LAS VEGAS — Freshman Amari Bailey scored a season-high 26 points and No. 2 UCLA beat Colorado 80-69 Thursday in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament quarterfinals.
The Bruins (28-4) kept pushing for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with their 11th straight win. UCLA has won 25 of 27 games overall, and this was its first victory in Las Vegas in four games.
Colorado coach Tad Boyle was ejected with 54.4 seconds left after arguing a call. He had to be restrained by his assistants before leaving the floor.
Bailey eclipsed his previous high of 24 points on Feb. 9 at Oregon State. Tyger Campbell scored 18 points for the Bruins, Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 16 and Adem Bona totaled 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Tristan da Silva led the Buffaloes (17-16) with 17 points. Julian Hammond III scored 14, Jalen Gabbidon 12 and Ethan Wright 10.
This was the Bruins' first game without guard Jaylen Clark, who is out for at least this tournament with a lower-leg injury. He is a do-it-all player who averages 13 points and six rebounds and was named the conference Defensive Player of the Year.
UCLA struggled to find itself without Clark, and Colorado gave the Bruins all they could handle, leading 61-60 with 5:18 remaining. Jaquez then ignited a nine-point with a 3-pointer to give UCLA the lead for good, outscoring Colorado 19-8 the rest of the way.
THE BIG PICTURE
Colorado: The Buffaloes have only two seniors, so this performance is something they can build on for next season. Should they receive a bid to the NIT, that would be valuable experience.
UCLA: It's difficult to blame all of the Bruins' defensive problems on Clark's absence. But UCLA wins with defense, and not having him was noticeable as Colorado shot 58% in the first half and 51% for the game.
Colorado: The Buffaloes await to see if they will head to the NIT.
UCLA: The Bruins play in the semifinals Friday night.