Jaylen Nowell and Nahziah Carter scored 14 points each, and Washington held off a late Colorado rally for a 66-61 victory in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals Saturday night.
The top-seeded Huskies led by 14 before the Buffaloes cut the lead to 60-56 with 1:01 left. McKinley Wright hit a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to cut Washington’s lead to three, but the Buffaloes let David Crisp get behind them for a breakaway layup to seal it.
After struggling in the first half, Washington (26-7) kicked its long-armed, swarming defense into a faster gear and the fifth-seeded Buffaloes (21-12) had trouble handling it.
Colorado shot 2 of 16 from 3-point range in the second half and had 18 turnovers overall, leading to 24 Huskies points.
Washington had 13 steals and held the Buffaloes to 32 percent shooting to earn a spot in Saturday night’s title game against Oregon or Arizona State.
Tyler Bey had 22 points and 11 rebounds, but Wright was held to seven points on 1-of-10 shooting.
The Buffaloes were looking to recapture the magic of 2012, when they won four games in four days to win the Pac-12 title.
Colorado climbed the first two rungs in Las Vegas, grinding out a low-scoring win over California, outlasting Oregon State after blowing most of a 21-point lead.
Washington’s zone gave the Buffaloes all kinds of trouble in two regular-season meetings. The Huskies opened with 12 straight points in a seven-point win in Boulder and led by up to 15 in a nine-point win in Seattle.
The Buffaloes got off to a much better start in Round 3.
Colorado handled Washington’s defensive pressure without much trouble and used a pair of 8-0 runs to lead 33-27 at halftime.
Washington missed its first five shots and went 4 for 15 from the 3-point arc, but held Colorado scoreless for a nearly four-minute stretch to keep the Buffaloes close.
The Huskies kept their defensive mojo going into the second half.
Contesting shots and jumping into passing lanes, Washington shut the Buffaloes down, going on a 10-0 run to go up 43-35. Colorado missed its first nine shots of the second half and had four turnovers against Washington’s pressure.
Oregon 79, Arizona State 75, OT: Louis King scored 19 points, Payton Pritchard added 18 and Oregon outlasted Arizona State 79-75 in overtime Friday night in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals.
The sixth-seeded Ducks (22-12) dominated early, went into a second-half funk and fought their way back in a foul-filled second half.
Oregon’s Ehab Amin hit a corner 3-pointer with 1:32 left in regulation to tie the game at 67 and neither team could score again, sending the game to overtime.
The Ducks scored the first eight points of overtime, but the Sun Devils rallied to tie it on Rob Edwards’ three free throws with 58 seconds left.
Arizona State’s Luguentz Dort missed a potential tying 3-pointer and King made one of two free throws with 8.8 seconds left to seal it.
Oregon moves to Saturday night’s title game against top-seeded Washington.
Listless in the first half, the second-seeded Sun Devils (22-10) seemed to take control with an 18-1 run that turned a seven-point halftime deficit into an eight-point lead.
Dort had 16 points and Edwards 15 for the Sun Devils, who could have a second straight anxious wait on Selection Sunday.
The Ducks have been at their high-flying defensive best since coach Dana Altman switched to a lineup with three 6-foot-9 players. Oregon held five straight teams to 61 points or less, a program first since 1982-83, and locked down its first two Pac-12 tournament opponents to reach the semifinals.
Arizona State blew most of a 23-point, second-half lead before pulling away from UCLA 83-72 in the quarterfinals.
The Sun Devils were out of sorts early in the semifinals, frustrating coach Bobby Hurley by playing almost exclusively 1 on 1 instead of running the offense. Arizona State missed its first six shots and point guard Remy Martin went off early with an injury.
Martin returned, though wasn’t much of a factor and the Sun Devils only got marginally better against Oregon’s defense.
The Ducks blocked seven of Arizona State’s shots, changed several others and scored 15 points off seven turnovers to lead 35-28 at halftime.
Fortunate to be down just seven, the Sun Devils were the aggressors early in the second half. Behind its defense and two long Martin 3-pointers, Arizona State went an 18-1 run to go up 46-38 and held the Ducks without a field goal for nearly seven minutes.
Oregon finally righted itself and created a few turnovers that led to easy baskets, pulling within one and keeping the Sun Devils within reach.