BERKELEY -- Gabe York dribbled off his foot, then drove to the basket and missed a contested shot in the waning seconds, and California held on behind Jordan Mathews to beat No. 12 Arizona 74-73 on Saturday night.
Mathews converted an off-balance layin under pressure with 1:13 to play and finished with a season-best 28 points.
Cal (14-6, 4-3 Pac-12) improved to 13-0 at Haas Pavilion, where students in the sellout crowd of 11,858 rushed the court after the final buzzer.
York's 3-pointer with 54.6 seconds left pulled Arizona (16-4, 4-3) within two. Kadeem Allen's layup the next time down tied it at 73 with 39.3 seconds to play.
Jaylen Brown made the second of two free throws with 18.4 seconds left for Cal to give Arizona one last chance to win it. But the Wildcats failed to earn Sean Miller his 300th career victory in his first try.
Mathews knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers from nearly the same baseline spot early in the second half as Cal built a 51-42 lead.
Mathews had six 3s to move into fifth on the school's career list with 168.
The first sellout of the season made for a rocking atmosphere in a matchup of two teams expected to challenge for a conference title. The first 11,000 received gold T-shirts for Cal's "Gold Out Game."
Brown finished with 15 points after a slow start. He had seven assists and two powerful blocks.
York finished with 15 points and six rebounds. Ryan Anderson had 14 points and nine boards for the Wildcats.
Cal snapped a four-game losing streak to Arizona, including three last season. This was the Golden Bears' first victory in the series since shocking No. 1 Arizona on Feb. 1, 2014, in Berkeley.
The Golden Bears won in their second game without senior leading scorer Tyrone Wallace, who broke a bone in his right hand last weekend and will be sidelined for up to six weeks.
Arizona: Broadcaster Dave Pasch was going to try to get straight from Berkeley through the blizzard to North Carolina to call the Cardinals' NFC championship game Sunday against the Panthers.
California: C Kingsley Okoroh picked up his fourth foul 13 seconds into the second half. ... Cal had already topped its home win total from last season of 11-7 and is chasing its best finish on Pete Newell Court since going 17-1 in 2001-02 and 2011-12.
Arizona: Host Oregon on Thursday.
California: At Utah on Wednesday.