Missouri men’s basketball defeated by Tennessee 90-70

With the loss, Missouri’s losing streak in true road games was extended to 33.

Jordan Barnett in a game last season.

One thing about Missouri men’s basketball is certain: When the team hits the road, futility abounds.

Saturday afternoon’s contest was another chapter in what has now become a three-year story of failure for the Tigers, as Missouri lost its 33rd straight road game to the University of Tennessee Volunteers 90-70.

The loss in Knoxville, Tennessee, means the Tigers have just two more chances the rest of the year to pick up a road win: one on Feb. 25 against the Ole Miss Rebels and another on March 4 against the Auburn Tigers.

The Vols took advantage of an early five-minute Missouri scoring drought to jump out to a 16-3 lead at the 12:06 mark in the first half. Mizzou’s scoreless run put the Vols firmly in control of the game, as Tennessee held a double-digit cushion for all but 16 seconds of the rest of the game.

Head coach Kim Anderson said his team did not start the game well and put themselves on their heels for the rest of the game.

“I just didn’t feel like we answered the bell early,” Anderson said.

Despite the inability to get anything going offensively in the first 15 minutes of the first half, the Tigers briefly found another gear and went on an 11-0 run to get the game within eight points with 2:20 remaining in the half. However, an 8-2 run for the Vols to end the half, followed by Missouri’s inability to score with consistency to begin the second half, all but sealed the game for Tennessee.

Anderson said he felt his team could’ve made a run after getting the game within eight, but that they just weren’t able to muster up the energy to do so.

“Tennessee was operating pretty efficiently, but I felt like if we matched their level of intensity as the [first] half went on, we could get back in the game,” he said. “We were in the game at the half, but we didn’t come out in the second half [well].”

Missouri was outplayed in every statistical category on Saturday. In what has been a theme of many of their road games this season, the team failed to win the physical battle and was outrebounded by the Vols 38-30. Additionally, the Tigers had 27 personal fouls and two technicals on the day, which the Vols turned into 28 points from the free-throw line. Tennessee had eight more assists than the Tigers and outshot them as well.

Up next for Missouri is Tuesday’s long-awaited matchup against No. 13 Kentucky at Mizzou Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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