No. 21 Arizona beats Cal in 3 OTs

BY foxsports • February 5, 2011

For anybody who might have questioned Lamont Jones' big-play ability for Arizona, he put on a spectacular ''MoMo'' show that kept on going Saturday night.

Jones scored a go-ahead lay-in with 1:03 left in the third overtime and also had a tying three-pointer with five seconds to go in the second OT and the tying three-point play with 16 seconds to play in regulation, sending No. 21 Arizona to a thrilling 107-105 victory against California.

Jones finished with a career-high 27 points in the Wildcats' fifth straight win and eighth in nine games, and Kevin Parrom scored five of his career-best 25 points in the third extra period for Arizona (20-4, 9-2 Pac-10).

''I've played like this my whole life,'' said Jones, the confident sophomore guard who hails from Harlem. ''To other people it might be something new, but to me it's just another day in the life of MoMo Jones.''

Harper Kamp scored a career-high 33 points for the defending Pac-10 champion Golden Bears (13-10, 6-5), seven of which came in the second extra period. Cal had its four-game winning streak snapped.

First-place Arizona moved 1 1/2 games ahead of UCLA in the Pac-10 standings and two up on Washington after the 20th-ranked Huskies were handed their third straight loss in a defeat at Oregon earlier Saturday.

This marked Cal's longest home game since a five-overtime, 107-102 victory over Oregon in 1977. The Bears won a triple-overtime game at Washington in January 2009.

There were 17 lead changes and 14 ties Saturday. Arizona got an incredible 52 points from its bench — compared to three for Cal.

''One of the great wins that I've been a part of,'' second-year Arizona coach Sean Miller said. ''Thrillers like this you remember.''

Jones shot 9 for 18 and converted 7 of 9 free throws. He scored on a short baseline jumper with 16.6 seconds left in regulation and was fouled, converting the tying free throw.

''I said before I came here, that when I came here Arizona was going to get a clutch player. Arizona was going to get a big-time player,'' Jones said. ''Things take time.''

After Kamp missed from close range with five seconds left, Jones heaved the ball from three-quarters down the court only to fall just short, but on target and send the game into its first OT.

Arizona missed two long three-pointers at the end of the initial extra session with a chance to win it.

Still, Jones willed his team while playing a team-high 39 minutes.

''I'm from New York, he's from New York,'' Parrom said. ''I've seen that since we were little. It's nothing new to me.''

Some of the game's biggest stars were on the bench when this one was finally decided.

Cal's Jorge Gutierrez scored a career-high 25 points before fouling out with 2:13 left in the initial overtime on an offensive foul.

Wildcats leading scorer Derrick Williams fouled out with 21.9 seconds remaining in regulation, finishing with 12 points and 18 rebounds in a game that featured 73 attempted free throws — 42 of those by Cal.

''We had plenty of chances to win, we just didn't capitalize,'' Kamp said. ''Everyone was pretty bummed about it. I think it would be selfish of me to take full responsibility for the loss, even though I feel like I let us down on a few key plays. I think everyone feels that they're responsible. We all wish we could have made that play when we needed to.''

Arizona made five of its first nine second-half shots after a high-flying first half in which both teams shot 50 percent or better. But the Wildcats went 3 minutes, 15 seconds without scoring between three-pointers by Jamelle Horne and Jones, and Cal pulled to 59-54 on Gutierrez's three at the 11:43 mark.

And then this one turned a tad testy.

Arizona's Solomon Hill was whistled for an intentional foul on the offensive end against Gutierrez with 11:12 to play. Officials turned to replay to see if Hill had deliberately thrown an elbow, then called the intentional. Gutierrez made both free throws and Allen Crabbe hit a jumper the next time down to make it a one-point game, 59-58.

Miller called timeout, but it didn't stop Cal's momentum.

Gutierrez gave his team its first lead of the half with a basket at 8:40.

This marked another tight, physical game between the teams after Arizona beat Cal 73-71 back on Jan. 6 in Tucson — a game in which Williams went off for a career-high 31 points.

Still playing with his shooting hand taped to protect his injured right pinkie, Williams wasn't much of a factor in this outcome.

Crabbe scored 27 points and Brandon Smith dished out a career-high 11 assists for Cal, which nearly pulled off the upset that had the raucous home crowd of 9,723 on the edge of its seats at Haas Pavilion.

''It's a tough loss, what can you say?'' Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. ''They knew they had chances. They played their hearts out, they played their butts off. They were tired. ... (Arizona) scored 107 points. Maybe we can defend a little better. That's my take. We force people to play well. They have to beat us.''

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