EditorsNote: updates sixth graf with Arizona State’s next opponent
Sophomore post player Romello White tied his season high with 19 points, and Arizona State rode a big first-half finish en route to an 83-72 win over UCLA in a Pac-12 tournament quarterfinal game on Thursday night in Las Vegas.
The Sun Devils ended the first half on a 14-0 run, led by 16 at the break and went up by 23 points in the second half. UCLA rallied to twice get within nine points but didn’t seriously threaten in the final few minutes.
White made 8 of 10 shots and grabbed seven rebounds. Senior forward Zylan Cheatham had 13 points and 13 rebounds for Arizona State.
UCLA (17-16) was led by sophomore forward Kris Wilkes, who scored 25 points, making 5 of 11 3-point shots.
Arizona State (22-9) firmed up its NCAA Tournament at-large resume and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the first time since 2009, when James Harden was a sophomore and in his final season with the Sun Devils.
Second-seeded Arizona State will play sixth-seeded Oregon on Friday night at T-Mobile Arena. The Ducks beat third-seeded Utah 66-54 on Thursday.
Seventh-seeded UCLA was down by 23 points with 15:37 to go before ripping off 13 consecutive points, capped by two free throws from Wilkes to make it 59-49.
It was mostly a stalemate over the next several minutes, with Wilkes banking in a 3-pointer from the wing to bring UCLA within 72-63 with 4:40 left. Arizona State responded with a dunk by Cheatham and a layup by Luguentz Dort for a comfortable cushion.
Rob Edwards scored 15 for Arizona State, and Dort added 13. Remy Martin had 10 points and six assists.
UCLA got 21 points from Jaylen Hands.
Arizona State’s 14-0 run ended in spectacular fashion.
After White blocked a shot in the lane with four seconds to go, Kimani Lawrence got the rebound and spun past a defender at midcourt. He lost control of the ball but gathered possession and heaved an off-balance, buzzer-beating 40-footer that went in for a 45-29 lead.
UCLA played without freshman guard David Singleton, who broke a bone in his left foot in the final minute of the Bruins’ first-round win over Stanford on Wednesday. He had been filling in for junior Prince Ali, who missed the last seven games because of plantar fasciitis.
—Field Level Media