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No. 3 Arizona holds on for 60-57 win over Utah

  • Article by: JOHN MARSHALL
  • Associated Press
  • January 5, 2013 - 6:59 PM

TUCSON, Ariz. - Solomon Hill had 19 points, Mark Lyons hit two free throws with 7.2 seconds left and No. 3 Arizona dodged another last-second shot to beat Utah 60-57 on Saturday and remain undefeated.

Arizona (14-0, 2-0 Pac-12) needed some help from a disputed call by the officials to win its conference opener. The Wildcats faced another big shot in the closing seconds, when Utah's Jarred DuBois shot a 3-pointer that bounced off the rim, hit the top of the backboard and hit the rim again before missing.

Utah (8-6, 0-2) opened conference with an overtime loss to Arizona State on Wednesday and kept Arizona within reach by hitting 14 of 27 shots in the second half.

Jason Washburn had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Jordan Loveridge added 17 points for Utah, which still hasn't won a road or neutral-court conference game since joining the Pac-12 last season.

Utah pulled within 58-57 when Cedric Martin hit a 3-pointer with 57 seconds left and had a chance take the lead after Arizona's Nick Johnson missed a 3-pointer. DuBois missed a 3-pointer, though, and Lyons hit his two big free throws to put Arizona up by three.

After an intention foul by Arizona, the Utes set up a final shot and got a decent look for DuBois, but his shot caromed away.

Arizona is off to its best start since opening the 1931-32 season with 16 straight wins, but it hasn't always been easy.

The Wildcats have struggled with turnovers, averaging nearly 15 per game, and have had trouble defending the perimeter at times.

They have a knack for pulling out close games, though.

Arizona beat Florida in a battle of top 10 teams on Dec. 15 by scoring seven points in the final 56 seconds and won the Diamond Head Classic by knocking off San Diego State in the title game on Johnson's last-second swat.

The Wildcats pulled off perhaps the best rabbit-out-of-the-hat trick on Thursday, rallying from 16 points down in the second half to beat Colorado 92-83 in overtime.

Arizona seemed to catch a break when the officials waved off Sabatino Chen's banked 3-pointer at the end of regulation and pulled away in the extra period.

The Wildcats were much more crisp at both ends against Utah, building a 10-point lead in the first half.

Defensively, Arizona rotated quickly to Utah's shooters and, except for a couple of breakdowns, didn't give the Utes much to look at inside.

The Wildcats were good against everyone but Loveridge, who hit 3 of 4 from 3-point range. The rest of the Utes were 2 of 12 from the field.

Arizona looked better on offense after going without a field goal for 9:40 of the first half against Colorado. The Wildcats had five turnovers in the first half against Utah and got good shots, though not many fell. Arizona was 11 for 32 from the field and led 30-23 at halftime.

Arizona shot better to start the second half, but so did Utah, which pulled within 47-44 midway through on a 3-pointer by Washburn as the shot clock was winding down.

Washburn cut Arizona's lead to 51-50 with 5 1-2 minutes left and the Utes kept hanging around, never letting Arizona get more than four points ahead.

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