However, gold turned into lead Thursday night as Kyle Fogg scored a game-high 23 points and Arizona downed Cal, 78-74, ending its 17-game home winning streak.
Fogg was everywhere in the final minutes, breaking a 72-all deadlock with his three-pointer with 1:23 to play. After two Jorge Gutierrez free throws was offset by Jesse Perry's short jumper, the senior guard blocked Allen Crabbe's attempt to tie the game with 26 seconds to go.
But freshman guard Josiah Turner missed the front end of a one and one, giving Cal (17-6, 7-3 Pac-12) one more chance, trailing 77-74. Justin Cobbs attempted a driving lay up and was blocked from behind by Nick Johnson.
Perry then knocked down one of two free throws to put the game away.
"We just couldn't make plays down the stretch," Cal head coach Mike Montgomery said. "We had it. We had four stops. The game was tied or we were close and we couldn't make a play down the stretch."
It all traced back to the end of the first half, as Arizona (15-8, 6-4 Pac-12) closed with a ferocious 36-12 run in the final 10:43, hitting 14 of 17 shots in that span with Fogg hitting all three of his attempts from behind the arc.
"Fogg was really good," Montgomery said. "We knew he was a catch and shoot guy. I don't think we did a very good job of getting back to him."
Cal found itself trailing by 11 at the break after initially opening up a 22-9 advantage.
"That kind of effort is a losing effort when you give up a lead like that," Kamp said. "I know teams make runs, but that kind of effort, it's just not acceptable. That's what ultimately lost the game for us."
Montgomery said Arizona got more physical, which was compounded by officiating that resulted in 29 free throw attempts for the Wildcats, compared to 16 for Cal.
"They were letting us play a lot, a lot of pushing and shoving," said Kamp, who finished with a team-high 22 points and nine rebounds. "It's one of those games where you have to adjust. You can't complain about the way things are going."
With Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott in attendance, the crowd of 9,690 booed the referees mercilessly going into the locker room.
Their anger was not assuaged when no fouls were called after Arizona assistant coach Joe Pasternack became tangled up with Gutierrez as the senior guard dove out of bounds deflecting a ball.
"He felt that Coach P said something and maybe extended his leg, tried to kick him," Kamp said.
"In his opinion, one of the coaches on the other team did something he shouldn't," Montgomery said.
A livid Gutierrez had to be separated from Pasternack, a Cal assistant from 2001-07, by players and Arizona head coach Sean Miller.
Gutierrez, finished with 18 points, did not speak to the media.
The loss dropped Cal into a tie for second place in the conference with Oregon and Colorado.