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LAS VEGAS -- Nick Johnson scored 16 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 12 and Arizona ran away from tired Colorado in a dominating second half to rout the Buffaloes 63-43 in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals Friday night Unlike its last win over Colorado, Arizona (30-3) started slow, allowing the Buffaloes to keep it close at halftime.
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. Playing its third game in as many days, Colorado had no chance at stopping the Wildcats once they got rolling, succumbing to Arizonas defensive pressure and string of highlight-reel plays. Arizona shot 60 per cent in the second half and held Colorado (23-11) to 5-of-22 shooting in the final 20 minutes to earn a spot Saturdays championship game against UCLA or Stanford. T.J. McConnell added 12 points, five assists and four rebounds for the Wildcats in front of a pro-Arizona crowd at MGM Grand Garden Arena that made it feel like McKale Center West. Askia Booker had 20 points to lead Colorado, which has a two-day wait to see if the NCAA tournament selection committee deems them worthy of the bracket. Arizona put on a show in its tournament opener, flexing its defensive muscles for everyone to see with an overwhelming quarterfinal victory over Utah. The Wildcats held the Utes to 13 first-half points, 39 overall, 12 field goals and 25 per cent shooting -- all tournament records. The 32-point margin also matched the largest in tournament history. Arizona pulled a similar smothering act on Colorado in the teams last meeting. After a 12-point loss in Tucson, Colorados Xavier Johnson proclaimed Arizona wasnt that good and that the Buffaloes would beat the Wildcats by 20, even with leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie out for the season. The Wildcats turned the slight into a fury, holding Colorado without a field goal for the opening 10 minutes and shooting 84 per cent in the second half an 88-61 win -- their first in Boulder since 1973. The Buffaloes got off to a better start this time, scoring 8 1/2 minutes sooner. Colorado still had trouble with Arizonas amoebic defence, though, going 10 of 29 from the floor in the first half. But the Buffaloes had something up their sleeve: A little defence of their own. Contesting shots and digging down on the post for steals, Colorado made life much more difficult than it had back in Boulder, allowing them to stay in the game. The Buffaloes held Arizona to 11-of-29 shooting and forced eight turnovers -- five by centre Kaleb Tarczewski -- that led to 11 points. Colorado held Arizona scoreless for over 4 minutes during a 10-2 run that helped the Buffaloes trim Arizonas nine-point lead to 27-24 at halftime. The second half looked more like the game in Boulder. Arizona picked up the defensive intensity even more and started pouring out the highlights to extend the lead. Johnson had one, flying in for a reverse alley-oop dunk and Hollis-Jefferson matched him with a tomahawk dunk over Josh Scott. Gordon provided one on the defensive end not long after that, soaring up for a clean swat on Johnsons one-handed dunk attempt that sent Arizonas fans bursting out of their seats. In just a couple of minutes, the Wildcats were up 51-32 thanks to a 13-0 run, well on their way to the Pac-12 title game.
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. Following the Ford Womens World Curling Championship gold medal match that attracted record-breaking audiences to TSN, the networks exclusive live coverage of the tournament begins Saturday at 7am et/4am pt with Canadas opening draw against Denmark.
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. Bookies were offering odds of 13/1 before kickoff that the home team Houston Dynamo would prevail by three goals to nil.Having just snapped their longest losing streak in 20 years, the Boston Red Sox will try to make it two in a row Tuesday night when they resume their home-and-away series with the Atlanta Braves. Watch the game live on TSN2 and TSN GO at 7pm et/4pm pt. The teams will finish off a two-game set at Turner Field Tuesday night, then head to Fenway Park for two more on Wednesday and Thursday. Boston picked up a much-needed 8-6 victory on Monday to snap a 10-game slide, its longest since an 11-game skid from June 8-19, 1994. David Ortiz did most of the heavy lifting with a three-run homer that tied the game in the fifth inning, then a sacrifice fly in the seventh to put the Red Sox in front. Dustin Pedroia, who had been struggling along with Ortiz, also drove in a pair of runs and finished 1-for-3. "In 10 games prior to today, theres one RBI combined (from Pedroia and Ortiz)," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Today there is six between the two. I think the outcome is directly correlated to their performance. Thats not to put it all on them because we had a lot of good at-bats all the way up and down the lineup today. But them being in the middle of the lineup, their contributions are key for us." The Red Sox used seven different pitchers to get the job done as starter Clay Buchholz was pulled after only three innings as he allowed six runs and a staggering eight walks. Braves starter Ervin Santana went five innings and was also charged with six runs. "We know we still have the core of a winning team here and were going to win," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said before Mondays win. "But weve got to get there. Weve got to focus on today and just try to start playing a