'Exhausted' Wildcats enjoy simple celebration

2011-02-06T02:21:00Z 2011-02-06T05:33:00Z 'Exhausted' Wildcats enjoy simple celebrationBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star

BERKELEY, Calif. - In the end, there was no pile-on. No jumping. No dancing. Hardly even a fist pump.

The Arizona Wildcats didn't have the energy left for any of that.

"I'm exhausted," Kevin Parrom said a half-hour later, managing to stand somehow in the hallways below the Haas Pavilion floor. "We were just hugging each other. It was a great team win."

It was no harder on any Wildcat than MoMo Jones, who played a team-high 39 minutes despite a sore hip, knee and back. He took it somewhat easy during the postgame celebration, too.

"We were tired," Jones said. "It was rough. It was rough."

Jones' injuries really didn't start acting up until after the game, when the adrenaline had presumably begun to wear off.

"I felt it in the beginning when I was getting banged around but I'm a tough cat," Jones said. "I just had to play through it and after a certain amount of time I played though it and didn't feel it.

Then, during his postgame interview, he added: "I'm feeling it right now. But it ain't nothing that a little massage can't handle."

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It was even rougher on three Bears - Harper Kamp, Allen Crabbe and Brandon Smith - who each played an astounding 53 minutes or more. Kamp never even left the floor, though he's a veteran, at least.

"I wasn't getting tired much," Kamp said. "Once the overtimes hit, you get an extra surge of adrenaline or whatever it is, or maybe it's just that everyone slows down a little bit because everyone is tired."

Miller said fatigue may have been a particular factor for the Bears when Smith missed a layup with 45 seconds left in the third overtime.

"Our bench scored 52 points and theirs scored three," Miller said. "You watch Brandon Smith at the end and he missed his layup. That was his 53rd minute playing. In his defense, that happens when you're playing that many minutes.

"We didn't have one player with more than 40 minutes so we took advantage of it. It's not like we took huge advantage of it but I've got to think somewhere along the line it helped us."

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The Wildcats were well aware Washington had lost at Oregon before their game, giving them a chance to move one game ahead of UCLA in the loss column and two in front of the Huskies.

"We saw it," Jones said. "But we couldn't come in to this game worrying about whether Washington won or not. We had to play Arizona basketball whether Washington won or lost. Right now after the game it's a huge win for us because we're what two games ahead of (Washington).

"We're in first place so we're moving on that. Moving on that."

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The weekend sweep of two Pac-10 teams was Arizona's first on the road under Miller and first since the Russ Pennell Wildcats buzzed through Oregon in early February 2009 when they were rattling off a seven-game winning streak in the wake of the Aubrey Coleman face-stomping episode.

No doubt it was a big breakthrough for Miller, whose team not only won twice but did so in both games when they trailed in the second half and hit adversity.

"That's what winning on the road is all about," Miller said. "It's not fracturing, staying together, really trying to do a good job. The beginning of the second half (against Cal) our five starters weren't on the same page, so we took them out and (reserves) did an excellent job. It was just another example that we do count on a lot of players to contribute."

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Some Bay area coverage: Mike Montgomery says the Bears could have shut the "trap door" if they were a little smarter, and Jeff Faraudo of the Oakland Tribune blogged a detailed game breakdown, but Cal players left the came possibly having gained some confidence.

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Our coverage, if you missed any of it: A main game story, a sidebar on Jones and  pre-buzzer notebook on UA's overtime history and seen-and-heard notes.

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Lorenzo Romar, meanwhile, says the Huskies have the ability to come back and the history to prove they can do it.

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WSU beat Oregon State and ASU lost its ninth straight Pac-10 game.

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Finally, here's the official play-by-play and boxscore from UA's triple overtime win.

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