Jordan Bowden came off the bench to score 20 points, and No. 3 Tennessee pulled away from Missouri for an 87-63 Southeastern Conference win Tuesday night in Columbia, Mo.
The Volunteers (13-1, 2-0 SEC) routed Georgia 96-50 in their conference opener Saturday, but they got off to a much slower start Tuesday. Tennessee, though, turned things around midway through the first half and cruised to its ninth consecutive win.
Kyle Alexander, who had a career-high 14 rebounds against Georgia, added 14 points and another career-high in rebounds (17) vs. Missouri. Jordan Bone scored 17 points, and Admiral Schofield had 16 points and nine boards.
Xavier Pinson scored 14 points and Jordan Geist added 12 to lead the Tigers, who saw their six-game winning streak end in their SEC opener. Missouri (9-4, 0-1) played its first game since a 75-61 home victory against Morehead State on Dec. 29.
It was Missouri’s largest margin of defeat this season, surpassing the 17 in a setback at Iowa State.
The Tigers had made 83 3-pointers over their previous six games, but they were just 8 of 22 from long distance against Tennessee.
The Vols withstood a fast start by Missouri to take an 11-point halftime lead. Schofield began the second-half scoring with a jumper that pushed the lead to 13, and the Tigers didn’t get any closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Alexander’s jumper increased the lead to 69-46 as Tennessee made 11 of its first 18 shots in the second half. It was the first of two 23-point leads before the Vols exceeded that with the final margin.
The score was tied at 10 before Geist made two free throws and a 3-pointer during a 9-0 run for the Tigers.
Bone stopped the run by making a pair of free throws. Soon after, Kevin Puryear’s dunk gave Missouri another nine-point lead at 27-18.
Lamonte Turner made two 3-pointers and Bone made one to lead a 13-0 run that gave the Vols a 31-27 lead.
Pinson made two free throws to end that stretch, but Tennessee followed with an 11-2 run to take a 42-31 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media