little bit better first." Atlanta has split its last six games overall and currently owns a two-game lead over Miami in the National League East. The Braves will send veteran Aaron Harang to the mound for Tuesdays game. Harang began the year with a 0.85 ERA through five starts, but he has gone 1-3 with a 6.11 ERA over his last five. He faced Milwaukee last week and gave up four earned runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings for a no-decision. It was only the second time in his last 10 starts that Harang gave up more than two earned runs. Boston will counter with ace Jon Lester, who has yielded three earned runs or fewer in eight of his 10 starts. Like Harang, Lester is coming off a subpar outing as he gave up a season-high seven runs over the first two innings against Toronto. "I dont think were excelling in any one area, but I do think we have players capable of excelling and some of that is going to happen naturally," said Cherington. "There are other things that maybe you can do at some point to try to make the whole thing a lot better. "What we believed this offseason, what we believed in Spring Training, in terms of potential of this team, the position were in with people in the clubhouse, the depth of the talent -- that hasnt changed. We just have to perform. We have to find ways to perform better, and thats going to come in a number of ways." Boston has won 15 of the last 20 meetings in the head-to-head series. Reds at Dodgers, 10pm et/7pm pt (TSN2) Zack Greinke will try to keep the mound presence going for the Los Angeles Dodgers when they resume a three-game series versus the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday from Chavez Ravine. Greinke has to follow two superb outings from teammates Josh Beckett and Hyun- Jin Ryu when he makes his 11th start of the season.
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. Beckett started LAs current pitching trend with a no-hitter Sunday at Philadelphia and retired 23 straight at one point. It was Ryus turn in Mondays 4-3 win over the Reds and he followed suit by retiring the first 21 batters he faced until Todd Fraziers double in the eighth inning. Ryu came within six outs of a perfect game and finished with three runs allowed across 7 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out seven and walked none, and also added an RBI and a run scored. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly believed Ryu running the bases wore him down. "That long inning hurt him," Mattingly said of Ryu. "It broke the momentum for him. At the end of the night, we got the win." Kenley Jansen threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for his 15th save. Carl Crawfords two-run double highlighted a three-run seventh inning and he finished with two hits for the Dodgers, winners in three of four and eight of their last 13 games. The Dodgers will also host Pittsburgh and Chicago (White Sox) on this 10-game homestand. Greinke will try to pitch Los Angeles to its third straight win and he is 7-1 in 10 starts with a 2.01 earned run average. Greinke is coming off a no- decision in Thursdays 5-3 loss to the New York Mets and he was tagged for three runs -- one earned -- in five innings. Greinke snapped his streak of 21 straight starts allowing two runs or fewer. However, he has allowed two or fewer earned runs in a record 22 consecutive regular-season starts since July 30, 2013, going 14-2 with a 1.76 earned run average in that time. He surpassed Roger Clemens mark of 21 from 1990-91. The right-hander is 3-0 in four home outings and has a 4-1 record to go along with a 2.62 ERA in eight career starts against Cincinnati. Cincinnati opened a seven-game western swing with Mondays loss at Dodger Stadium and Frazier was able to spoil the show with his hit in the eighth. Reds ace Johnny Cueto was dealt the loss for surrendering four runs, one of which was earned, and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. Cueto was outdueled by Ryu and fell to 4-4 with his second straight loss after winning four straight decisions. After Frazier doubled to start Cincinnatis late rally, Ryan Ludwick singled and Chris Heisey followed with a sacrifice fly to put the visitors on the board. Brayan Pena then singled and Skip Schumaker walked one out later before Billy Hamilton stroked a two-run double. The Reds had two runners on base in the ninth, but Devin Mesoraco flied out to end the game. "Our silver lining was we rallied late," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We have to hang tough. Weve played a lot of close games, but unfortunately weve come out on the short end." Cincinnati has lost three in a row since winning three of four games, and will send Alfredo Simon against Greinke Tuesday night. Simon is 6-2 with a 2.31 earned run average in nine starts and is 5-1 in the past six decisions. He won his second straight start in last Wednesdays 2-1 victory at Washington and delivered seven innings of one-run ball. Simon struck out six and walked one for the second straight start. He has 14 Ks over that span. The right-hander has been strong on the road this season, winning all five assignments, and will make his first career start against the Dodgers. He has allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings of relief (2 games). LA lost four of seven meetings with the Reds last season. Cincinnati has lost its last two series at Dodger Stadium.
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on February 10 at 03:09 AM
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