James Akinjo scored a team-high 15 points and hit a key 3-pointer to spark a second-half rally as Arizona held on to beat Eastern Washington 70-67 on Saturday in Tucson, Ariz.
The Eagles led 56-48 with 8:42 left, but the Wildcats (2-0) immediately answered with a 3-ball from Akinjo and chipped away at the lead until Terrell Brown's baseline drive put Arizona up 61-60 at the 4:40 mark.
Eastern Washington (0-2) never led again but had a chance to tie in the final seconds, down 68-65 after Arizona's Azuolas Tubelis made 1 of 2 free throws with 13 seconds left. But Jacob Davison's kick-out pass from the baseline was stolen by Dalen Terry, who made two free throws with 5.3 seconds left.
Tubelis came off the bench to score 13 points and pull down nine rebounds for Arizona.
Eastern Washington had four players with double-figure points, led by Tyler Robertson, who scored 14. Tanner Groves and Casson Rouse each added 13, and Jacob Groves had 10.
Arizona's Jordan Brown, who had 19 points and 15 rebounds in a season-opening win over Grambling State, fouled out with 6:26 to go after playing just 18 minutes. The Nevada transfer finished with six points and three boards.
Eastern Washington started 1 of 10 from 3-point range and trailed 22-14 with nine minutes left in the first half.
But Tanner Groves then hit a trey for Eastern Washington, starting a shooting blitz that lasted until halftime. The Eagles, who have shooters at every position, drilled seven consecutive attempts from beyond the arc -- from six different players -- to end the half.
They tied the game at 28, pulled ahead at 35-34 and extended the lead to 43-38 at halftime. Eastern Washington went cold in the second half, making 2 of 15 from 3-point range.
Eagles point guard Ellis Magnuson, who started all 31 games as a freshman last season, missed his second consecutive game due to COVID-19 protocols.
--Field Level Media