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Basketball: Post-mortem on Mizzou defeat

By Jeff Faraudo
Sunday, December 7th, 2008 at 9:00 pm in Basketball, post game.

Jerome Randle didn’t mince words.

“They outplayed us, they outhustled us, outrebounded us. They beat us in every aspect of the game,” the junior point guard said.

That was a blunt but fairly accurate representation of Missouri’s 93-66 demolition of the Golden Bears on Sunday at Mizzou Arena.

The Bears (6-2) coughed up 20 turnovers, allowed 20 offensive rebounds, and never led.

Coach Mike Montgomery was impressed by the Tigers (7-1), but suggested they weren’t Cal’s only problem on Sunday.

“They really were ready to play. They were faster, longer, more aggressive than anything we’ve seen thus far, and we didn’t handle it very well,” he said. “We couldn’t transition back, we couldn’t rebound and they shot the ball very well.

“I think the pressure mainly was ourselves, self-inflicted damage we did to ourselves . . . They really got us back on our heels, which is exactly what he wants to do with his pressure, and we fell complete prey to it. Some of the things we’ve been concerned about, there they were.”

The Bears showed a lack of consistent aggressiveness, allowing Missouri to take the game at them. And their inability to give Randle ballhandling help at the point also was glaring.

Monty conceded it simply was a difficult matchup that made it awkward to keep 7-footer Jordan Wilkes on the court.

“Their style, I think is probably, if I were to pick something that I would prefer not to play, that would be it,” he said. “Full-court pressure, athletic across the board, no real post player.”

Cal, down by as many as 24 points midway through the first half, sliced the gap to 11 points by the break and trailed by only 10 a minute into the second half. There seemed, very briefly, a chance for a comeback by the Bears.

Mizzou’s response: Not a chance.

“It got to the point where we could make a play or two and make it interesting, put a little pressure on them,” Montgomery said. “Never did it. They came back second half, same thing: run-outs, tip-ins, finishing at the basket. It was back to 18, so there was never any threat.

“I would say as a general rule, they were quicker than we were across the board, to the ball, on the boards, to the basket, in every phase.”

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