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Golden Nuggets: Mike Montgomery "I've Got to Trust the Guys off the Bench"

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Monty had to rely heavily on the bench and his players rewarded him for it. It sounds like he may be more comfortable relying on the bench down the stretch.

USA TODAY Sports

With injuries continuing to plague the team, Mike Montgomery was forced to rely on the bench more than usual in the Bears' 70-62 win over USC. Fortunately, the subs rewarded their coach for playing them.

Thus did the Bears salvage a split in their opening Pac-12 Conference games after Thursday's loss at UCLA. Cal is 9-5 overall. USC is 6-9 and 1-1 in conference play.

"For us, we needed this badly at this point in time," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "I thought it was a good team win. That's what you've got to have. Maybe that's on me. I've got to trust the guys off the bench."

Montgomery was referring to the likes of Jeff Powers, who hit both of his three-point shots, forward Bak Bak with two points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal in seven minutes, and 6-foot-10 Robert Thurman, grabbing a career-high eight rebounds against a pair of 7-foot Trojans.

"I'm really proud of Jeff Powers. He was the only guy we had off the bench" on the perimeter, Montgomery said. "He knocked down a couple threes. It was huge. It gives you a chance to get other people involved."


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