LOS ANGELES -- Cal didn't go quietly Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.
And neither did Allen Crabbe.
But UCLA got the last word, escaping its home floor with an 86-84 victory after squandering a 14-point lead in the final four minutes.
Crabbe, held in check all night by UCLA's Malcolm Lee, scored 13 of his 17 points in the final 3:20 after Lee fouled out. The freshman's 3-pointer with 10.8 seconds left tied the game for the first time since 6-6.
But Modesto native Reeves Nelson made a flying tip-in of a missed shot by Tyler Honeycutt with 2.2 seconds left, and the Bruins (12-6, 4-2 Pac-10) survived.
"We battled. We gave ourselves a chance," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "It's really unfortunate that a lapse on a block-off at the end cost us."
Cal (9-9, 2-4) scored 23 points in the final 3:20, but UCLA point guard Lazeric Jones converted 8 of 10 free throws during the same stretch.
Three UCLA turnovers helped fuel Cal's comeback, and Crabbe was in the middle of everything, scoring nine of the Bears' final 11 points and feeding former high school teammate Richard Solomon for a dunk.
Crabbe made all four shots he took in the final 3:20, along with four free throws.
"He doesn't give up, he doesn't get down on himself, he stays positive," said teammate Harper Kamp, who led the Bears with 21 points. "He was money at the end."
"It's a learning experience for me," Crabbe said. "I just said I've got
Crabbe, from Price High-Los Angeles, made the Bears' only 3-pointer of the night off a pass from Jorge Gutierrez with 10.8 seconds left, igniting a wild celebration from his friends and family at the game.
Crabbe, who averaged 20 points in Cal's previous four games, managed only four shot attempts against tight defense by Lee over the game's first 36 minutes.
"Coming back to L.A., first game as a freshman, maybe he was a little bit nervous," Montgomery said. At the end, however, "he knew that somebody had to get to the basket."
The Bruins got one more chance, and Nelson, the sophomore forward from Modesto Christian High, cashed it in.
Honeycutt missed a tough 15-foot fallaway, and Nelson scored the last of his 24 points with a spectacular tip-in.
"What a great play by Reeves, to not quit, not give up," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "I can't wait to see it again on tape."
The Bears played a zone defense much of the night, hoping to neutralize 6-foot-10, 305-pound freshman center Joshua Smith and limit their own foul trouble and fatigue. Smith was barely a factor, scoring four points in six minutes before hitting the floor hard after a collision with Cal's Markhuri Sanders-Frison. Smith complained of a sore neck and did not play in the second half.
It hardly mattered as the Bruins -- one of the least prolific 3-point shooting teams in the Pac-10 -- went 10 for 24 from deep. They were 8 for 34 over three previous games. Honeycutt made four, including one with 4:05 left that gave UCLA a 73-59 lead.
But Lee fouled out with 3:20 left and when Crabbe made two free throws a furious comeback was under way.
"The biggest thing we need to take away is we need to fight like we're down the entire game," Kamp said. "We have to learn how to play with that type of energy for 40 minutes."
Cal (9-9, 2-4 Pac-10) at USC (11-8, 3-3), 8 p.m., CSN-Plus
Stanford's losing streak at USC reaches six years. Page 3