TUCSON, Ariz.—After trailing by as many as 13 points, the Utah Utes cut No. 17 Arizona’s lead to three, but the Wildcats (14-2, 3-0 Pac 12) kept the comeback at bay and won, 66-56. The Wildcats have won 63 of their last 64 games at home.
The Utes (10-4, 1-1 Pac-12) started strong as they and Arizona exchanged basket for basket in the first segment of the game, and held a 15-10 lead early in the game.
As the Wildcats closed down the paint defensively, Utah’s Jayce Johnson and David Collette each collected two fouls, forcing them to the bench and opening a size advantage for the Wildcats. Arizona twin towers Lauri Markkanen and Dusan Ristic responded, scoring a combined 17 points by the intermission, when the home side opened a 35-27 lead.
The Utes fell further behind in the second half, trailing 44-31 before turning back on the Cats. Sedrick Barefield scored five straight points, and the Utes fed Collette in the post, churning the defense all the way to a three point game at 51-48.
But Utah would not capitalize as Arizona gradually pulled away to a familiar home win in front of a sellout crowd.
Three pointers were few and far between for the Utes, who shot just 4-21 from the perimeter. A 17-8 Arizona foul advantage, which the Wildcats translated to 14 made free throws, didn’t help their case.
Next up for the Utes are the Arizona State Sun Devils, who beat the Colorado Buffaloes on Thursday night. Tipoff will be at 3:00pm MT, with pregame starting at 1:00 on ESPN 700.
Sedrick Barefield Postgame:
DeMarlo Slocum Postgame:
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