NASHVILLE – Despite five double-figure scorers and 10 made threes, No. 5 seed Tennessee came up just short Friday in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals, falling late to No. 4 seed Missouri, 79-71.
After Jahmai Mashack tied the game with 2:06 remaining with a driving reverse layup in what had been a back-and-forth second half, Missouri rattled home back-to-back threes from Nick Honor and D’Moi Hodge to pull in front with 1:25 to go, 75-69.
Those back-to-back threes kicked off a 10-2 Missouri run to end the game.
Santiago Vescovi led the way for the Vols (23-10) with 17 points on five made 3-pointers, while Tyreke Key added 16 with a pair of threes.
Mashack had 14 points and four assists, Olivier Nkamhoua recorded his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Julian Phillips had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Hodge and Kobe Brown scored 26 and 24 for Missouri (24-8), respectively—combining for 50 of the Tigers’ 79 points.
Tennessee rattled off five straight quick points to start the second half to take an eight-point lead at 38-30, but after Missouri quickly answered with a 9-1 run of its own, neither team led by more than four points for the next 16:35 of regulation.
That set the stage for Missouri to take control late with the back-to-back threes that secured the win for the Tigers.
Thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from just inside half court from Mashack, Tennessee took a 33-30 lead into halftime.
Tennessee threatened to pull away midway through the opening period, leading by as many as seven points at 16-9, but foul trouble for the Vols aided Missouri in keeping the first half closely contested.
Tennessee played the final 8:27 of the first half without James and the final 5:20 without Vescovi, who both picked up two first-half fouls. Missouri was able to fight its way back into the game with James and Vescovi on the bench, but the Vols capped off the half with a quick 8-3 spurt over the final 1:01 of the period—capped by Mashack’s deep three.
UP NEXT: Tennessee awaits Selection Sunday to learn its seeding and matchup for the NCAA Tournament. The Selection Show airs on CBS this Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.