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Columbia, MO – No. 12 Tennessee put together a complete performance to knock No. 20 Missouri from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 71-55 victory on Monday night at Mizzou Arena.
The Lady Vols (10-3) held the Tigers to a season-low 55 points and 2-for-21 shooting from 3-point range to open Southeastern Conference play with a victory for the second consecutive year.
With the win, UT improved to 3-2 against ranked opponents this season and extended its winning streak to three games.
No. 12 Tennessee Women’s Basketball led wire-to-wire in its win over previously unbeaten Missouri Tigers on Monday night. (Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports)
Tennessee held a 7-point lead at the break thanks in large part to creating and scoring off of turnovers. The Big Orange forced 10 Missouri turnovers in the first half and generated 14 points off them.
The Lady Vols came out hot in the second half and outscored the Tigers, 20-11, in the third quarter to stretch their lead to 16 heading into the final 10 minutes.
Four different players scored in double figures for Tennessee on the night, led by Jaime Nared’s season-high 13 points. The sophomore from Portland, OR, has now scored in double figures in three straight games after missing the first nine contests of the season to injury.
Diamond DeShields and Mercedes Russell chipped in 11 points apiece as well, marking the 10th time that DeShields and Russell have scored in double figures this season. DeShields also led the team with nine rebounds on the night.
Jordan Frericks led Mizzou (13-1) with 11 points and eight rebounds.
With tonight’s victory the Lady Vols knocked the Tigers from the ranks of the unbeaten. Missouri was off to its best start in program history with a perfect 13-0 record entering the game while outscoring opponents by an average of 24.2 points per game.
Tennessee improved its record to 3-2 against ranked foes this season as the Tigers were ranked No. 20 in the Associated Press poll coming into the game, their highest ranking since 1984. UT is now 467-185 (.716) all-time against ranked teams and 26-17 under Holly Warlick.
UT won the rebounding battle for the ninth time this season. Mizzou had a +13.2 average rebounding margin prior to tonight’s game.
UT Lady Vols Continue to Stifle Opposing Offenses
Missouri entered the contest averaging 80.0 points per game but was held to a season-low 55 points by the Lady Vols on the night. UT has now held 10 of its 13 opponents this season to 60 points or less. Tennessee limited the sharp-shooting Tigers to only 33 percent from the floor on the night, marking the eighth time the Lady Vols have held an opponent under 40 percent shooting this season.
UT held Mizzou to a season-low 2-for-21 from beyond the arc. The Tigers entered the game averaging an SEC best 8.2 threes per game.
UT Lady Vols Continue Success in SEC Openers
With the win, Tennessee improved to 28-6 all-time in SEC openers, including a 14-3 mark on the road. The Lady Vols improved to 3-1 in conference openers under Holly Warlick.
Tennessee handed an opponent their first loss of the season for the sixth time this year. (Central Arkansas, Penn State, Syracuse, Albany, Oregon State and Missouri)
The Lady Vols snapped Missouri’s 13 game winning streak with their fourth wire-to-wire victory of the season. The Lady Vols held Missouri to a season low in points at 55. The previous low for Missouri was 57 against Wichita State on November 218th, 2015.
UT held Missouri to a season low two three pointers for a squad that made an SEC best 8.2 three pointers per game. UT won the rebounding battle for the ninth time this season. Mizzou had a +13.2 average rebounding margin so far this season.
The Lady Vols host their first SEC game at home as they welcome the Florida Gators to Thompson-Boling Arena on Thursday, January 7th at 7:30pm. Tennessee has dominated the series against Florida with 48-3 record all-time against the Gators. The Lady Vols have won 11 straight in the series including five straight at home.
Thursday’s game will air live on the SEC Network (Whip-Around) with tip-off slated for 7:30pm.