EditorsNote: changes clock times in eighth and ninth grafs
Junior forward Kevin Puryear recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds to help Missouri post a 59-55 victory over No. 21 Tennessee on Wednesday in Southeastern Conference play at Columbia, Mo.
Freshman forward Jontay Porter added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers (13-5, 3-2). Missouri did not make a field goal in the final 6:43, but four free throws in the final 14.4 seconds helped to seal the win.
The Tigers shot 41.7 percent from the field and improved to 9-1 at home.
Sophomore forward Grant Williams scored 15 points for the Volunteers (12-5, 3-3). Junior forward Kyle Alexander had 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting, and junior forward Admiral Schofield added 11 points for Tennessee, which shot 38.9 percent from the floor.
Junior guard Jordan Geist made two free throws with 14.4 seconds left to give the Tigers a 57-54 lead. Tennessee senior guard James Daniel III split two free throws with 4.4 seconds left to make it a two-point game before Puryear knocked down two free throws to seal it.
“I like it ugly,” Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin said in a postgame interview on the SEC Network. “I thought we did enough to win the game.”
Missouri scored the first seven points of the second half — five from senior forward Jordan Barnett — to open up a 34-27 lead. The Volunteers responded with a 9-2 run and tied the score at 36 on a jump shot by Williams with 13:13 left.
Geist scored five points during a 7-0 burst that gave the Tigers a 47-41 lead with 8:13 remaining. Porter’s 3-pointer increased the lead to 53-43 with 6:43 left.
Tennessee answered with nine consecutive points, with Alexander slamming home a dunk with 2:13 left to make it a one-point game. Puryear hit two free throws to make it 55-52 with 1:51 remaining before Williams hit a jumper 18 seconds later to again pull the Volunteers within one.
The contest was tied at 27 at the break despite Tennessee controlling the first eight minutes.
The Volunteers scored the first five points and led 10-3 after Schofield’s 3-pointer. Sophomore guard Lamonte Turner knocked down a 3-pointer to boost the lead to 17-9.
Missouri rattled off the next six points and eventually tied the score at 21 on Puryear’s layup. The Tigers again tied the score at 27 on freshman forward Jeremiah Tilmon’s basket.
—Field Level Media