Wildcats advance to Pac-12 Championship with win over ASU

Mar 10, 2023, 11:52 PM | Updated: Mar 11, 2023, 12:04 am

Pelle Larsson #3 of the Arizona Wildcats drives against Alonzo Gaffney #32 of the Arizona State Sun...

Pelle Larsson #3 of the Arizona Wildcats drives against Alonzo Gaffney #32 of the Arizona State Sun Devils in the first half of a semifinal game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 10, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The No. 8 Arizona Wildcats (27-6) are headed to their second-straight Pac-12 Championship game following a 78-59 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils (22-12) on Friday night in Las Vegas.

Arizona will take on the UCLA Bruins, who punched their ticket to the conference tournament with a win over Oregon, on Saturday.

It’s a rematch of last year’s Pac-12 title game after Arizona took down UCLA 84-76 in 2022.

The Sun Devils on the other hand head into the weekend wondering if they are in or out in terms of the NCAA Tournament.

Four Wildcats finished in double figures, with forward Azuolas Tubelis leading the way behind 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and three assists.

Center Oumar Ballo chipped in 14 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks.

Arizona State’s Jamiya Neal and Frankie Collins led all Sun Devil scorers with 11 points apiece.

Arizona led for most of the evening, though, that’s not to say ASU didn’t make things interesting in the second half.

After trailing by double figures, the Sun Devils were able to cut the Wildcats’ lead down to as low as four around the seven-minute mark.

That would be as close as ASU would get, however, as Arizona quickly responded behind a pair of Ballo layups and a Larson three ball to push the lead back to 63-52 with 5:50 to play.

From there, the Wildcats would never look back, seeing their lead grow to as many as 20 points over the final five minutes of play.

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