LAS VEGAS — McKinley Wright IV scored 17 points and Colorado blew most of a 21-point lead before knocking off Oregon State 73-58 Thursday in the Pac-12 quarterfinals.
The fifth-seeded Buffaloes (21-11) dominated early, racing out to a 21-point lead in the first half. Colorado bogged down when Oregon State turned up the defensive pressure, watching its lead dwindle down to six.
The Buffaloes gathered themselves and started stretching the lead back, overcoming 7-for-23 shooting in the second half to earn a spot in Friday's semifinals against top-seeded Washington.
The fourth-seeded Beavers (18-13) came out tight after getting a bye into the quarterfinals and didn't crack double digits in points until 5:55 of the first half.
Oregon State used a pair 10-0 runs midway through the second half to get back in it, but couldn't dig all the way out of the big early hole.
Tres Tinkle led the Beavers with 23 points.
The Buffaloes grinded out a 56-51 win over California in their Pac-12 opener, overcoming sloppy turnovers and holding on after blowing most of a double-digit lead.
Oregon State earned the tournament's No. 4 seed and a coveted first-round bye by beating Washington State in its regular-season finale.
The Beavers won the lone regular-season meeting 76-74, but Colorado had the energy early in the rematch despite playing the day before.
Playing superbly at both ends, the Buffaloes raced out to a 28-8 lead and led 37-18 at halftime. Colorado made 15 of 28 shots and held the Beavers to 8 of 29, missing all nine of their 3-point attempts.
Oregon State became the aggressor to start the second half, making every possession a struggle for the Buffaloes.
Colorado missed its first seven shots and Oregon State went on a 10-0 run to pull within 43-32. The Buffaloes pushed back, but the Beavers followed with another 10-0 run to pull within 49-43.
Colorado calmed itself after the second barrage and pushed the lead back to double digits.
A flat start after a first-round bye doomed Oregon State. The Beavers were much better in the second half, but the big early deficit was too much to overcome.
Colorado clicked at both ends in the first half and had to grind through the second. But it's a win and puts the Buffaloes halfway to their goal of winning four games in four days.
Oregon State could end up in a smaller postseason tournament.
Colorado plays Washington in the semifinals.