Mizzou Men’s Basketball fell to No. 3 Tennessee 87-63 Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena, snapping the team’s previous six-game win streak.
The Tigers were paced by their backcourt, as freshman guard Xavier Pinson had a career-high 14 points, and senior guard Jordan Geist chipped in with a balanced line of 12 points, four rebounds and five assists. Senior forward Kevin Puryear also had a productive night, going for nine points and five boards.
The Tiger offense, which had averaged 72.3 points over the six-game win streak, was held to just 63 points, while the Tigers’ normally suffocating defense surrendered 87 points to a dynamic Tennessee attack.
Despite losing two of its top players for the half to foul trouble in sophomore guard Mark Smith and sophomore forward Jeremiah Tilmon, Mizzou was able to jump on the Volunteers early, going on an 11-0 run in the first half.
The run started at the 13:34 mark of the first period, and ended at the 10:42 mark of the frame, as the Tigers held the Vols scoreless for nearly three minutes while getting buckets from Pinson, freshman guard Javon Pickett, sophomore forward K.J. Santos and a three-pointer from Geist. The lead was as much as nine midway through the first period, as the Tigers led 27-18 with 7:04 left to play in half number one.
However, Tennessee punched back in a big way, closing the half on a 24-4 run to take an 11-point lead into the break. Though the Tigers would cut the lead down to 10 in the early part of the second half, they would never get closer than that.
- Geist was again for the catalyst for Mizzou in the first half during its surge, as he scored all 12 of his points in the period. He also had three rebounds and four assists in the first frame.
- Mark Smith kept his red-hot shooting from distance going, as he shot 2-of-3 against the Vols. He is now up to 47.1 percent from deep this season.
- Santos scored a season-high seven points, while also pulling down three rebounds.