Mizzou falls to Tennessee in second straight rout

Diamond DeShields, the second leading scorer in the SEC, dropped 22 points in the win.
After a controversial foul called on Missouri freshman Cierra Porter, Coach Robin Pingeton aggressively addresses the referee while the ref reports Porter's number for the foul.

Coming off a 70-53 blowout to Mississippi State, which killed Missouri women’s basketball’s five-game winning streak, the Tigers dropped a second consecutive Southeastern Conference game against No. 24 Tennessee on Thursday. Missouri fell to the Volunteers 77-66, its second straight loss by double digits.

The Tigers entered the game 0-3 in Knoxville against the Volunteers since joining the SEC, and Vols guard Diamond DeShields made sure that streak would continue. Tennessee’s leading scorer had 22 points, six rebounds and three assists. Junior Jaime Nared added 18 points and five boards.

Mizzou sophomore Cierra Porter earned her 10th double-double of the year, chipping in 19 points and 10 boards. Senior Sierra Michaelis and sophomore Sophie Cunningham contributed 17 and 16 points, respectively.

In the first quarter, Tennessee dug in defensively and held Mizzou to 38.5 percent shooting and contained Cunningham to 1-of-6 shooting with only two points. The Volunteers cruised to a 14-11 lead behind redshirt junior Mercedes Russell’s six points.

In the second quarter, the Tigers used a 12-0 run to jump ahead of Tennessee 23-17 with 5:17 left. Over that stretch, Porter, Michaelis and senior Lianna Doty each had four points. From there, the Tigers rode into halftime up 35-30, led by Porter’s 15 points and seven rebounds in the first half. Heading into this game, the Tigers were 13-2 on the year when leading at half.

But the Vols started the second half with a 7-2 run, and they took a 39-37 lead with 6:20 left in the third quarter. Mizzou responded with a 3-pointer from Cunningham and a Michaelis layup.

From this point, there were three lead changes in the quarter until Michaelis nailed a 3-pointer in Mizzou’s final possession to even the score with 12 seconds left.

Heading into the fourth, Missouri and Tennessee were knotted at 54. Vols senior Jordan Reynolds broke the tie with a three to open the quarter. She went on a 5-0 run to start the fourth. From that point, Tennessee never looked back. After a 3-pointer from DeShields with 4:51 left, Mizzou was down by 68-58 and the game was iced.

Mizzou takes on Arkansas on Feb. 12 at Mizzou Arena.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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