ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Nico Mannion scored 24 points, Chase Jeter added 19 and No. 14 Arizona advanced to the championship game of the Wooden Legacy with a 92-82 victory over Penn on Friday night.
The Wildcats (8-0) shot 58.6% from the floor but Penn (4-3) rallied in the second half by making 10 of their 13 3-pointers over the final 20 minutes.
Zeke Ninaji scored 16 points and Josh Green scored 14 for Arizona, who will face Wake Forest in Sunday’s title game. The Demon Deacons advanced with a 88-75 win over Long Beach State.
Jordan Dingle led the Quakers with 27 points and Ryan Betley added 20.
For the second straight game, Arizona had a large second-half lead only to see things get close late. The Wildcats had a 66-49 advantage with 11:47 remaining, but Penn made 3-pointers on eight of its next nine field goals and closed within four (82-78) on a pair of Brodeur free throws with 3:03 remaining.
Unlike Thursday night, when Pepperdine tied it late before the Wildcats won on a Mannion layup, the Quakers would be unable to draw closer. The Wildcats closed the game with a 10-4 spurt.
Penn trailed by eight at halftime but closed within 43-40 on Devon Goodman’s layup before the Wildcats regained control with a 17-4 run. Ninaji scored 10 points during the spurt and Mannion supplied the other seven.
Penn led for the first five minutes before Arizona scored 12 straight points to take a 21-13 lead with 11:28 remaining in the first half. The Wildcats extended their lead to 28-18 with 6 minutes left on a Jeter layup before the Quakers scored 13 of the next 15 points to go up 31-30.
Arizona would take a 41-33 lead at halftime with an 11-2 run over the final 2:19. Mannion keyed the rally with five points.
Penn: The Quakers have gone 35 of 80 from beyond the arc in their last three games.
Arizona: Ninaji came into the game leading the nation in field goal percentage but went 5 of 9.
Penn: Take on Long Beach State in Sunday’s third-place game.
Arizona: Face Wake Forest in Sunday’s championship game.