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Utah forward Timmy Allen, left, guards Arizona guard Brandon Randolph (5) in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game against Utah, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona defeated Utah 84-81 in overtime. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Utah’s trip to the Arizona schools for the opening of Pac-12 play was a homecoming for Timmy Allen. The freshman forward is from the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, where he graduated from Red Mountain High School.

“It is weird just being here — like as a child and now being here playing as kind of an adult in college basketball,” Allen said. “It’s just another opportunity that I’m glad I can play.”

Allen noted that he used to always go to Arizona State games and even made a couple of unofficial recruiting visits. He made just one stop at Arizona.

Thursday, in Tempe, Allen scored a career-high 17 points as the Utes rallied to defeat the Sun Devils 96-86.

“I was happy for him. He was key in transitions, key defensively,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, who was also pleased with Allen’s 4-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and his 7-of 8 free throw shooting. “Those are big things for us.”

Krystkowiak added that it was nice to see Allen’s family behind the bench that night.

“Then whenever a kid can come home like that it make’s it a little bit more special,” Krystkowiak said.

Allen finished with 11 points in Utah’s 84-81 overtime loss at Arizona on Saturday.

NO DOUBT: Sophomore forward Donnie Tillman said that senior guard Parker Van Dyke was the right guy to take the potential game-winning shot.

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“Parker hit that shot every time in practice,” Tillman said. “I mean every time.”

Tillman added that the last attempt “looked great” but was in-and-out.

SPIRITED ENVIRONMENT: Arizona was backed by a very supportive crowd of 13,764 at the McKale Center.

“This is a fun environment to play in, a great fan base. It’s one of the highlights, really,” Krystkowiak said. “And if you can’t get up for a game like this, then we’ve all got some problems. I told our team before the game: ‘This what we all sign up for, and you’ve got to be good.′”