Allen Crabbe scored 23 points, including four 3-pointers, and Cal defeated Utah 62-57 on Thursday night.
Cal led by as many as 15 points midway through the second half, but the Utes pulled within 58-55 on Jason Washburn’s 3-pointer with 55 seconds remaining.
David Kravish missed at the other end for the Golden Bears (11-7, 3-3 Pac-12) but poked the rebound out to Crabbe, who was fouled and sank two free throws with 17 seconds left.
Freshman Brandon Taylor missed a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left for the Utes (9-10, 1-6), and Justin Cobb grabbed the rebound and sank a pair of free throws to seal the win for Cal.
Cal used a 13-0 run midway through the first half to take a commanding lead.
Utah shot better from the floor than Cal did but committed 17 turnovers, including six by Jordan Loveridge. The Bears scored 17 points off those turnovers.
Washburn led Utah with 14 points, while Loveridge added 12 and nine rebounds and Taylor had 10 points off the bench.
Utah trailed by 10 at halftime but outscored the Golden Bears 35-30 in the second half, limiting Cal to 34.5 percent shooting the final 20 minutes and 41.1 percent for the game.
The best news for Cal, other than the win, was the return of senior guard Brandon Smith, who had not played since suffering a concussion Dec. 22 after being undercut and hitting his head on the floor.
He entered with 13:51 left in the first half and quickly provided a pair of assists. He finished with three points and three assists in 19 minutes.