Arizona freshman Brandon Williams, starting at point guard for the first time, had 14 points and six assists as the Wildcats clamped down defensively for a 64-56 win over Colorado on Thursday in the Pac-12 opener for both teams in Tucson, Ariz.
Williams, a combo guard who has been starting at shooting guard, was called on to man the point because senior Justin Coleman was limited due to a reported shoulder injury. Coleman made only a four-minute appearance in the first half and finished scoreless.
Williams led a balanced offensive effort for Arizona (10-4, 1-0 Pac-12), which forced 17 turnovers and held Colorado (9-4, 0-1) to 35.8 percent shooting.
Arizona guard Brandon Randolph, who has reached double digits in each game, scored 11 points.
Wildcats freshman wing Devonaire Doutrive, who had appeared in only seven games, benefited from increased playing time due to Coleman’s cameo. Doutrive played a season-high 12 minutes and produced eight points and four rebounds.
Colorado point guard McKinley Wright IV had a team-high 17 points but also committed six turnovers to go with three assists. Center Lucas Siewert contributed 11 points. Forward Tyler Bay added 11 rebounds in 22 foul-plagued minutes.
The Buffaloes, who trailed by double digits for most of the second half, climbed within 57-50 with 2:47 to go but could get no closer.
After hitting five of their first six shots from the field and taking an 11-6 lead, the Buffs made only 5 of 19 field goal attempts the rest of the half as the Wildcats pushed their lead to as many as 16 en route to a 39-24 halftime advantage.
Arizona made 10 of its final 15 shots in the half.
The Wildcats improved to 72-10 in home conference games under coach Sean Miller.
Arizona honored former Wildcats forward Deandre Ayton at halftime, putting his name in the Ring of Honor at McKale Center. Ayton, selected No. 1 in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, qualified for the honor because he was the Pac-12 Player of the Year last season.
—Field Level Media