Washington out played California most of the night but they fell in overtime after letting Cal back into the game after leading by as much as 10 in the first and second half of the game.
Patrick Christopher scored a career-high 27 points and had 11 rebounds, including the clinchers in the third overtime, and surprising California rallied in the second half and in each extra period to beat Washington 88-85 on Saturday in a wild fight atop the Pac-10 Conference.
Jerome Randle scored 23 points for Cal before fouling out in the second overtime. Then Theo Robertson gave the Bears (15-2, 4-0 Pac-10) their first lead since 1-0 with a 3-point play that made it 86-85 with 15 seconds remaining.
Cal won its ninth straight and is off to its best start since the 1959-60 Bears went 28-2 and lost in the championship game of the NCAA tournament to Ohio State.
Justin Denton scored 24 points. 15 in the last two overtimes and Isaiah Thomas added 22 for Washington (11-4, 2-1), which saw its nine-game winning streak end. John Brockman had 16 points and a career high-tying 18 rebounds for the Huskies.
This was a sloppy loss for UW who was in the position to put this one away many times during regulation. Cal coach Mike Montgomery seldom got off the bench during the game possessing a great take of the game knowing his kids would come back if they stayed close and patient. Mark this one down as another great victory for the master.
Montgomery out coached Romar at the end last night for this victory. Perhaps the NBA experience was the factor. He let UW fall in to traps where they went for the jugular vein and missed. UW on the other hand comes away with serious lesson in this one.
Even though Washington lost tonight I feel they will finish the season well enough to do some damage in March if they start hitting some free throws and play with a little more patience.