Missouri loses to Tennessee 72-60

Javon Pickett and Jordan Geist led Missouri scoring, while Xavier Pinson grabbed five defensive rebounds in the loss.
Designed by Corey Hadfield

Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield stole the ball from Missouri off of a bad pass from redshirt sophomore Mitchell Smith just under four minutes into the second half.

The Volunteers were on a 7-point run when redshirt junior Lamonte Turner finished a layup off of Schofield’s steal to extend Tennessee’s lead to 13 points.

At the time, it was Tennessee’s largest lead of the game, having only been ahead by 12-points at most in the first frame.

About a minute and a half later, the Volunteers added another jumper to extend their lead to 15.

Missouri (11-10, 2-7) fell 72-60 against No. 1 Tennessee (21-1, 9-0) at Thompson Boling Arena on Tuesday night. The win kept the Volunteers undefeated in conference and extended it’s win streak to 17 games. With the win, Tennessee also took the lead in its all-time series with Missouri, moving ahead to 8-7.

Although the Tigers managed to keep themselves within points of the Volunteers for nine minutes at the start of the game, Tennessee’s multiple scoring runs went unanswered by Missouri and ultimately led to the Tigers’ downfall.

The Volunteers went on a 20-4 scoring run midway through the first half to take a 12-point lead at the 5:13 mark. Senior Kyle Alexander highlighted the drive with a block to keep Missouri from scoring at 8:14 to go. Tennessee had six total blocks in the half.

Missouri managed to cut the 12-point deficit in half by the time the clock expired, going on a 7-0 scoring run to bring things to 37-31. The drive was led by senior guard Jordan Geist, who hit two 3s. He finished the game with 11 points, his 15th double-digit performance in 17 games.

Freshman guard Javon Pickett led both teams in scoring at the half with 10 points. He only added 2 more in the second frame, but still led Missouri. He was just 1 point behind leading game scorers Grant Williams and Schofield, who both had 13-point performances. Williams was the 2018 SEC Player of the Year.

Missouri’s numbers looked better at the half, shooting 33.3 percent from the 3-point arc to Tennessee’s 28.6 percent. Missouri leads the SEC in that category, shooting 37.6 percent this season. The Tigers, notorious for turnover trouble this season, had only five in the first half. Tennessee, on the other hand, who has averaged 11.5 turnovers per game, had seven in the first half. However, the Volunteers nabbed their turnover trouble in the bud, only adding one in the second half. Missouri finished with nine.

Defensively, freshman Xavier Pinson had five rebounds for the Tigers. Senior Kevin Puryear came in just behind him with four, and the team as a whole logged 22 defensive rebounds. Tennessee recorded 28 defensive rebounds.

Sophomore transfer Mark Smith was still inactive on Tuesday night. It was his fourth consecutive game on the bench for Missouri.

Missouri will return home for Saturday’s contest against Texas A&M (8-12, 1-7). The Aggies are No. 13 in the SEC.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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