EditorsNote: changes to “2.1 seconds” in lede
Nico Mannion’s tiebreaking layup with 2.1 seconds left helped No. 14 Arizona escape with a 93-91 win over Pepperdine in a Wooden Legacy quarterfinal game on Thursday night at Anaheim, Calif.
Mannion’s length-of-the-court drive happened after Colbey Ross made a layup with seven seconds left for Pepperdine (3-4).
There were 24 lead changes and 13 ties in the game.
Arizona (7-0) will play Penn (4-2) in a semifinal game on Friday. The Quakers outlasted Central Florida 68-67 on Thursday. The Waves will oppose the Knights (3-2) in a consolation-bracket game on Friday.
Mannion finished with 16 points and 11 assists, and fellow freshmen Josh Green and Zeke Nnaji were standouts. Green had 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Nnaji contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Dylan Smith, who had 16 points, made three 3-pointers in as many attempts in one stretch to give Arizona an 89-86 lead with 2:38 remaining. Pepperdine’s Skylar Chavez answered with his fifth 3-pointer to tie the game with 1:39 left.
Nnaji made a dunk with 19 seconds left to put the Wildcats ahead 91-89.
Pepperdine coach Lorenzo Romar, a former Pac-12 rival of Arizona at Washington and an assistant with the Wildcats in 2017-18, called timeout before Ross’ layup.
All of Pepperdine’s scoring came from its starters, with all reaching double figures — Kameron Edwards (21), Ross (20), Chavez (20), Jade’ Smith (15) and Kessler Edwards (15). Smith also had nine rebounds, and Ross tallied nine assists.
Arizona, playing its first game away from McKale Center at Tucson, Ariz., was unable to stop Ross and Edwards in the first half.
The Waves, who were 15-point underdogs, went into halftime tied at 42. Ross and Kameron Edwards combined to make 9 of 11 shots from the field. Ross led all scorers with 16 points and Kameron Edwards notched eight.
Green paced the Wildcats with 11 first-half points, and Mannion had seven.
Both teams shot effectively for the game. Arizona hit 60.7 from the floor and 11 of 20 from 3-point range. Pepperdine made 13 of 27 3-point shots and wound up at 50.8 percent from the floor overall.
—Field Level Media