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."
- Pete Elliot passed away at the age of 86. He took over the program after Pappy Waldorf's final year in 1956 and led the Bears to the 1959 Rose Bowl.
- The seventh-ranked Bears won their Pac-12 opener against Utah.
- Coach Gottlieb breaks down the win and discusses the Bears' tough January schedule during the post-game press conference.
- Faraudo's live thread follows along as the men's team held a close lead for most of the game en route to a 70-62 victory.
- The bench made some solid contributions during the game.
- Scout has some highlights from the game.
- Post-game comments: