LAS VEGAS — The No. 8 Arizona men's basketball team defeated Stanford University by a score of 95-84 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament in the T-Mobile arena on Thursday, March 9.
"Hey, a gritty win by our guys, Stanford, you know, we knew it was a tough matchup," Arizona men's basketball head coach Tommy Lloyd said. "We knew it was gonna be a challenge."
This is Arizona's fifth straight win while playing a game in Las Vegas. Arizona had three players that scored at least 20 points. Oumar Ballo led the Wildcats in scoring with 24 points while also adding 6 rebounds on a terrific 10-13 shooting from the field. This is Ballo's most points scored since scoring 30 points in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational championship.
"We just played for each other, guards found me and Zu pretty well and Zu also found me well too to get me the ball," Ballo said.
Ažuolas Tubelis totaled 20 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists on 9-12 shooting from the field. After struggling for a few games, Ažuolas Tubelis is back on track as he has scored at least 20 points each of the past three games.
Ažuolas Tubelis was named as a finalist for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the year award. The five other players included on the list were Drew Timme (Gonzaga), Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana), Kris Murray (Iowa) and Bryce Hopkins (Providence).
Cedric Henderson had his season high in points tonight while scoring 23. Henderson also totaled 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals while making 3 3-pointers.
"Personally I want to play ASU because they beat us last time on senior night. We owe them big time," Henderson said.
Arizona point guard Kerr Kriisa played 29 total minutes but injured his shoulder in the final minutes of the first half.
"He got some sort of shoulder contusion-type injury. I just talked to our trainer and he felt he'll be better tomorrow than he was today," Lloyd said. "Who knows, maybe he's being a little dramatic and just wanted to prove he could shoot left-handed free throws."
Kriisa attempted two free throws with his left hand during the second half of the game, as his shoulder was still bothering him.
Lloyd passed former North Carolina head coach Bill Guthridge for most wins in NCAA history during his first two seasons.
"I think it's a great formula to follow for a young coach; you come out of there seasoned. You come out of there maybe more ready than you expect to be because you're just learning by osmosis from a great coach every day, It's something that can't be simulated," Lloyd said. "So I'm thankful for that, I'm thankful for Mark Few, I'm thankful for Gonzaga. But most of all, I'm thankful for these dudes that wear the Arizona uniform and that I get to coach every day."
The Wildcats scored 95 points tonight while shooting 64% from the field is their best since they played Oregon State in the 1989 Pac-10 tournament.
After Courtney Ramey shot 18 percent from the field against UCLA and only scored 4 points, he bounced back. Ramey scored 15 points while also making 4 3-pointers tonight.
"They're two great teams, so whoever we play we know we're going to get their best shot and we just want to play our best game tomorrow and rest up after today," Ramey said.
The Wildcats will now move on in the tournament to face the winner of tonight's matchup between No.6 seed ASU versus No.3 seed USC at 9:30 p.m. Arizona's semifinals game will take place today at 9:30 p.m.
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