Pac-12 Basketball Tournament quarterfinal recap: Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, Stanford remain

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Wildcats are the clear favorites, but tough challenges remain from the final four teams.

Arizona 71, Utah 39

The Arizona Wildcats entered the 2014 Pac-12 tournament as the best defensive team in the conference. Against Utah, in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals, the Wildcats showed why as the smothered Utah in route to a 71-39 dominating victory Thursday afternoon.

Utah struggled to find any offensive rhythm, shooting just 26-percent from the field and 2-10 from 3-point territory. The Utes had 11 turnovers and were outrebounded 39-24 by the Wildcats.

At the first media timeout, Arizona led by just three points, however the Wildcats went on a 15-0 run over the next six minutes of game time, holding Utah scoreless during that stretch. Arizona held Utah to just 13 first-half points, a Pac-12 tournament record for fewest points allowed in a first half.

The Wildcats led by as many as 36 in the second half before Sean Miller called off the dogs and put his starters on the bench with around five minutes left. Pac-12 Player of the Year Nick Johnson led Arizona with 14 points. T.J. McConnell scored 13 points on 6-8 shooting and Aaron Gordon tallied 11 points and seven rebounds in the victory.

Quotable: "Well, I thought today we had obviously an excellent defensive day. We were locked in, and our effort level, everything that we really wanted to do defensively, we were able to do it." - Arizona head coach Sean Miller

Colorado 59, California 56

On March 8th, California and Colorado played in overtime thriller that saw the Golden Bears pull off an overtime victory over the Buffaloes, knocking them from a top-four seed in the Pac-12 tournament. Thursday afternoon, the two teams met in the quarterfinals, and this time it was Colorado knocking off California in a thriller, 59-56.

After Colorado missed the second of a one-and-one, California guard Justin Cobbs missed a game-tying 3-point attempt at the buzzer. Cobbs finished with a game-high 21 points in his final career Pac-12 game.

Colorado dominated where they usually dominate, inside. The Buffaloes outrebounded California 39-28, including 10 offensive rebounds leading to 10 second chance points. Askia Booker led the Buffaloes with 17 points on 7-15 shooting. Xavier Johnson tallied 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Colorado had four players in double figures.

The Buffaloes will meet the Arizona Wildcats tomorrow night in the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament.

Quotable: "You could tell from the start that our players really wanted this game and they had that intensity about them that was pretty evident. It was to a man. It wasn't just one guy; it was the whole group. We were cut up with a lot of 50-50 balls and long rebounds and all the plays that we talk about that win basketball games." - Colorado head coach Tad Boyle.

UCLA 82, Oregon 63

In what was supposed to be the featured game of the Thursday, the UCLA Bruins used a second half run to pull away from the Oregon Ducks in their Pac-12 quarterfinal battle. The Bruins led by just two at halftime, but started the second half on a 20-4 run, making eight of their first 10 shots in the second half in route to a 82-63 victory.

Oregon was coming into the contest riding a eight-game winning streak and beat UCLA in late February, however the Ducks just shot 35-percent in the second half. Joseph Young put up 29 points on 10-18 shooting in a losing effort. No other Duck was in double figures and Oregon turned the ball over 17 times.

Four Bruins scored in double figures, led by Jordan Adams' 15 points. Kyle Anderson posted 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists and the Wear brothers combined for 25 points and nine rebounds.

UCLA was able to shoot 57-percent from the field and were 8-16 from beyond the arc. The Bruins doubled the Ducks in assists, 18-9, and scored 17 points off turnovers.

Quotable: "Really, really pleased with our team. We responded really well tonight coming off the game that we had to end the regular season and taking a couple days off to clear our

minds and kind of get well mentally and physically." - UCLA head coach Steve Alford.

Stanford 79, Arizona State 58

The Stanford Cardinal used its prowess on the glass and inside the paint to dominate the Arizona State Sun Devils in the Pac-12 quarterfinals in route to a 79-58 victory.

Stanford got out to a 9-0 lead as Arizona State missed its first nine shots. Jahii Carson and Jermaine Marshall combined to start 0-9 from the field in the first half. Despite only seven points from its starters in the first half, the Sun Devils trailed by just three points at halftime.

However, Stanford came out and dominated the second half, using a 24-8 run midway through the second to pull away from Arizona State. Stanford saw four players finish in double figure scoring, led by Chasson Randle's game-high 21 points. Dwight Powell finished with 15 points on 6-8 shooting and Josh Huestis tallied 12 points and seven rebounds.

Up next for Stanford is a matchup in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals with the UCLA Bruins.

Quotable: "We have some guys right now who are struggling. Against a good offensive team like Stanford you have to be able to convert some on offense."- Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek.

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