Kim English led six Tigers into double figures with 19 points, as No. 21 Missouri buried 20th-ranked California, 92-53, in the championship game of the CBE Classic.
Implementing a halfcourt pressure defense instead of the fullcourt trapping frenzy under new head coach Frank Haith, Missouri (5-0) held California (4-1) star guard Jorge Gutierrez to 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting before he fouled out near the midway point of the second half. The Golden Bears made just 30 percent of their shots and 22 percent from long distance.
Marcus Denmon added 18 points and six rebounds, Matt Pressey donated 13 points, Michael Dixon registered 11 and Ricardo Ratliffe joined Steve Moore in double figures with 10 points apiece. Moore scored all of his career-best point total in the first half.
California held a 7-6 lead before it all came unraveled in a hurry. Two straight turnovers resulted in Missouri layups, and two free throws from Dixon opened a 17-9 game.
David Kravish’s tip cut the deficit to 20-16, but Missouri rattled off 11 straight points to open a 15-point margin. Dixon’s trey and two Denmon free throws capped the surge. Moore’s first half showcase was capped by a three- point play with just over 1 1/2 minutes left for a 43-24 game. The Tigers held that 19-point lead, 45-26, after 20 minutes.
The Tigers rattled off 13 more in a row early in the second half, turning a comfortable margin into an all-out laugher. A tip-in by English and Pressey’s jumper made the score 63-32, capping a 30-12 scoring stretch spanning from the first half.
English’s trey with just under 3 1/2 minutes to go made the score 82-49, and even the Missouri reserves piled it on in the final three-plus minutes to finish off the rout.