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Arizona 68, Utah 64

The SportsXchange

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Senior point guard Mark Lyons scored nine points in the final six minutes as No. 9 Arizona held off Utah 68-64 on Sunday afternoon at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.

The Wildcats never trailed but had to rally after the Utes came back from a 13-point deficit with 16:03 left, tying the game at 51 on a tip-in by Jason Washburn with 7:27 to go.

Arizona (21-4 overall, 9-4 Pac-12) answered with a 5-0 run. Solomon Hill followed a 3-point miss with an offensive rebound and drive to the basket for a layup. After Washburn missed a jumper, Lyons finished a fast break with a three-point play with 5:52 remaining.

The Utes closed to three points on two occasions, but Lyons helped Arizona maintain the edge. He finished with a game-high 18 points, although he was 1-of-9 from 3-point range. He was much better on the move, scoring three times in the final six minutes on drives to the basket.

Lyons missed the front end of a one-and-one with 15 seconds left and Arizona up 66-61, but he came up with a steal on the other end to secure the victory.

Senior guard Jarred DuBois led Utah with 16 points. Washburn added 15.

Hill and Brandon Ashley each had 10 points for Arizona.

Utah, which had defeated potential NCAA Tournament at-large teams Colorado and Arizona State in its past two home games, fell to 11-14 overall and 3-10 in the conference.

The game was reminiscent of the teams' first meeting in Tucson, when Utah trimmed a 10-point second-half deficit to one and missed a last-second 3-pointer as Arizona survived 60-57.

Arizona coach Sean Miller made a rare change in his starting lineup, inserting senior wing Kevin Parrom for Ashley, a freshman power forward. Miller said he wanted to give a senior more responsibility down the stretch and to shake things up to help solve the team's recent slow starts at the beginning of games and after halftime.

Parrom wasn't a factor offensively early, but the Wildcats got off to a decent start, making six of their first seven shots.

Utah struggled offensively in the first half, committing nine turnovers and shooting 37 percent (10-of-27). The Utes missed the scoring punch of freshman forward Jordan Loveridge, who played just five minutes because of foul trouble. Loveridge ended with just five points on 1-of-9 shooting.

Notes: Utah played host to a top 10 team in the Huntsman Center for just the second time since 2002. ... Arizona has won the past seven meetings with Utah. ... Every Utah player wore "Freedom" instead of his last name on the back of his jersey. The team was honoring military personnel and first responders, who could attend the game at no charge. ... Parrom finished with nine points and nine rebounds in his second start of the season.
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