Kyle Alexander had 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds as third-ranked Tennessee beat Missouri 87-63 Tuesday, the Vols’ second straight blowout victory in Southeastern Conference play.
ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 09, 2018 - Forward Admiral Schofield #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Tennessee Volunteers at the 2018 Men's SEC Basketball Tournament at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO. Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tennessee Athletics
Jordan Bowden came off the bench to score 20 points, Jordan Bone added 17 and Admiral Schofield finished with 16 for the Volunteers (13-1, 2-0 SEC), who beat Georgia by 46 points in their conference opener Saturday.
Freshman Xavier Pinson scored 14 points and Jordan Geist had 12 — all in the first half — for Missouri (9-4, 0-1 SEC).
The Tigers were playing for just the second time since Dec. 22, and they began with a flurry. Led by the scoring and passing of Geist, they took a 28-17 lead when Geist made a nifty feed to Kevin Puryear for a dunk with 7:04 left in the first half.
The Volunteers dominated from there. They silenced a once boisterous Mizzou Arena crowd when Derrick Walker swatted Pinson’s shot and Bowden scooped up the loose ball and sprinted downcourt for an emphatic dunk with a minute left in the first half. Tennessee led 42-31 at halftime.
The Volunteers expanded the lead early in the second half and were not seriously challenged. Tennessee shot 53.4 percent from the field and held Missouri to 36.8-percent shooting.
Missouri: The Tigers like to run their offense through Jeremiah Tilmon in the post, but his inability to stay on the floor because of foul trouble makes that a dicey proposition. The 6-foot-10 sophomore forward committed an offensive foul trying to bull through a double team with 17:45 left in the first half and compounded the mistake with an angry reaction that drew a technical foul. He sat the rest of the first half. He committed his third foul 46 seconds into the second half and finished with three points in nine minutes before fouling out.
Tennessee: The Volunteers got little production from SEC leading scorer Grant Williams. Williams, who entered the game averaging 19.9 points, scored just four points before fouling out. Fortunately for Tennessee, it has plenty of other options.
Missouri: Visit South Carolina on Saturday.
Tennessee: Tries to stay perfect in the SEC on Saturday at Florida.