BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — The Arizona Wildcats are headed to Utah on a roll and ready to claim a conference title.
Stanley Johnson scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half and No. 7 Arizona easily beat struggling Colorado 82-54 on Thursday night.
Kaleb Tarczewski scored 14 points on his 22nd birthday and Gabe York also had 14 points for the Wildcats, who had five players score in double figures.
Arizona, which has won five straight, can clinch the Pac-12 title with a win at Utah on Saturday. The 13th-ranked Utes beat Arizona State later Thursday.
The Wildcats (25-3, 13-2) didn’t look past the Buffaloes, but with this game behind them are focused on Utah, which is a game behind with three to go for each team.
“We have not prepared for the next game at all, and rightfully so, because that’s how we always do it,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “Now that this game is over we forge ahead to Saturday.”
The easy win allowed Miller to play nearly everyone and find rest for his core players so they’re fresh going into Utah.
“Coach does a great job of not pushing us too hard,” York said. “He knows we’re at the end of the season and he did a great job of that this week. He didn’t push us too hard.”
Arizona showed it was focused with a strong start. The Wildcats led by 12 at halftime and quickly stretched the lead to 43-30 at the start of the second half. Tarczewski then scored eight straight points to give Arizona a 51-32 lead with 14:30 left.
“They jumped out on the ball screens and we knew we were going to be open on the rolls,” Tarczewski said. “The guys did a great job of getting me the ball.”
Tarczewski is averaging 12.5 points over the last four, including a 17 at Washington State on Feb. 15.
Colorado (12-15, 5-10) had trouble taking care of the ball in the second half. The Buffs committed four turnovers in the first 20 minutes and then coughed it up six times in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Arizona took advantage and went ahead 57-36 on Johnson’s layup.
Two free throws by Johnson and a 3-pointer by York, his first points in the second half, gave Arizona 64-40 lead with 7:16 left.
“Our team has found its niche,” York said. “We’re all playing at a very high level. Our team is jelling together really well.”
The lead grew to 71-46 on a three-point play by Johnson with 4:01 left before Arizona emptied its bench.
Colorado coach Tad Boyle was called for a technical with 1:33 left and his team trailing 75-54.
“I’m sick of the way we’re playing,” Boyle said. “The world doesn’t owe us anything and right now we’re not earning the scholarships we’re on, the paychecks that we get. None of us.”
Arizona: The Wildcats have won six in a row against Colorado. … Arizona’s three losses are by a total of nine points. … Saturday’s game is the Wildcats’ last road contest of the season. … York hit four 3-pointers to tie his career high.
Colorado: Colorado is 0-4 against ranked opponents this season. … Former Buff player and NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups was honored at halftime by the CU athletic department. … The 12-point halftime deficit matches the largest at home this season.
Arizona: At No. 13 Utah on Saturday.
Colorado: Hosts Arizona State on Sunday.
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