No. 3 Arizona overcomes large deficit, but still trails Colorado 34-27 at the half
In its sloppiest half so far this season, No. 3 Arizona (12-0) fell behind 34-27 in the first half to Colorado (10-2) in the Pac-12 opener at McKale Center.
Wildcats center Kaleb Tarcewski opened the game with a jump hook, but the rest of the first half was Arizona’s worst of the season and by a wide margin, although they did salvage themselves in the final few minutes.
Tarczewski and Kevin Parrom led the way for the UA with six points a piece, while Booker and Johnson led Colorado with 11 and 12, respectively. Arizona held the rebounding advantage with 21 against 15 for the Buffs.
With 16:49 the score was knotted up at 6-6. Then Colorado exploded to a 15-1 run to go up 14 points with 8:46 remaining. Through the midway point of the first half,
Colorado’s Askia Booker alone outscored Arizona 11-7, and the biggest reason for that was likely the Wildcats struggles in shooting the basketball.
Arizona made just six of its first 24 shots and opened the game shooting 2-of-12.
Two free throws from UA guard Mark Lyons and a putback layup from Solomon Hill brought the game to within 12 with 8:30 on the clock. brought it back to within 12 with 8:30 left.
Two straight 3-pointers, buoying a UA free throw, from Colorado’s Xavier Johnson brought that back up to 16 points.
Then, sixth man Kevin Parrom hit a 3-pointer with four minutes left and the Wildcats began their comeback.
Johnson hit another two before freshman big Grant Jerrett responded with a 3-pointer to bring the Wildcats to within 13, and 11 after two Tarczewski free throws.
Finally a Tarczewski put back on a missed Lyons three with less than 30 seconds left brought the UA to within single digits for the first time since the score was 15-7 with 11:15 left.
The halftime score came about with two Nick Johnson free throws, capping off Arizona’s 6-0 run as it headed into the locker room.