The Utes made 14 of 27 field-goal tries in the second half, shooting 52 percent to get back in a game it trailed by double figures. Jordan Loveridge also scored 17 points for Utah and grabbed four rebounds while Jarred DuBois added 12 points.
Utah pulled within 58-57 when Cedric Martin hit a three-pointer with 57 seconds left and had a chance take the lead after Arizona's Nick Johnson missed a try of his own. However, DuBois missed a three-pointer and Mark Lyons hit his two free throws to put Arizona up by three.
After an intentional foul by Arizona, the Utes set up a final shot and got a decent look for DuBois, but his shot caromed away.
Brandon Ashley scored the first seven points of the game for UA and the Wildcats never looked back. Trailing 15-8, Utah went on an 8-2 run to get within one as DuBois connected on three free throws after being fouled beyond the arc.
Arizona led 22-18 before scoring on its next three possessions, including triples by Mark Lyons and Nick Johnson to push the margin to double figures for the first time at 30-20 with 4:52 to play in the half. From that point, Utah’s defense tightened and held the home side scoreless for the remainder of the stanza.
Loveridge led all scorers in the first half with 13 points but Utah shot only 32 percent as a team and only two other Utes connected on field goals in the period. Washburn led the way with five rebounds but only connected on 1-of-6 tries from the field while DuBois missed two tries but was a perfect 5-for-5 at the line.
Washburn scored the first four points of the second half to get Utah within a possession, but UA responded with a 7-0 run to push the lead back to double figures. Utah pulled within three with 11:20 to play on a three-pointer by Washburn as the shot clock was winding down. He also cut Arizona's lead to 51-50 with 5:33 to play.
Utah now has six losses on the season by a total of 22 points.
Utah returns home and hosts UCLA and USC next week in Pac-12 play. The Utes and Bruins will play on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.