CU Buffs survive Cal upset bid to advance to Pac-12 semifinals – The Denver Post

LAS VEGAS — It wasn’t anywhere near Colorado’s finest performance of the season.

But just maybe the Buffaloes shook off the rust of a one-week layoff. And perhaps they got a subpar game out of their system without paying a heavy price.

It at times wasn’t pretty, but the 23rd-ranked Buffs punched their ticket to the Pac-12 Conference tournament semifinals with a 61-58 quarterfinal-round win against Cal late Thursday night. The third-seeded Buffs advanced to the semifinals for the second time in three seasons and the fourth time overall in 10 appearances in the Pac-12 tourney.

CU will play second-seeded and 24th-ranked USC in the second semifinal on Friday night at T-Mobile Arena (9:30 p.m. MT, ESPN).

It was a frustrating start for the Buffs, who missed their first seven shots of the night while Cal jumped to a 7-0 lead. CU chipped away, finally taking its first lead on a 3-point play from Jabari Walker with 3 minutes, 39 seconds left in the first half. Dallas Walton sparked the offense from there, posting seven of his nine first-half points in a span of 1:42 to help CU take a 24-20 lead at the break.

Call owned a one-point lead early in the second half before the Buffs took control with a 15-3 run. CU built a 13-point lead late in the first half before the Bears answered with a 10-1 run to get back in the game, and the Buffs survived a late Bears push to advance.

Evan Battey led the Buffs with 15 points and five rebounds, while point guard McKinley Wright IV shook off a tough shooting night (4-for-14) to finish with 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists.

No. 23 Colorado 61, California 58

CALIFORNIA (9-20)Anticevich 4-10 0-0 11, Thiemann 0-0 2-2 2, Bradley 3-11 3-3 10, Brown 2-3 3-6 7, Celestine 2-6 3-3 9, Betley 2-5 0-0 5, Thorpe 3-3 3-3 9, Foreman 0-7 0-0 0, Kelly 2-2 0-0 4, Kuany 0-0 1-3 1, Bowser 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-47 15-20 58.COLORADO (21-7)Battey 5-7 5-7 15, Walton 3-4 2-2 9, Parquet 1-3 2-2 4, Wright 4-14 2-2 10, Schwartz 2-7 4-5 9, Horne 2-7 2-2 6, Walker 3-5 1-3 8, Daniels 0-2 0-0 0, Barthelemy 0-3 0-0 0, da Silva 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-52 18-23 61.

Halftime — Colorado 24-20. 3-point goals — California 7-25 (Anticevich 3-6, Celestine 2-5, Betley 1-3, Bradley 1-6, Brown 0-1, Foreman 0-4), Colorado 3-13 (Walker 1-1, Walton 1-1, Schwartz 1-3, Barthelemy 0-1, Battey 0-1, Parquet 0-1, Wright 0-1, Daniels 0-2, Horne 0-2). Fouled out — Bradley, Brown. Rebounds — California 30 (Anticevich 6), Colorado 34 (Walker 6). Assists — California 7 (Brown 4), Colorado 8 (Wright 3). Total fouls — California 23, Colorado 17.

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