KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A 27-point scoring output from Xavier Pinson and a turnover-plagued offensive effort did the sixth-ranked Tennessee basketball team in on Saturday, as the Volunteers fell to 19th-ranked Missouri, 73-64, at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Missouri (10-2, 4-2 SEC) recorded 10 steals and forced 18 Tennessee (10-3, 4-3 SEC) turnovers. The Vols have lost two straight for the first time this season.
The Vols were led in scoring by senior Yves Pons, who scored a season-high 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting. The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year also pulled in five rebounds and blocked two shots.
Junior guard Victor Bailey Jr. scored 12 points—eight of which came in the second half—dished out three assists and recorded two steals.
Sophomore Josiah-Jordan James also scored 12 points, while recording five rebounds, a block and a steal on the night.
Missouri held control for a majority of the opening half, taking a lead as large as 12 with just over eight minutes to play. Out of the under-eight media timeout, the Vols ripped off a 12-3 run to cut the Mizzou lead to 28-25 in a span of two minutes.,
The programs traded buckets over the final minutes of the half before the Tigers took a 40-34 lead into the break.
Out of halftime, Missouri stretched its lead to double-digits and held the Vols to 30 percent shooting through the half’s first 12 minutes.
To close the night, the Tigers withstood UT’s multiple comeback bids, never letting the Orange & White pull within fewer than six points.
Pinson led all scorers with 27 on 10-of-14 shooting and wasa perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range. Guard Dru Smith added 18 points for the Tigers.
Up Next: Tennessee returns home for a Tuesday night clash with Mississippi State. Tipoff from Thompson-Boling Arena is set for 7 p.m. ET on SEC Network.