Coach Mike Montgomery and his players were — bottom line — disappointed that a great game and a great opportunity wound up in the loss column.
“When you get late in the game,” Monty said, “you only have so many chances to win.”
Much more on that in my Sunday morning game story, which you can read if you’ve had enough of 47 hours of Super Bowl pregame. In the meantime, a few notes worth passing on related to Arizona’s 107-105 triple-overtime victory:
— Montgomery called Harper Kamp’s 55-minute, 33-point, 10-rebound performance “unbelievable,” although Kamp lamented mistakes he made that cost his team. The junior forward became the 33rd Cal player to score 30 points in a game. Kamp is averaging 17.3 ppg in Pac-10 games.
— Allen Crabbe, who scored 27 points, is scoring at a 16.6 clip in the conference and seems well on his way to becoming Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.
— Yes, Jorge Gutierrez commits emotional fouls and he hurt his team in this one when he fouled out in the first OT, but the junior guard is a game-changer. He scored a career-high 25 points, making the first eight of his nine shots, and seven of eight FTs. Six turnovers, but also four assists, two blocks, two steals. Past four games: 76 points, 18 rebounds and 26 assists.
— Brandon Smith shot just 2 for 10 (including a critical miss on an open layup inside the final minute of the 3rd OT with Cal trailing 104-103). He also flirted with a triple-double: 9 points, 8 rebounds, a career-high 11 assists. It was his eighth game with at least five assists.
— Amazingly, Arizona star sophomore Derrick Williams became almost a footnote to the game. A month after shooting 22 FTs and scoring 31 points vs. Cal, he got to the line for just four FTAs and scored 12 points, equaling his low total in a Pac-10 game, before fouling out late in the second half. Montgomery, however, said his team “exaggerated” its defensive concern for Williams at the expense of leaving open too many 3-point shooters.
— The Wildcats were 14 for 34 from the 3-point line: 41.2 percent. They lead the Pac-10 at 40.8 percent, so they weren’t markedly more efficient against the Bears, just more prolific.
— Good: Bears shot 42 free throws. Not good enough: They missed 12, five of them in the overtime periods.
— The game was the longest Cal has played in Berkeley since their famous 107-102 five-overtime defeat of Oregon on Feb. 10, 1977. Gene Ransom played 63 1/2 minutes in that one.
— Cal scored more points in a conference game than it has since a 107-103 double-overtime win over Oregon on Feb. 9, 2002. Amit Tamir scored 39 that night. Just the fifth 100-point game in conference play dating back to 1972.
— Recurring theme: Cal’s bench was outscored 52-3 by its Arizona counterparts. The two-game weekend scorecard: Opponents reserves 65, Cal reserves 7.
— In the second half gainst the Wildcats, Montgomery didn’t even substitute until taking Markhuri Sanders-Frison out with his fourth foul at 4:36.
— Seven Pac-10 games to play, including four on the road, starting Thursday at Washington. Over the past 10 games, Cal has lost four times: by 2 points twice to Arizona, by 2 points to UCLA, by 21 to UW. And the Huskies are unbeaten in Seattle, so things get tougher.