No. 6 Arizona pulls away to beat Colorado 76-55

Jan 13, 2022, 8:21 AM | Updated: Jan 14, 2022, 8:02 am
Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin (0) gets hacked by Colorado guard Keeshawn Barthelemy (3) on his w...

Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin (0) gets hacked by Colorado guard Keeshawn Barthelemy (3) on his way to the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 in Tucson, Ariz. (Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

(Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Azoulas Tubelis and Justin Kier scored 14 points, and No. 6 Arizona overwhelmed Colorado in the second half for a 76-55 win Thursday night.

The Wildcats (13-1, 3-0 Pac-12) dominated early, let the Buffaloes back in it and used a big run to start the second half to pull away. Arizona shot 51% and had 20 assists on 29 field goals to match its best start since 2015-16.

Colorado (11-4, 3-12) recovered from its slow start in the first half, but couldn’t bounce back from one in the second to remain winless in 11 all-time games at McKale Center. The Buffaloes had another rough shooting night from the perimeter, finishing 4 for 20 from 3. Colorado is shooting 28% from the arc the past six games.

Former Arizona signee K.J. Simpson led Colorado with 17 points.

Arizona had a bit of trouble with Washington’s zone defense in its first game back from a 16-day break, turning it over 21 times. The Wildcats made up for it in all other aspects on offense, shooting 55% while assisting on 28 of 33 field goals in the 95-79 win.

Arizona got off to a great start against Colorado, holding the Buffaloes without a field for nearly six minutes to start and forcing seven early turnovers while building a 15-point lead.

Then the Wildcats’ turnover issues returned.

Good with the ball early, Arizona started giving it away. Colorado took advantage, going on a 12-2 run to cut the lead to 29-26. The Buffaloes scored 10 points off the Wildcats’ eight first-half turnovers, turning what appeared to be headed toward a rout into a manageable 32-28 halftime deficit.

Arizona quickly made it unmanageable by taking better care of the ball and making 7 of their first 12 shots. The Wildcats opened the second half on a 15-4 run to go up 49-34 and made sure there was no second-half comeback.

Arizona beat the Buffaloes on several backdoor cuts and took advantage of slow defensive rotations to hit 17 of 30 shots in the second half. Colorado continued to misfire from the 3-point arc, shooting 3 of 12 in the second half.

BIG PICTURE

Slow starts in both halves put Colorado in a tough spot. The Buffaloes fought back in the first half, but couldn’t in the second for a rough start to a stretch of games against the Pac-12’s top teams.

Arizona shook off its first-half turnover problems with a dominating second half to beat Colorado yet again at McKale Center.

UP NEXT

Colorado plays at Arizona State on Saturday.

Arizona hosts Utah Saturday.

___

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No. 6 Arizona pulls away to beat Colorado 76-55