(HONOLULU) — Up by one with only seconds to play, Arizona guard Nick Johnson blocked Chase Tapley’s layup to give third-ranked Arizona a 68-67 victory over 17th-ranked San Diego State in the championship game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
Arizona (12-0) is now off to its best start since the 1987-88 season.
Arizona senior forward Solomon Hill won the tournament MVP and scored a game-high 21 points, and guard Mark Lyons hit two crucial free throws with 13 seconds left, to give the Wildcats the lead for good.
San Diego State (11-2) received 19 points from guard Chase Tapley in the loss.
Arizona will begin conference play Jan. 3, when it takes on Colorado at home, while San Diego State will host Cal State Bakersfield on Jan. 2.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News