BERKELEY, Calif. -- Arizona assistant coach Joe Pasternack says he didn't deliberately make contact with California's Jorge Gutierrez after he fell into the Wildcats' bench during Thursday night's game.
Gutierrez yelled at Pasternack, a former Cal assistant, after falling into the bench chasing a loose ball in Arizona's 78-74 win. Replays showed Pasternack making a kicking motion, which Gutierrez believed to be intentional.
Arizona coach Sean Miller and Cal's Mike Montgomery both came to midcourt to speak with Gutierrez after the incident.
Pasternack issued a statement Friday saying his actions were a reflex in response to a player falling on top of him while running at top speed toward the bench.
"I would like to clarify that my actions last night were a reflex in response to a player falling on top of me while running at top speed toward our bench," Pasternack's statement read.
"Prior to my arrival at Arizona and as a former head coach and an assistant coach for eight seasons at the University of California, I have great respect for the Pac-12 Conference, the Cal program and Jorge Gutierrez and the competitiveness he brings to the court. In no way was I deliberately attempting to engage him.
"My hope is that this statement will clear up any misconceptions about the incident and that we can move on in a positive fashion."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.