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No. 17 Arizona secures 82-73 win over Colorado


By Anthony Gimino, The Sports Xchange

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona coach Sean Miller raved about the performance of guard Kadeem Allen, and it really had nothing to do with the senior's career-best 18 points with the Wildcats.
Allen also had the defensive assignment Saturday night on Colorado's leading scorer Derrick White, who scored 35 points two nights earlier at Arizona State. White managed just seven points -- nine below his average -- and committed four turnovers as Arizona turned back a late run from Colorado for an 82-73 victory at McKale Center on Saturday night.
"Kadeem Allen played as good of a game as I've ever seen a guard play in the eight years that I've been at Arizona," Miller said.
"Kadeem really embraced the challenge of playing against an excellent player. He gave an amazing amount of energy, determination and know-how in being able to hold down a really talented guard."
Arizona freshman forward Lauri Markkanen scored a game-high 22 points in 22 minutes, limited because of foul trouble. Markkanen, a 7-footer, made 4 of 5 3-point shots.
Allen, in his second season of eligibility at Arizona after transferring from junior college, made all three of his 3-point attempts and has made seven in a row, spanning four games. Arizona center Dusan Ristic had 17 points and eight rebounds.
Arizona (15-2, 4-0 Pac-12) was down nine points early but led 39-27 at halftime and opened the second half with a 7-0 run. The Wildcats appeared headed to a comfortable cruise, but the Buffaloes methodically whittled the lead, using a half-court press, and cut the lead to 69-64 on forward George King's follow basket with 3:00 to go.
Arizona point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright hit an 18-footer off the dribble for a key basket and a 75-66 lead with 1:17 left.
Colorado (10-6, 0-3) became the first team to score more than 69 points against Arizona. The Wildcats were the last team in the country to allow 70 points.
"Sometimes we run out of gas," Miller said. "We have done that a number of times this year. Some of it is we have some younger guys, and they have to learn some lessons."
Buffaloes forward Xavier Johnson scored 26 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the field. King had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Center Wesley Gordon came close with 16 points, including his first 3-pointer of the season, and nine rebounds.
Arizona had a 33-14 edge in free-throw attempts. Colorado also committed 15 turnovers.
"We lost this game in two areas," said Colorado coach Tad Boyle. "We lost this game at the free-throw line. And we lost this game by not taking care of the basketball."
Colorado was hot from the start, hitting 3 of 4 3-point attempts and taking an 11-2 rebounding edge. The Buffaloes led 13-4 and 18-10 before the Wildcats turned up the heat defensively.
Allen scored nine points in a 19-2 run that gave Arizona a 29-20 lead with 5:03 to go in the half. The Buffaloes made only 3 of 19 shots from the field after starting 7 of 10. They scored only nine points in the final 13:33 of the first half.
"I was pretty happy with our effort and intensity for the 40 minutes," said Colorado coach Tad Boyle. "We didn't play well for 40 minutes. We hit a scoring drought there in the first half without a doubt. But that's part of basketball."
-- Colorado coach Tad Boyle was assessed a technical foul with 2:54 to go after he pounded on the scorer's table, upset with calls/non-calls.
-- Arizona G Allonzo Trier continued to sit out. He has not played this season because of an unspecified eligibility issue, but coach Sean Miller told the Pac-12 Networks off camera that he "was optimistic" Trier would play this season, according to the network's Jill Savage.
-- Arizona will conclude a three-game homestand against Arizona State on Thursday night. Colorado plays host to No. 4 UCLA on Thursday.
-- Arizona is 5-0 against Colorado in Tucson since the Buffaloes joined the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season.


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