TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Kira Lewis Jr. made a 3-pointer and two free throws over the final 13 seconds and Alabama held on for a 76-73 victory over Arizona on Sunday.
Lewis pulled up for the uncontested shot after the Crimson Tide (6-3), which had lost a big lead for the second straight game, worked most of the shot clock down. Brandon Randolph drained a 3 from the top of the key with seven seconds left to keep the Wildcats (7-3) alive.
After a quick foul, John Petty made the second of two free throws to push the cushion back to three points, at 74-71. Former Alabama point guard Justin Coleman made two free throws with 5 seconds left.
Alabama’s standout freshman, Lewis hit both his foul shots on the other end and an Arizona desperation heave from near midcourt fell well short.
Lewis finished with 20 points and made 4 of 5 3-pointers. Alex Reese scored 15 points off the bench. Donta Hall added 13 points and nine rebounds and Tevin Mack scored 12.
Chase Jeter led Arizona with 19 points and nine rebounds. Rudolph scored 17 and Brandon Williams had 16.
The Tide flirted with another collapse after watching a 19-point first-half lead evaporate. Georgia State had wiped out a 22-point deficit in the second half Tuesday night at Coleman Coliseum and won on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Alabama had seven players score during a 23-2 run in the first half to build a 33-14 lead. The Wildcats trimmed it to 39-30 by halftime on Williams’ 3-pointer and then kept closing the gap to start the second.
Arizona: Had three-game winning streak snapped. Only previous visit to the state of Alabama came in the NCAA Tournament in 1997 when the Wildcats went on to win the national title. Won 10 of its last 11 road nonconference games.
Alabama: Finished strong to avoid a repeat of the last game’s ending. Got a much-needed win in its most high-profile nonconference game.
Coleman spent two seasons at Alabama, starting 16 games, and arrived at Arizona after a season at Samford in Birmingham, Alabama. He heated up in the second half and had eight points, six assists and five rebounds.
Arizona: Hosts Baylor on Saturday night.
Alabama: Has time off before facing Liberty on Dec. 18 in Huntsville, Alabama.