Nico Mannion scored 24 points, Chase Jeter added 19, and No. 14 Arizona reached the championship game of the Wooden Legacy with a 92-82 victory over Penn on Friday night in Anaheim, Calif.
The Wildcats (8-0) shot 58.6% from the floor, but Penn (4-3) rallied in the second half by making 10 of its 13 three-pointers.
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.
Penn will take on Long Beach State on Sunday in the third-place game.
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 three-pointers on eight of its next nine field goals and closed to within 82-78 on a pair of AJ 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.