-13 with 7:-3 left in the first half.

McConnell and Xavier Johnson exchanged threes before Scott hit a shot in the lane. Gordon and Jaron Hopkins both scored as Arizona led 24-20. Xavier Johnson made a three and one of three free-throws to tie it, but a three by York as the half expired put the Wildcats up 27-24 going into halftime.

McConnell scored at the start of the half, but Scott did as well. Tarczewski proceeded to get a bucket and Booker got two free-throws before a three by Nick Johnson put Arizona up 34-28. Booker made one of two free-throws, but Nick Johnson and Rondae Jefferson scored. Booker was able to get a three-point play, but two free-throws from Hollis-Jefferson gave Arizona a 40-32 lead with 11:27 left.

Two consecutive baskets from Hollis-Jefferson then forced a Colorado timeout as Arizona's lead built to 12. McConnell came out of the timeout and hit a three and Gordon and Mayes followed with baskets to give Arizona a 51-32 lead with 7:54 left in the half.

Booker made a three, but Hollis Hollis-Jefferson scored and made two free-throws soon after. Talton then made a three of his own, but Nick Johnson made two free-throws and a jumper. Talton proceeded to make two from the line that put Arizona's lead at 59-39 with 3:54 left in regulation.

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