Colorado point guard McKinley Wright IV scored 17 points, and the Buffaloes hit 21 of 23 free-throw attempts in the second half to hold off Oregon State 73-58 in a Pac-12 quarterfinal game Thursday in Las Vegas.
Wright also had five rebounds and four assists.
Oregon State trimmed a 21-point second-half deficit to six, but Colorado sophomore forward Alexander Strating, having the game of his career, hit a driving layup for a 57-49 lead with 5:16 to go to help quell the Beavers’ momentum.
Colorado forward Evan Battey pushed the lead to 10 with 3:59 left when he converted a layup off a pick-and-roll. The Buffaloes led by double digits the rest of the way.
Colorado (21-11) will play Washington in a semifinal game Friday at T-Mobile Arena. The Huskies swept two games from the Buffaloes in the regular season.
Strating finished with 10 points — double his previous career high. He took advantage of extra time due to Tyler Bey’s first-half foul trouble, scoring eight of his points in 10 minutes.
Forward Tres Tinkle (23 points), guard Ethan Thompson (16) and guard Stephen Thompson Jr. (10) combined for all but nine of Oregon State’s points.
Battey had 10 points and nine rebounds for Colorado. Shane Gatling scored 15, and D’Shawn Schwartz added 11.
Oregon State (18-13) turned up the pressure in the second half by switching from its usual zone to a man-to-man defense. Colorado didn’t make its first basket after halftime until Wright’s driving layup with 13:31 left.
The Beavers had two 10-0 runs in the half, the latter capped by a lob to center Kylor Kelley to cut the lead to 49-43 at the 8:47 mark. They got within six on two occasions after that, but Strating’s layup turned the tide for Colorado.
The Buffaloes dominated early.
The Beavers didn’t hit double-figure points until Ethan Thompson hit two free throws with 5:55 to go in the half to cut their deficit to 28-10.
The Buffaloes — who played the final 14 minutes of the half without Bey, their second-leading scorer — took a 37-18 lead into halftime.
—Field Level Media