The Arizona Wildcats never trailed Utah this afternoon but, as many things have been so far in their undefeated season, the game was never easy.
Arizona hung on to a 60-57 win at McKale Center while a final three-point shot by Jarred DuBois bounced off the rim and backboard before falling to the floor without going through the hoop.
The win moved Arizona to 14-0 and 2-0 in the Pac-12 entering their first conference road trip of the season, starting Thursday at Oregon. Utah dropped to 8-6 and 0-2.
Solomon Hill led UA with 19 points while Mark Lyons had 12, including two free throws with seven seconds left. Jordan Loveridge and Jason Washburn each had 17 points for Utah.
A three-pointer from Cedric Martin cut UA’s lead to 58-57 heading into the final minute and a 25-foot three-pointer from Nick Johnson bounced off the rim on UA’s ensuing possession.
Utah then called a timeout with 16 seconds left to set up a final play. But DuBois missed a three-pointer at the top of the key and Lyons grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Loveridge.
Lyons then sank both free throws to give UA a 60-57 lead with seven seconds left before DuBois put up his final shot off an inbounds pass from Martin.
Utah cut Arizona’s lead to 51-50 with 5:33 left on a jumper from Jason Washburn but Hill hit a three-pointer to make it 54-50 with five mintues to go and the game stayed close the rest of the way.
After Arizona took a 30-23 halftime lead, Utah received a dunk from Washburn just eight seconds into the second half and cut UA’s lead to 30-27 when Washburn made a layup.
But UA went ahead by 10 four minutes into the half and kept a relatively comfortable lead until Washburn popped in a three-pointer to cut it to 47-44.
In the first half, Arizona was mired in a predictably low-scoring game against Utah but never trailed and took a 30-23 lead at halftime.
Forward Brandon Ashley led the Wildcats in the half with nine points, hitting 4 of 5 field goals and grabbing three rebounds. Hill had eight points and Kaleb Tarczewski had five rebounds.
The Wildcats shot only 34.4 percent against the Utes, which entered the game allowing opponents to shoot only 35.4 percent on average. But Utah shot just 31.8 percent itself.
Ashley hit a three-pointer 22 seconds into the game and the Wildcats never trailed afterward in the first half, despite having fallen behind Utah by 13 last year at McKale Center.
The Wildcats were also coming off an overtime win against Colorado in which they trailed by 16 points in the second half.
Arizona led just 17-16 after DuBois hit three free throws with 11:11 left but the Wildcats built their lead up to 30-20 with four minutes left after getting three-pointers from Kevin Parrom, Lyons and Johnson.
Lyons and Johnson were scoreless through the first 15 minutes while UA relied on its forwards offensively.
Arizon had no turnovers through the first nine minutes.
UA built and early 11-5 with 14:49, getting its first seven points from Ashley both inside and out. But Utah cut it to 15-13 when Loveridge hit a three-pointer with 12:34 to go.
The Wildcats next will travel to Oregon for a Thursday night game at Matt Knight Arena, their first appearance in that arena. Arizona did not make the Oregon trip last season and visited Eugene before the new arena opened in 2010-11 season.