West Regional Semifinal
by Adam Reich
Oklahoma used a second-half explosion to blow out Arizona and earn a trip to
the West Regional Final.
No. 2 Oklahoma 88, No. 3 Arizona 67
The three-point shooting of Hollis Price kept the Sooners within striking
distance before a second half charge ran the Wildcats off the court.
Price (26 pts) scored 22 of Oklahoma’s 33 first-half points, including a
season-high six treys. In the first half, Arizona managed to contain Aaron
McGhee and OU’s inside game as they grabbed a 37-33 lead at the break.
A Jason Gardner three-point play gave the Wildcats a 44-40 advantage with
just under 16 minutes to go in the game.
From that point on Oklahoma simply
took control, outscoring Arizona 48-23. The Sooners slowed down the quicker
Wildcats, using their physical strength on the inside to keep the game at
their pace. The Sooners turned up their defensive intensity in the second
half, forcing 12 Wildcat turnovers and coming up with eight steals. They
also held Gardner to 14 points on 4-of-15 shooting. For Oklahoma, McGhee
scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half, while guard Ebi Ere tallied
all 14 of his points after intermission.