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KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Mike Montgomery of the Cal Golden Bears watches from the bench during the Progressive CBE Classic finals against the Missouri Tigers on November 22, 2011 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cal coach Mike Montgomery watched a bit of Missouri's lopsided victory in the CBE Classic semifinals from his hotel room, long before his own team punched a ticket to the finals.

What he saw left him lavishing praise on the Tigers.

That didn't change after the Golden Bears had a chance to step on the court with them.

Kim English had 19 points to lead six Tigers in double figures, and No. 21 Missouri dominated 20th-ranked Cal 92-53 on Tuesday night, winning the tournament in impressive fashion.

"Missouri's good. We knew it was a tough matchup from the get-go, and there's nothing we can do about that," Montgomery said. "It's a tough matchup for a lot of people."

The lows for Cal:

  • The 39-point margin of defeat equals the Bears' fourth-worst in a game since 1937. (Worst ever was 101-50 to Stanford, coached by Montgomery, in 2000.)

  • It was their worst loss in 106 games under Montgomery, exceeding 109-77 loss at UW last year.

  • It was their worst nonconference loss ever.

    Missouri built a 45-26 lead by halftime, and the outcome was never in doubt over the final 20 minutes, with coach Frank Haith pulling his starters with a few minutes left in the game.

    Jorge Gutierrez scored 11 points to lead Cal (4-1) but fouled out with 11:12 remaining. Richard Solomon also fouled out with more than 7 minutes left and finished with nine points.


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    "They play with a lot of intensity, and we felt it," Gutierrez said. "We've never seen it before -- not this year. It was pretty hard for us to get the ball where we wanted it to be."

    The Tigers used relentless man-to-man, half-court pressure to force the guard-oriented Bears into a plethora of early turnovers, and the result was a lot of easy points.

    Marcus Denmon finished with 18 and was the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Matt Pressey had 13 points, and Michael Dixon finished with 11 for the Tigers (5-0), who won the event just a couple hours' drive from their campus in Columbia for the second time in four appearances.

    "The kids are buying in and that's great to see. We understand we have to stay hungry. It's a marathon -- this is coach-speak now -- it's not a sprint," Haith said. "As long as our guys understand the focus, there are things we have to work on, we've got a chance. No doubt about it."

    After a free throw by Allen Crabbe got Cal within 19-14 with just under 10 minutes left in the first half, the Tigers went on a 12-2 spurt in which five different players scored. Phil Pressey's bucket with 7:29 left prompted Montgomery to call timeout, but Dixon added a 3-pointer moments later off a feed from Denmon to keep the run going.

    The Bears committed three straight turnovers at one point during the stretch, and wound up with 14 of them in the first half, which Missouri turned into 15 points.

    Bay Area News Group's Jeff Faraudo contributed to this report.