Arizona’s seniors ensure ‘Cats slip into Pac-12 title game


If Arizona somehow makes the field of 68, it’ll have its seniors to thank.

Kyle Fogg and Jesse Perry combined for 38 of the Wildcats’ points in a 72-61 win against Oregon State in Friday’s Pac-12 tournament semifinals. That leaves them one victory over Colorado, a surprise 70-59 winner over Cal, from the league’s automatic berth. A week ago, that didn’t seem likely.

Arizona (23-10) had dropped its regular-season finale to in-state rival Arizona State — a wretched team saved from being the Pac-12’s worst because Utah and USC were eye-gougingly bad – that wiped out its strong finish until that point. (The team was once 14-8.)

But two Pac-12 tournament victories not only boost the Wildcats’ meager profile, it places them in the tournament title game against the Cal-Colorado winner, which means only 40 minutes (barring overtime) separate it from its second consecutive spot in the Big Dance.

Took some doing, though.

Oregon State led by seven at halftime and led until senior Brandon Lavender – hey! Another one! – hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 36-36. When Fogg added a 3 of his own a minutes later, the ‘Cats never looked back. Fogg and Perry scored 15 of their final 18 points for the finishing touch.

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