Missouri edges Tennessee 75-70
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Jabari Brown scored 24 points and made a last-minute play to help Missouri hold off Tennessee 75-70 on Saturday.
With 7.7 seconds remaining and a 73-70 lead, Brown stole Jeronne Maymon’s inbounds pass before Johnathan Williams III grabbed the ball and finished off the game’s scoring with two free throws on the other end.
The Tigers (18-7, 6-6 SEC) needed all 60 minutes for the second consecutive contest to secure the win, following an 86-85 decision against Arkansas on Thursday. Missouri held a 13-point advantage with 11:05 remaining in the first half, but Tennessee quickly responded and pulled to within 41-37 at the break.
Jordan McRae finished with 31 points for the Volunteers (15-10, 6-6), but his 3-pointer with 10 seconds left missed. Tennessee ended with up with another chance that set up Brown’s steal, though, as officials determined the rebound went out of bounds off a Missouri player.
Missouri looked as if it might squander a 71-65 lead with 47 seconds remaining as Tennessee’s Josh Richardson hit five consecutive free throws sandwiched around a botched inbounds pass from Wes Clark to Jordan Clarkson.
Brown then hit two free throws before McRae missed from long range. Brown also displayed late-game heroics against the Razorbacks, driving the lane and hitting the game-winning jumper with 12.2 seconds left.
Richardson scored 16 for the Volunteers, including 9 of 11 from the foul line. Jarnell Stokes added 13 points.
Earnest Ross scored 15 for Missouri and Williams had 10.
Both teams found themselves on the NCAA tournament bubble entering the day, and will meet again in their regular-season finales March 8 in Knoxville. Tennessee entered the matchup having lost two of three, including a 67-58 home loss to No. 3 Florida on Tuesday, and fell to 7-2 following a loss this season.
Williams, who hadn’t scored in his previous two outings, hit a jump shot early in the game to spark an 11-0 Missouri run that gave the Tigers an early 15-5 lead. The team converted six of its first seven shots, but Tennessee soon answered with a 13-4 run to close the deficit before halftime.