Nashville, TN – 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 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.
Next Up For UT Men’s Basketball
The Tennessee Vols basketball team awaits Selection Sunday to learn its seeding and matchup for the NCAA Tournament. The Selection Show airs on CBS this Sunday at 5:00pm CT.