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2015 PAC-12 Tournament Day 2 Round-up

Arizona & Utah wear down their opponents in second half to coast to easy victories....Oregon breaks open close game against Colorado with 14-1 run in second half and holds on for win...Hamilton, in shooting rarely seen since Reggie Miller was in Westwood, makes 7-9 threes, finishes with career-high 36 points, as UCLA easily beats defenseless SC.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Day II action saw favorites win all of the games, with only Colorado-Oregon being competitive, though the Bay Area schools--Cal and Stanford-- were able to stay with Arizona and Utah for a half.   UCLA easily beats SC, shooting 60%,  without an injured Looney.  The games:

ARIZONA 73 CAL 51

Cal was competitive on the boards, only being out-rebounded by one, but Arizona held them to 34% shooting and pulled away in the second en route to a relatively easy 73-51 victory.  The game was only 33-27 Arizona at the half but Arizona used a 9-0 run to build the lead to 46-32 and the game was never in doubt after that.

Cal shot only 34% because they had difficulty getting good shots.  Dribble penetration was cut-off with Cal players lucky to get out of the lane without turning the ball over.  Cal was perhaps surprisingly able to get  9 offensive boards but those generally did not lead to easy put-backs.  Arizona's defense was stifling.  Cal also had trouble matching up with Stanley Johnson and Brandon Ashley on the defensive end, with Johnson scoring 19 and Ashley adding 15. Ashley, in particular, was able to back down smaller Cal players.

The game illustrates why Arizona is so tough to beat. Cal matched up on the boards and their turnovers were not terrible (14), but they could not create easy shots, they only made 4-14 from three-point range,  and they could not match up defensively with Arizona.  And Arizona wore them down in the second half.   It's hard to imagine Arizona being beat by anyone other than a top-tier team in the tournament (well, I guess we're hoping that we're going to beat them) ESPN box score.

UCLA  96 USC 70

Isaac Hamilton scored 36 points on a scorching hot 13-17 shooting, Norman Powell contributed several impressive tomahawk dunks, and UCLA's bench added 20 points as UCLA routed SC, 96-70.  See a more detailed recap of the game here.  UCLA draws Arizona next.  ESPN box score

UTAH 80 STANFORD 56

Stanford, led by its seniors Chasson Randle and Stefan Nastic who scored 22 and 11 points, respectively, led at the half 39-34.  But Utah buried Stanford 46-17 in the second, ending any Stanford hopes of a NCAA tournament bid.  Delon Wright scored 20 points, with Jordan Loveridge chipping in 18, and Jakob Poetl adding 16 in a well-balanced scoring attack from Utah.  Utah meets Oregon next.  ESPN box score.

OREGON 93 COLORADO 85

Pac-12 player of the year Joseph Young scored 30 points and Oregon scored 27 points off of 13 Colorado turnovers as the Ducks prevailed 93-85 in the closest  contest of the day.  Colorado led 37-34 at the half but Oregon used a press to force several turnovers leading to points, fueling a 14-1 run that put Oregon in the lead 60-47 for good.

Colorado fought back, drawing within 80-76 on a score by Askia Booker, but Oregon made their free-throws down the stretch, sealing the win. Oregon draws Utah next.  ESPN box score.