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BERKELEY, Calif. – With fans rushing the floor and surrounding him in a sea of gold, California coach Mike Montgomery kept screaming and yelling at them to get back.
One of the biggest wins in school history would have to wait — about a second, anyway.
Justin Cobbs hit a step-back jumper with 0.9 seconds left, then security had to push fans away following a timeout before Cal held on to stun No. 1 Arizona 60-58 on Saturday night, handing the Wildcats their first loss of the season.
"Honestly, I was getting claustrophobic," Cobbs said, laughing. "I couldn't breathe."
Cobbs, who scored Cal's final 12 points, dribbled to his left and beat Nick Johnson before pulling up in front of an oncoming defender to sink the winning shot that sent the raucous, gold-shirt wearing crowd at Haas Pavilion spilling onto the court.
Not realizing a timeout had been called, fans frantically ran onto the floor. Montgomery and others cleared the court before Gabe York's full-court pass was knocked down to give the Bears (15-7, 6-3 Pac-12) their first victory over a No. 1 opponent since Jan. 30, 1994, when they beat UCLA 85-70 at the Oakland Coliseum.
"I think it's just good for Cal, and I think it's good for the university and the students to come out and have that kind of excitement," Montgomery said. "I think one of the things you're trying to generate is them enjoying the game, enjoying the experience, and I think there was some of that tonight."
Arizona (21-1, 8-1), which had won a school-record 21 straight games after edging Stanford 60-57 on Wednesday night, was one of three unbeaten teams left in Division I. Now only second-ranked Syracuse (21-0), which outlasted No. 17 Duke 91-89 in overtime Saturday, and No. 4 Wichita State (23-0) remain.
Even worse for the Wildcats, coach Sean Miller said starting forward Brandon Ashley appeared to have broken his right foot going for a rebound in the opening minutes. He was scheduled to have an X-ray when the team gets back to Tucson, Ariz., Miller said.
Cobbs finished with 19 points and seven assists, David Kravish had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Richard Solomon scored 12 points to propel Cal. The Bears improved to 3-24 against teams ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll, and they had never beaten a top-ranked team in Berkeley.
"It's good just getting that much love from the students," Solomon said.
Kaleb Tarczewski scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed six rebounds, and T.J. McConnell had 13 points for the Wildcats, who shot just 32.3 percent from the floor. Cal, which shot 44.6 percent, held Johnson — Arizona's star guard — to four points on 1-of-14 shooting.
"Because we've been in this situation so many times, we're really comfortable. We weren't worried at all. We were ramped up," Tarczewski said. "Cobbs made a really, really tough shot."
The game attracted quite an audience, too.
There were 21 scouts from 14 different NBA teams in attendance. Former Wildcats coach Lute Olson sat in the stands behind Arizona's bench, and Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin — a former Cal baseball player — also supported his Bears.
"No. 1 brings out everybody," Montgomery said.
The Wildcats rallied from nine points down in the first half and eight in the second to set up a furious finish.
Arizona took the lead twice in the final minutes, and twice Cobbs came back with a tying score — first on a runner in the lane and then on a pair of free throws.
On the final sequence, Johnson missed a short jumper in the lane and Cal corralled the rebound. Cobbs let the clock tick down, then beat Johnson for a shot that will long be remembered in Berkeley.
"I looked at it, I was watching it go in and I thought it was going to be a little short and I was just trying to be in a position to tip it in," Solomon said. "But it kept going and I watched it go through the net and I thought, wow, that was pretty."
Fans had to be pushed back off the court in a weird and wild scene, with the public address announcer screaming for them to get back. The Bears soon gave them reason to come back and celebrate — just as they had from the start.
Solomon made his first six shots, including a short jumper that put the Bears ahead 28-19 with 5:18 remaining in the first half. Arizona answered by converting steals into easy baskets, closing the half on a 10-2 run to cut Cal's lead to 30-29.
It was the seventh time Arizona had trailed at halftime this season.
Both teams had to overcome adversity after the break. Johnson seemed to be bothered by an injury to his left hand — repeatedly shaking his wrist after shots and grimacing — and Solomon was stuck in foul trouble.
In the end, Cal just made one more play than Arizona.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP