Printed on: February 18, 2013

Utah falls short in 68-64 loss to No. 9 Arizona

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah has showed flashes of potential in the Pac-12 at times. Still, the Utes are having trouble overcoming mistakes and closing out games.

Those problems were evident yet again in a 68-64 loss to No. 9 Arizona on Sunday.

Arizona led by as many as 13 early in the second half only to see Utah respond with a 14-3 run to tie it at 51 with 7:28 remaining on a tip-in basket from Jason Washburn.

But the Utes could not overcome a series of big baskets by Mark Lyons down the stretch. Lyons converted a three-point play to help Arizona go ahead with 56-51 with 5:52 left and he helped keep the Wildcats a step ahead of Utah in the closing minutes.

That denied the Utes (11-14, 3-10) an opportunity to win back-to-back games in Pac-12 play for the first time since joining the conference two years ago.

"When you're in a close game, guys have to step up and make shots like we did last game," Washburn said. "We just couldn't do it this game. We had a couple of calls that really didn't go our way. We didn't step up and make shots when we really needed to make them and we didn't get stops when we needed to get them."

Lyons scored 18 points to help the Wildcats (21-4, 9-4) bounce back from their worst loss of the season. Brandon Ashley added 10 points off the bench.

Jarred DuBois had 16 points, Washburn added 15 and Jeremy Olsen chipped in 12 for the Utes.

A 3-pointer by Dakarai Tucker pulled Utah to 56-54 with 4:46 left, but a putback by Kevin Parrom and a layup by Lyons helped seal it for the Wildcats. Utah had chances to get closer in the final minutes but was undone by turnovers and missed shots.

"We had some mindless turnovers, but I was encouraged that we came back and were a couple of plays away from making it happen," coach Larry Krystkowiak said.

Just like the first game between Arizona and Utah this season, this one went down to the wire.

Early in the second half, the Wildcats appeared to take control. Arizona bumped its lead to 41-28 on a twisting layup by Lyons with 17:43 left as it opened the second half on an 8-3 run.

Utah, with three freshmen on the floor, fought back.

DuBois and Tucker hit 3-pointers and Olsen had two more baskets in the paint during Utah's big run.

After Washburn tied it, Solomon Hill scored on a tough layup and Lyons converted a three-point play as Arizona went up 56-51.

"We just wanted to push the ball, keep playing and not give up because it was just coming down to crunch time," Tucker said. "You want to get your stuff together because you don't want to mess up."

Utah pulled to 60-57 on two free throws by DuBois with 3:15 remaining. But freshman Jordan Loveridge, who was 1 of 9 from the field, turned it over and Parrom scored on a nice feed from Lyons for a five-point edge with 1:48 left.

DuBois made one of two free throws and Lyons scored on a drive with 1:10 left for a 64-58 edge.

Washburn hit a 3 at the buzzer to make the final margin closer.

"We needed points," Lyons said. "We were getting shots but we just weren't making them. I was trying to take it upon myself to get something going."

 

No. 3 Miami 45,

Clemson 43

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Kenny Kadji scored 12 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to keep No. 3 Miami perfect in Atlantic Coast Conference play after a 45-43 victory over Clemson on Sunday night.

The Hurricanes (21-3, 12-0) finished with their fewest points of the season, and their high-scoring guard duo of Durand Scott and Shane Larkin were a combined 3-of-16 shooting for 10 points. Still, Miami pulled out its 13th straight victory on Kadji's wide-open 3.

Clemson (13-12, 5-8) had three chances to answer back, but Rod Hall was called for an offensive foul on one trip and, after Trey McKinney Jones made a foul shot, Hall missed a layup and K.J. McDaniels failed on a tip.

The Hurricanes hugged each other when the horn sounded, grateful to escape and continue the league's longest undefeated start since Duke went 16-0 in 1998-99. They'll likely supplant the Blue Devils, who lost Saturday at Maryland, as the country's No. 2 team when the new rankings come out Monday.

Freshman Jordan Roper had a career-high 19 points for the Tigers. Devin Booker added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

 

No. 4 MICHIGAN 79,

PENN STATE 71

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Trey Burke scored a season-high 29 points and freshman Glen Robinson III matched a career high with 21 to help Michigan bounce back from an embarrassing defeat with a victory over Penn State.

The Wolverines (22-4, 9-4 Big Ten) had dropped three of their previous four games, including a 23-point loss Tuesday night at No. 8 Michigan State, and needed a half to shake off their slump. Michigan trailed for much of the first 20 minutes against a last-place team without a conference win.

The Nittany Lions (8-17, 0-13) led by as many as eight in the first half. They went ahead 7-plus minutes into the game and had the lead until Burke made a game-tying, off-balance fadeaway with 55 seconds left in the first half.

Michigan scored the first six points after halftime to take control. Freshman Nik Stauskas scored 18, giving the Wolverines the third scoring option they needed to avoid an upset.

Penn State's Jermaine Marshall and Sasa Borovnjak each scored 17 points.

 

No. 12 LOUISVILLE 59,

SOUTH FLORIDA 41

TAMPA, Fla. - Russ Smith scored 15 points and Louisville stayed within a game of first place in the Big East with a lopsided victory over South Florida.

Smith, Wayne Blackshear and Kevin Ware did all the scoring for the Cardinals during a 22-3 run in the first half. Smith finished with six rebounds and four assists for Louisville (21-5, 9-4), which has won four of five.

Blackshear's 3-pointer tied it 11-all with 12:58 left in the first half and launched the decisive rally. Smith scored the final seven points of the spurt, which left the Cardinals with a 30-14 lead.

JaVontae Hawkins' 3-pointer provided USF's only points in a 9-minute span. Jawanza Poland scored 11 points for the Bulls (10-15, 1-12), who shot 24.5 percent and lost their eighth straight.

 

No. 20 WISCONSIN 71,

No. 13 OHIO STATE 49

MADISON, Wis. - Ben Brust and Jared Berggren each scored 15 points as Wisconsin routed Ohio State.

Sam Dekker came off the bench to score 13 for the Badgers (18-8, 9-4 Big Ten), and Traevon Jackson added 10.

DeShaun Thomas led the Buckeyes (18-7, 8-5) with 18 points.

The win kept Wisconsin tied with Michigan for third in the conference, two games behind leaders Indiana and Michigan State. Ohio State dropped into fifth place.

Wisconsin put Ohio State in a hole early and never let the Buckeyes climb out of it. They started the game 3 for 18 from the field and could not get into a rhythm.

The Badgers took control with an 18-0 run in the first half that lasted more than 7 minutes and put them up 24-6. Wisconsin led by as many as 26 in the second half.

The 17-point halftime deficit was Ohio State's largest since March 2007 against Tennessee.