LAS VEGAS — Once again, Colorado gave the best team in the Pac-12 Conference all it could handle.
And once again, the Buffaloes couldn’t quite finish the job.
CU put up a commendable fight but saw its run at the Pac-12 Conference tournament come to an end on Thursday, as top-seeded, No. 2-ranked UCLA held off the Buffs in an 80-69 decision at T-Mobile Arena.
UCLA, playing its first game without injured conference Defensive Player of the Year Jaylen Clark, advanced to Friday’s semifinals while the Buffs will wait to see if they receive an NIT bid on Sunday.
Like the two regular season matchups between the teams, the Buffs led at halftime (38-37). They led by one point after a Tristan da Silva 3-pointer with a little more than 5 minutes remaining. But UCLA answered immediately by scoring the next nine points. The Buffs remained within four points on a Lawson Lovering layup with about 2 minutes left, however the Bruins scored the next 10 points to ice the game.
An irate CU head coach Tad Boyle was ejected with 54.4 seconds left after getting two technicals in quick succession.
Da Silva led the Buffs with 17 points, while Julian Hammond III turned in another strong game with 14 points and a career-high six assists. Freshman Amari Bailey scored a season-high 26 points for the Bruins.
This story will be updated.
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