Josh Watkins scored 23 points and coach Larry Krystkowiak won in his debut Monday night as Utah opened the season with a 58-55 win over San Diego Christian College.
Watkins, the Utes' top returning scorer, found his way to the basket on a variety of spinning drives to tie his career high. But he missed one of two free throws with 1.6 seconds to play, allowing the Hawks (0-2) a last-gasp chance.
Tim Sanders, who led SDCC with 11 points, couldn't get a desperation shot off in time and the NAIA school fell short in its upset bid.
Jason Washburn added 12 points and a career-best 10 rebounds for Utah against a Hawks team that didn't play anyone over 6-foot-7 and couldn't stop the Utes at the rim.
Still, Utah committed 14 turnovers and never led by more than seven points.