Arizona was the heavy favorite Saturday against Utah, but had to hold on until the last second, as a late Utah three-pointer missed, giving Arizona the 60-57 win at McKale.
Brandon Ashley opened with a three-pointer and followed with a layup to give Arizona the 5-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. After an Aaron Dotson free-throw and layup, Ashley hit a basket and Solomon Hill added two free-throws to put the Wildcats up 9-3. Jordan Loveridge and Kaleb Tarczewski then exchanged baskets as the Wildcats led 11-5 with 14:49 left.
Hill scored out of the timeout, but Loveridge answered with a three-pointer. Hill and Jarred DuBois then exchanged a pair of free-throws before Loveridge hit another three. After a layup by Kevin Parrom made it 17-13 in favor of Arizona, DuBois hit three free-throws to bring the Utes to within one. Ashley scored a bucket seconds later and Parrom hit a deep three to put Arizona up 22-16 with just under eight minutes left.
Washburn proceeded to make a basket before Mark Lyons scored his first points of the day with a three. Hill then made a jumper from the corner to put Arizona up 27-18 with 5:23 left, but Loveridge made one of his own the next trip down court. Nick Johnson scored his first points of the game with a three-pointer to put the Wildcats up ten. A few minutes later, Loveridge hit a three-pointer to bring the Utes within 30-23 going into the half.
Washburn started the second half with a dunk and hit a basket inside to cut Arizona’s lead to four less than a minute into the half. Tarczewski was able to score off an offensive rebound and Lyons made two free-throws to get the points back. Hill then made a three-pointer from the top of the arc to put Arizona up 37-27 with about 17 minutes left, but a jumper by Washburn brought it back to single digits.
Lyons hit a two the next time down court, but a basket by Washburn made it 39-31 with 15:32 left in the half. Ashley scored to extend the lead back to ten before a jumper by DuBois put it right back to eight. Lyons proceeded to make one of two free-throws, but Glen Dean hit a three to bring the Utes to within six. Hill got back the three with one of his own and Miller called a timeout up 45-36 with 13 minutes left.
Dean scored out of the timeout, but Lyons hit a layup seconds later. DuBois answered with a three from the corner to pull within six and a three by Washburn only had Arizona up three with 11 minutes left. A shot by Johnson put the Wildcats up 49-44 and a basket by Hill made it a seven-point lead. DuBois made two free-throws with under eight minutes left to cut Arizona’s lead back to five and a hook shot by Washburn cut it to three.
A jumper by Washburn brought the Utes to within one, but a three by Hill extended the UA lead back to four. Loveridge proceeded to hit a jumper with a little over two minutes left in the half to bring the Utes within two.
Johnson was able to get to the line and made both of his free-throw attempts to put the Wildcats up 56-52, but Loveridge scored again in the paint.
Parrom then hit a two of his own with about 1:30 left, but Cedric Martin hit a three for his first points of the game to cut it to 58-57 with 56 seconds left.
Nick Johnson missed a three-pointer with 30 seconds left, but Utah missed its ensuing shot and fouled Lyons, who made both his free-throws to put the UA up 60-57 with seven seconds left.
Utah had a chance to tie, but a three-pointer missed and the Wildcats hung out.