Richard Solomon made a pair of free throws with 3:24 left to give the Cal Golden Bears just their second lead of the second half. The Utah Utes responded with nine straight points and hung on for a 63-59 win Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion that could damage Cal’s bid for a NCAA tournament berth.
The Golden Bears (18-12, 9-8 Pac-12 Conference) have lost three straight and four of their last five and are now part of a four-way tie for fifth place with one game to go in the regular season.
The Utes (20-9. 9-8) made 8-of-10 at the foul line in the final 37 seconds of the game to hold on for the victory, their third in a row.
Solomon paced the Golden Bears with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Tyrone Wallace had 11 points and Justin Cobbs dished out seven assists, but was held to just six points on 2-of-6 shooting. David Kravish blocked five shots.
Utah was 20-for-57 (35.1 percent) overall, 5-for-18 (27.8 percent) from the 3-point line and 18-of-26 (69.2 percent) at the free-throw stripe. Cal was 18-for-46 (39.1 percent), 5-for-16 (31.3 percent) and 18-for-24 (75 percent).
The Utes had a 39-34 edge on the boards and took good care of the ball with just six turnovers, compared to 14 for the Golden Bears.
Cal closes the regular season on Saturday, hosting Colorado at 3:30 p.m.