Tennessee held Missouri without a field goal the final 6 minutes, 43 seconds of the game, but that wasn’t good enough to top the Tigers on Wednesday night.
Missouri beat No. 21-ranked Tennessee 59-55, snapping the Vols’ 3-game win streak before a sellout crowd of 15,061 at Mizzou Arena.
Tennessee (12-5, 3-3 SEC) trailed by 10 points with 6:43 left, 53-43, but a Kyle Alexander dunk capped a 9-0 run and pulled the Vols within one point with 2:08 remaining.
Tennessee had the ball with a chance to take the lead with 49 seconds left, but Grant Williams turned the ball over, anticipating Alexander would cut to the basket and throwing it to a Missouri defender instead.
Some 35 seconds later, Missouri’s Jordan Geist hit a pair of free throws to extend the Tigers’ lead to 57-54 with 14 seconds left, and Tennessee failed to get off a shot before James Daniel was fouled with 4 seconds left.
Daniel missed his first free throw before making the second to make it 57-55, and then Kevin Puryear iced it for the Tigers (13-5, 3-2) with a pair of free throws.
Williams led the Vols with 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting and five rebounds, but he also had four turnovers.
The Tigers won despite missing their first 10 shots from beyond the 3-point arc after entering the night leading the SEC in 3-point field goal percentage and tied for the most 3-point basket makes.
Coach Rick Barnes said earlier this week he needed more consistency from his guards, and he did not get it. Jordan Bone was 0-for-6 shooting, Lamonte Turner was 1-of-6, James Daniel was 2-of-4 and wing Jordan Bowden was 1-of-7 shooting.
Admiral’s tough night
The Vols were outscored by an astounding 15 points the 32 minutes Admiral Schofield was on the floor. The junior scored 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting and had five rebounds and two steals.
Pivotal Missouri run
The Tigers went on a 9-0 run midway through the game to take its first lead of the night, scoring the final bucket of the first half and opening the second half on a 7-0 run to go up 34-27. Tennessee went more than 7 minutes (7:08) between its final field goal of the first half and first field goal of the second half.
Tennessee didn’t trail in the first half and led by as many as eight points on a Lamarcus Turner 3-pointer that made it 17-9 at the 12:17 mark. The Vols had six steals in the first half, and outscored the Tigers on second chance points 11-2 despite having only a 16-15 rebounding edge.