BERKELEY, Calif. — California coach Mike Montgomery had a few choice words for his team during a timeout early in the second half. Montgomery wouldn’t reveal what was said, though backup center Robert Thurman gave a pretty good summation.
“He just let us have it,” Thurman said. “Just to put it in a nutshell, he told us to get our act together.”
The Golden Bears did just that — and gave their coach another milestone victory along the way.
Richard Solomon’s dunk with 17.6 seconds remaining capped a big run over the final 8 minutes, and California rallied from 12 points down in the second half to beat Oregon State 71-68 on Thursday night.
Allen Crabbe had 15 points and eight rebounds, while Justin Cobbs added 14 points and matched his season high of seven assists, to help Montgomery to his 100th career victory in five seasons with the Bears and 647th overall.
“I’m not sure what a momentous occasion it is, to be honest with you,” Montgomery deadpanned. “It was a win ... but I thought Oregon State played very well in many respects and deserved to win. It’s a kind of win you have to hope you get when you don’t play your best.”
The Bears (12-8, 4-4 Pac-12) set a season high with nine 3-pointers but sputtered on offense most of the night.
They turned it around after Montgomery’s pep talk, after Roberto Nelson’s three-point play with 15:49 remaining in the second half had given Oregon State (11-10, 1-7) a 52-40 lead.