BERKELEY, Calif. - The Washington Huskies left the Pac-10's upstairs window open even further Saturday, so MoMo Jones and Kevin Parrom led the Arizona Wildcats through it.
Barely. Three times barely.
In the Wildcats' first triple-overtime game in 38 years, the Wildcats beat California 107-105 behind a clutch, career-high 27 points from Jones, who appeared everywhere on the court when it mattered most.
The Wildcats, playing without the fouled-out Derrick Williams for the final 16 minutes of the extended game, also had a career-high 25 from Parrom that were nearly just as clutch.
The combined efforts helped move Arizona to 9-2 in the Pac-10, a game and a half ahead of UCLA and two games ahead of preseason favorite Washington, which lost at Oregon earlier Saturday.
Parrom scored five points and pulled down the final rebound in the third overtime, after which the Wildcats, too tired to jump and shout, hugged each other before a suddenly quieted crowd of 9,723 fans at Haas Pavilion.
"Nobody wanted to lose this game. That's what I was thinking," Parrom said, still leaning backward with fatigue a half-hour after it ended. "We just wanted to win. We wanted to get to 20 wins and make a statement to the Pac-10."
The win moved Arizona to 20-4 overall while Cal dropped to 13-10 and 6-5. The Bears were led offensively by Allen Crabbe, who had 27 points while being one of three Cal players logging 53 or more minutes.
"It was heck of a basketball game," UA coach Sean Miller said. "It's a shame that one of us had to lose. I almost feel bad winning because we could have lost this game 10 times but I don't feel that bad. We had a lot of individual players answer the bell.
"Sometimes it's not about the plays you draw up or the strategy, it's about the guys out there executing. We were resilient and it was a great team effort."
The Wildcats last went to triple overtime on Feb. 23, 1973, when they beat Utah 101-95.
The third OT period might have been slightly less riveting than the first two, with the Wildcats hanging on to what was a 106-103 lead in the final seconds. That's in part because Parrom helped the Wildcats pull away with five points and then grabbed the final rebound when Cal's Brandon Smith intentionally missed the second of two free throws with the Bears down by two and needing a quick putback to tie the game again.
In the first two overtime periods, Jones kept popping up.
In the second extra session, Cal went ahead 93-90 with 2:46 to go before Jones scored to cut the lead to one point and after Crabbe made 1 of 2 free throws, Parrom sank a three-pointer to put UA back on top at 95-94.
But Harper Kamp scored inside to give Cal a 96-95 lead with 58 seconds left, and Brendon Lavender turned the ball over on the wing during UA's next possession, giving Cal the ball with a one-point lead, 31 seconds left overall and 21 seconds on the shot clock.
Then Jones hit a three-pointer to tie it at 98 with seven seconds left.
Jones made a three-point play at the end of regulation to tie the game at 76 - and didn't come far from missing a two-thirds-court heave as time expired that would have won the game - and he returned in the first overtime period with two free throws and a field goal.
Jones said the and-one in regulation was probably the top of all his highlights, as he the ball down the baseline with determination.
"I just got comfortable," Jones said. "Big-time players make big time plays."
With the game tied at 87 entering the final 30 seconds of the first overtime, Jones also picked up a rebound on Solomon Hill's missed three-pointer and had 12 seconds to try again. But after several dribbles, Jones took a three-pointer himself and missed.
Cal entered the final minute of the that period trailing 87-85, but Crabbe hit a leaner in the key to tie the game at 87 with 43 seconds left.
Parrom led off the scoring in the first overtime to put UA ahead 78-76 but Crabbe hit a three and Kamp converted a three-point play to give the Bears an 82-80 lead entering the final three minutes.
Jorge Gutierrez later tied the game at 83 with 1 of 2 free throws but was called for a charge against Jones in front of the basket, his fifth foul.
Jones then made a layup with 1:55 left to give UA a 85-83 lead and Lavender sank a pair of free throws with 1:40 left to put the Wildcats up by four.
In the final minute of regulation, Cal led 76-73, Jones took the ball with 29 seconds left and wound up driving inside for a baseline layup, making the layup and drawing a foul by Markuri Sanders-Frison.
Jones made the free throw to tie the game at 76 with 16 seconds left and the Bears failed score on their final possession, when Kamp missed a contested layup. Jones had just enough time to fire off a long shot as time expired but the ball fell just short of the basket, leaving the game tied at 76.
The Wildcats built a 59-51 lead early in the second half of regulation after Jones made a three-pointer with 12:02 to go, but the game turned shortly thereafter.
Gutierrez hit a three-pointer to cut UA's lead to 59-54 and, after a timeout, the Wildcats ran into trouble when Hill was issued a technical for his contact with Gutierrez.
In a bizarre move, Cal initially sent Crabbe to the line, where he made one, and then the refs instead ruled that Gutierrez had to shoot.
Gutierrez went on to make both free throws, cutting UA's lead to 59-56 and the Bears later pulled within a point on a jumper by Crabbe.
Then, Arizona squandered two possessions with two missed free throws by Williams and a turnover, Gutierrez gave Cal a 60-59 lead on a layup with 8:43 to go.
But Jones said the Wildcats didn't wilt at that point.
"We're a team," Jones said. "You have to play as a team."
• Who: Arizona at Arizona State
• When: 7 p.m. next Sunday
• TV: FSAZ
• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM