Two games in Arizona. Two heartbreaking losses.
The Running Utes (8-6, 0-2) remained winless in Pac 12 play after falling to the third ranked Arizona Wildcats (14-0, 2-0) in Tucson on Saturday.
Utah senior Jared Dubois missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have sent the game to overtime, but it hit the back iron, bounced off the top of the backboard, hit the rim again, and fell to the floor. Utah finishes their road trip without a victory, and continue to remain winless on the road in Pac 12 play since joining the conference last year.
Arizona jumped out to an early 15-8 behind a clear advantage in athleticism before the Utes stormed back with an 8-4 run behind Jordan Loveridge, who scored 13 of his team high 17 in the first frame, to pull within 3. After that, the Utes couldn't buy a bucket, and closed out a poor offensive first half in which they were held to 23 points. Despite only 2 field from players other than Loveridge, the Utes trailed by only seven heading into the second frame.
The second half proved more efficient on the offensive end with senior center Jason Washburn taking over. Wash was dominant inside scoring 17 and pitching in 11 boards for his second consecutive double-double, but not enough offensive execution down the stretch kept Utah from picking up a split in the desert after an overtime loss in Tempe against Arizona State.
"It's extremely frustrating because we came so close the past two games," Washburn said. "When our team plays well enough to win on the road against the No. 3 team in the country and it's taken away from you."
The Utes finished the game shooting just under 44% from three and 89& from the free throw line, but a 42% clip on two point field goals ultimately did them in.
"We have to make shots," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "That's what we are not doing."
Utah opens their home Pac 12 slate on Thursday against surging UCLA (12-3, 2-0), who has won 7 straight games.
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