Shove from coach fires up Allen Crabbe, leads Cal to hoops victory
Berkeley, CA, United States (4E Sports) – A shove from coach Mike Montgomery fired up Allen Crabbe as he scored 14 of his 23 points to lead Cal to a 76-68 comeback victory over USC Sunday at Haas Pavilion.
The incident happened during a timeout with 16:31 remaining in the second half with the Bears behind by 12, 44-32.
“Worked, didn’t it?” Montgomery said after his team improved to 16-9 overall. “I asked him if he wanted to play. He had no expression. ‘Woe is me.’ … We were standing around. Nobody was ready to play.”
A surprised Crabbe walked off the court to cool down before he re-entered the game at the 16:19 mark.
“Coach used his way to motivate me,” Crabbe said. “There’s nothing wrong with it; spur of the moment. He was trying to motivate me. Everything is fine. He’s my coach.”
Crabbe said the shove indeed served its purpose as it inspired him to play better and lead his team to victory.
“Yeah, obviously. I think it woke me up. My teammates kept me up. They told me to keep my head in the game,” Crabbe said.
The game turned in the final 6:15, when USC’s lead stood at 61-51 after a three-point shot by Byron Wesley, who had 16 points.
The Trojans were ahead by 61-51 with 6:15 left when Cal launched an 11-0 run behind a free throw and layup by Brandon Smith, a three-pointer by Crabbe, two free throws by David Kravish and a trey by Cobbs to take a one-point lead.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Crabbe gave Cal a 68-64 margin and was not seriously challenged the rest of the way.
During a timeout, Montgomery sought out Crabbe and put his hand around his waist and offered words of conciliation for his earlier shove.
“Allen’s my guy,” Montgomery said. “If Justin hadn’t grabbed him and carried him off the court, it wouldn’t have been a deal. He was fine”.