LOS ANGELES -- Allen Crabbe scored 27 points in Cal's 72-64 win over USC on Saturday night, but that wasn't the difference, according to Trojans coach Kevin O'Neill.
"He's obviously a great player. He gets his (points), and that's OK," O'Neill said of Crabbe. "We did a bad job on a couple other guys."
No Cal player was more clutch down the stretch than freshman guard Tyrone Wallace, whose two 3-point baskets in the final 4:31 helped the Bears (9-5, 1-1 Pac-12) escape Los Angeles with a split on the opening weekend of the conference schedule.
"I've been struggling from 3 -- everybody knows that," said Wallace, who was converting just 21 percent through Cal's first 13 games. "I just knew if it came to me and I had a good look, I was supposed to shoot the ball. It felt good to have one finally go in."
The second of his 3-pointers, with 1:15 left, pushed Cal into a 66-58 lead.
Crabbe was proud of Wallace for having the confidence to take shots with the game on the line.
"They were definitely big. I was telling him he's the next Shabazz Muhammad," Crabbe said, referring to UCLA's star freshman. "Tyrone just shot it with confidence."
"It was a good win," said Cal coach Mike Montgomery, whose team had won just three times in eight games after a 6-0 start. "For us, we needed this badly."
Wallace wasn't the Bears' only unexpected contributor. Two nights after Cal's bench players totaled just four points in a loss at UCLA, they produced 10 points and 10 rebounds by halftime.
Their production was significant for the Bears, who once more were without guards Brandon Smith (concussion) and Ricky Kreklow (foot). Montgomery said he expects Smith back soon -- perhaps in time for Wednesday's home game against Washington -- but isn't sure about Kreklow's prospects.
Jeff Powers came off the bench to deliver a pair of 3-pointers. The first, with 7:58 left in the first half, ended an 0-for-22 drought from beyond the arc by the Bears, spanning 98 minutes, 5 seconds and dating to the Dec. 22 game against Prairie View A&M.
His next one came with 46 seconds left in the half off an assist from reserve Bak Bak, just the fourth assist in four years for the senior forward.
"I'm really proud of Jeff Powers," Montgomery said. "He actually said he was a little bit nervous before the game. He went in and knocked down a 3 and had a big smile on his face."
Powers, a junior walk-on from De La Salle High-Concord, had totaled just nine points in nine previous games this season. Bak, who had played just 26 minutes all season before Saturday, added two points and a steal.
Sixth man Robert Thurman grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
"That's what you have to have," Montgomery said of the boost the reserves gave his team. "Maybe that's on me. Maybe I've just got to trust guys off the bench a little more."
Crabbe scored nine straight points in a span of 1:52 midway through the second half to help Cal extend a 32-29 halftime lead. He finished 9 for 12 from the field and made all of eight of his free throws.
Wallace and point guard Justin Cobbs each contributed 10 points, with Cobbs hitting four late free throws. Cal missed its first four shots from the foul line, then made 21 of its remaining 22 attempts.
USC (6-9, 1-1) stayed close most of the night but led for just 35 seconds after the opening six minutes of the game. Eric Wise led the Trojans with 14 points.