The Tennessee Volunteers humiliated the Tigers of Missouri Saturday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena by a score of 90 to 70. Tennessee’s 20-point win was a much-needed one, as the Vols look to make the NCAA Tournament.
Senior Robert Hubbs III got the scoring going for the Vols early on, with a three-point play to open things up. Shembari Phillips and Grant Williams also made two 3-pointers back-to-back that started a scoring run that would put the Vols up 16 to 3 early in the first half. Tennessee expanded their lead to 18 points before Missouri came back within 10 points before halftime. Tennessee stopped Missouri’s attempts at a comeback and went to the locker room at halftime with a 13-point, 41-to-28 lead.
The second half was just as one-sided. From three-point plays to draining shots when it counted, Tennessee played well in the second half. Grant Williams played especially well during the latter half of Saturday’s game. Williams only missed 1 free throw the entire game. Vols coach Rick Barnes was able to empty the bench at the end of the game, as a result of the blowout lead.
Grant Williams once again led Tennessee in scoring with 25 points. Williams also pulled in 5 rebounds, and blocked 1 shot. Robert Hubbs III also scored over 20 points with his 21. Hubbs also contributed 8 rebounds and 2 assists. Admiral Schofield had another consistent game of scoring for the Vols, with his 17 points, 5 rebounds, and a steal. Schofield also made 2 of 4 three-pointers. Volunteers guard Shembari Phillips also made an impact off the bench. Phillips had 10 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists. Phillips also scored 2 three-pointers. Point guard Jordan Bone also had a good game for Tennessee. Bone had 8 points, 1 rebound, and 6 assists.
Missouri’s main scoring came from Terrence Phillips. He put up 18 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Jordan Barnett, Kevin Puryear, and K.J. Walton also added to Missouri’s scoring with 11, 10, and 8 points, respectively.
The win for Tennessee moves their record to 15-12, and a 7-7 mark in SEC play. With the Vols’ remaining games being Vanderbilt, at South Carolina, at LSU, and at home against Alabama, they still have a solid chance at making the NCAA Tournament. Not to mention the Vols will have a chance to add some wins to their record with the SEC Tournament in Nashville. Tennessee also has a strength of schedule ranking that is in the top 5 in the nation, an aspect that will play into their favor when the selection committee fills out the bracket for the Big Dance in March.
Next up for Tennessee, they will host in-state rival Vanderbilt on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 6:30 P.M. EST. The game will also be televised on the SEC Network.