Wildcats reach Pac-12 semifinals, 95-84 victory
TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The Arizona Wildcats finally beat Standford, winning Thursday night’s Pac-12 Conference Tournament quarterfinal 95-84.
“We knew it was going to be a challenge,” Wildcats head coach Tommy Lloyd said. “Their size matches up with us pretty well. They have a tendency to make real timely shots against us, and they just kept doing that over and over and over again. Our guys hung with it.”
Oumar Ballo scored 24 points, Cedric Henderson Jr. scored 23 and Azuolas Tubelis added 20 for Arizona (26-6). They have a Friday night matchup against either Arizona State or Southern California.
Point guard Kerr Kriisa, had a shoulder injury in the first half, and according to Lloyd, he wasn’t expected to be available after the break. However, Kriisa played 15 minutes in the second half.
Wildcats head coach Tommy Lloyd won his 59th game at Arizona and held the title for the most victories in a coach’s first two seasons. He surpassed Former North Carolina coach Bill Guthridge.
“To pass Bill Guthridge is even a little extra special honor for me,” Lloyd said. “I thought I was never leaving Gonzaga, and I was totally OK with that. I would tell people jokingly, ‘Hey, I’ll just be the next Bill Guthridge. He was Dean Smith’s right-hand man. I’ll be Mark Few’s right-hand man and maybe get a few years to be the head coach at the end of my career.”
Spencer Jones had led Standford (14-19) with 22 points, Brandon Angel with 19, Michael Jones scored 13 and Harrison Ingram finished with 12.
The Standford Cardinal did not make it easy for the Wildcats. Standford had won three of four entering tonight’s game and had claimed the seasons only meeting on Feb.11, 88-79.
“That’s just kind of the growth of our team,” Spencer Jones said. “We’ve been talking about that throughout the season, our ability to handle runs like that. Each team’s going to go on a run, and credit to Coach, he really instilled that in us, even though we were failing to do it at the beginning of the season. So we started hitting back and that was the key.”
The season is over for Standford.
Arizona will play in the semifinals on Friday night.
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