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17th ranked Arizona holds off late surge by Colorado

Posted at 11:43 PM, Jan 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-08 12:19:43-05

Lauri Markkanen scored 22 points, shooting 4 of 5 on 3-pointers, Kadeem Allen made all three of his 3s en route to a career-high 18 and No. 17 Arizona held off a late Colorado surge to beat the Buffaloes 82-73 on Saturday night.

Dusan Ristic scored 17 for the Wildcats (15-2, 4-0 Pac-12), who led by 20 points early in the second half before the Buffaloes (10-6, 0-3) rallied to cut it to five late.

Xavier Johnson, ejected Thursday night in the first half of Colorado's 78-77 loss at Arizona State, led the Buffaloes with 26 points, one shy of his career high. Wesley Gordon added 16.

George King had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Buffaloes, who outrebounded the bigger Wildcats 38-32.

Arizona opened the second half with a 10-2 run to lead 59-39 after Kobi Simmons' 12-footer.

Colorado, however, climbed back into it. Arizona went 4 1/2 minutes without a field goal and the Buffaloes used a 13-2 spurt to cut it to 69-64 on King's rebound basket with three minutes to go.

Colorado was down 71-66 after Johnson's jumper with 2:23 left, but Ristic scored inside and Parker Jackson-Cartwright sank an 18-footer to lift the Wildcats out of trouble.

Colorado jumped out to a 10-1 lead and was up 18-10 when Gordon scored on a rebound basket, but the Buffaloes went cold and Arizona was off on a 19-2 run, capped by Allen's two free throws that put the Wildcats up 29-20 with 5:03 left in the first half.

Another 10-0 outburst gave Arizona its biggest lead of the half, 39-24, when Ristic grabbed a rebound and scored on a short hook shot with 1:24 to play. Johnson sank a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to slice Arizona's lead to 39-27 at the break.


Allonzo Trier had his familiar spot sitting in University of Arizona sweats on the Wildcats' bench.

There had been speculation that Trier, who has not played all season, would be able to suit up and play Saturday night because it was the start of the second half of Arizona's regular season.

The thinking went that whatever NCAA punishment Trier is receiving for whatever offense — no one is talking — would cover half a season.

Trier, a member of the Pac-12 all-freshman team last season, went through rigorous warmups before the game but was in sweat pants when it began, leading someone to start a Twitter account @triersweatpants.


Colorado: After a competitive but winless trip to Arizona, the Buffaloes finally get to play a Pac-12 home game — and it's against No. 4 UCLA.

Arizona: The Wildcats allowed an opponent to score 70 points for the first time all season, but the smooth Finnish freshman Markkanen came through when his offense was most needed in Arizona's ninth straight win.


Colorado: The Buffaloes play their conference home opener Thursday night against the Bruins.


Arizona: The Wildcats have one game next week, at home against rival Arizona State on Thursday night.