COLUMBIA, — Kevin Puryear had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Missouri rallied in the second half to beat No. 21 Tennessee 59-55 on Wednesday night.
Jontay Porter added 10 points and seven rebounds for Missouri (13-5, 3-2 Southeastern Conference). The Tigers found their rhythm in the second half, using 3s from Kassius Robertson, Jordan Geist and Porter to fuel a 13-2 run starting with 10 minutes remaining.
Grant Williams led Tennessee (12-5, 3-3) with 15 points. Kyle Alexander had 12 points and Admiral Schofield added 11. The rest of the Volunteers only scored 17 points, and the team as a whole shot 38.9 percent, including 23.8 percent from deep.
The Tigers trailed 17-9 at the 11-minute mark in the first half but took advantage of Alexander’s foul trouble. With the big man on the bench with two fouls, Missouri attacked the rim and fed the post with ease.
The Tigers didn’t make a 3-pointer in the first half, marking their first half all season without one.
Tennessee: The Volunteers had won three straight to reach No. 21 in the AP Top 25. Their three leading scorers — Schofield, Williams and Alexander — didn’t receive much help, and they’ll need more of a supporting cast to stay ranked.
Missouri: The Tigers suffered through a pair of tough losses in their two conference losses thus far. Missouri’s ability to close a tight game is a promising sign for the young Tigers.
Tennessee continues its two-game trip with a matchup against South Carolina on Saturday.
Missouri hits the road to face Texas A&M on Saturday