Blow Out In Knoxville: Mizzou Crushed By Tennessee
March 8, 2014
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By Cody Mroczka
COLUMBIA – For the third consecutive game, the Tennessee Volunteers did not trail for a single possession, this time en route to a 27-point victory.
The Missouri Tigers (21-10, 9-9 Southeastern Conference) became the latest SEC opponent to get run out of the gym by a Tennessee team that has now outscored its’ last three opponents by a total of 230 to 137.
Missouri finds itself on the outside looking into the NCAA tournament after this defeat. If the Tigers hope to make the NCAA Tournament, they must at least advance to the semi-finals of the SEC Tournament. The Tigers will play in the second round of the tournament on Thursday as the No. 8 seed against No. 9 seed Texas A&M. If the Tigers win, they will take on No. 1 seed Florida in the quarterfinals on Friday.
The Volunteers (20-11, 11-7 SEC) jumped all over the Tigers early and had already built a double-digit lead eight minutes into the game. Once again, Missouri struggled to find a good offensive rhythm as the size and physical nature of the Volunteers clamped down on leading scorers Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson. The duo combined for just 21 points on five of 22 shooting and were frustrated with the length of Tennessee’s perimeter defenders.
By the end of the first half, the Volunteers had a commanding 37-19 lead over the Tigers. Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes nearly out rebounded the Tigers by himself, grabbing 10 first half rebounds compared to the 12 by Missouri. The Tigers offense remained stagnant as the team made just seven of 22 shots and turned the ball over nine times as Tennessee continued to build upon its lead.
The second half was more of the same for both teams. Tennessee continued to outrebound the Tigers and made the most out of poor shot selections by scoring easy baskets in transition. The Volunteers scored 24 points off turnovers and on the fast break, compared to just 10 by the Tigers in those categories.
The Volunteers ended up pulling down 17 more rebounds than the Tigers, including 13 more on the offensive end. One of the biggest differences came in the assist department. Tennessee assisted on 18 of their 29 baskets, as opposed to Missouri who had just five assists on 15 baskets.