TUCSON, Ariz — Brandon Randolph scored six of his 21 points in overtime and Arizona escaped with an 84-81 victory over Utah on Saturday to give the Wildcats a 2-0 start in Pac-12 play.
Sedrick Barefield scored 26, including 5 of 9 3-pointers, for Utah (7-7, 1-1) but fouled out with 1:44 to play in regulation. Donnie Tillman added 21 for the Utes, who were 11 of 21 from 3-point range.
Chase Jeter had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Wildcats (11-4, 2-0). Dylan Smith and Brandon Williams added 11 points apiece.
Both teams muffed chances in the final minute of regulation. With the game tied at 72-72, Tillman forced a shot in traffic, then Justin Coleman missed badly on a floater for Arizona. Utah turned it over when Tim Allen couldn't handle Tillman's pass and Coleman missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Arizona carved a 78-74 lead in overtime but Parker Van Dyke sank a 3 with his first shot to cut it to 78-77. Williams' two free throws made it 80-77 but Tillman's three-point play put Utah ahead 81-80 with 1:12 left. Randolph's driving layup put Arizona ahead for good 82-81. But after a jump ball gave Arizona possession Williams missed two free throws with 33.5 seconds left. But Van Dyke missed a 3, Arizona rebounded and Randolph sank two from the foul line with 1.6 seconds left for the final margin.
Utah fell to 1-13 against Arizona since joining the Pac-12. The Utes have never won in Tucson since joining the conference.
The game was tight throughout.
Barefield and Both Gach each sank 3s in a 10-0 run that put Utah up 20-10. Arizona scored the next nine, though, capped by Dylan Smith's 3-pointer, and nobody led by more than six points after that.
A pair of inside baskets by Jeter had Arizona up 36-33 with 1:29 to play but Barefield's fourth 3 - in as many tries - made it a 36-36 game at the half.
Barefield made 7 of 9 shots in the first half, 4 of 5 3s, for 19 points.
The Wildcats took a six-point lead twice midway through the second half and were up 60-55 after Randolph split two defenders on a driving layup with 9:53 to play but Tillman sank consecutive 3s and Barefield made one in a 9-0 run that put Utah ahead 64-60 with 8:05 to play.
Utah stretched the lead to 68-62 on Tillman's two free throws with 5:32 to play. Jeter's tip-in, followed by his dunk, cut it to 68-66 with 4:26 left, Coleman made one of two free throws to make it 68-67 with 3:37 to go.
Barefield stole the ball from Coleman, leading to Jayce Johnson's dunk and the Utes were up 70-67 with 2:53 left. Arizona made five of six free throws from there to force the extra session.
Utah might well have won this one had Barefield not fouled out and the Utes, who beat Arizona State, are going to be a handful for whoever faces them.
Arizona doesn't have the marquee names of past squads but the Wildcats are winning anyway. They have to be considered contenders now in what looks to be a wide-open Pac-12 race.
Utah: plays its Pac-12 home opener Thursday night against Washington
Arizona: is at Oregon on Thursday night.