By: Zach Gee, KCOU Sports
Coming off a 49-point loss to Kentucky, the Missouri Tigers were looking for a bounce back win. The Tennessee Volunteers, however, were looking to continue their win streak after upsetting Arkansas four days earlier. Both teams played a physical game with 30 fouls combined, but Tennessee left Mizzou Arena with a 59-51 victory.
The game started with sloppy play from both teams as turnovers and inefficient offense hindered the scoring. Neither team had an extended lead in the first half. The post game was not working for the Tigers because of Tennessee’s zone defense and the off-shooting night the Tigers collectively had. The Vols lead Mizzou 26-24 at halftime and outrebounded the Tigers 14-11.
After halftime both teams found offensive rhythm with Tennessee’s Armani Moore scoring eight points to bring the Vols’ lead to 37-29. The next five minutes of the game was marred by similar play from the first half of turnovers and ineffective offense. The Tigers began slowly chipping away at the lead and after back to back to back threes from the Tiger’s Keith Shamburger, Tramaine Isabell, and Wes Clark the score was 44-43 in favor of the Vols.
Isabell didn’t come off the bench in the first half, but lead the Tiger’s offensive charge in the second half with two 3-point shots. Clark struggled going 1 for 10 before hitting a three pointer.
The crowd began to liven up with the deficit being trimmed by the Tiger’s offensive play, but were silenced by Robert Hubbs III dunk. Tennessee finished the game on a 13-5 run pressing the Tiger’s offense for the final minute.
The Vols were led by Moore’s 15 points and 11 rebounds. Namon Wright led the Tigers with 13 points and Jonathan Williams III and Shamburger both had six rebounds.
After the loss, coach Kim Anderson highlighted the team’s small margin for error and the good showing the team had coming off a tough Kentucky loss. On the topic of the three possessions at the end of the game, Wright said, “I don’t know exactly what happened but we weren’t executing down the stretch and that is why we had those bad turnovers.”
Missouri moves to 7-10 (1-3) on the season and plays Texas A&M this Wednesday in College Station. Tennessee improves to 11-5 (3-1) and plays South Carolina this Tuesday in Columbia, SC.