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Vols hold on, beat Missouri 59-51 with defense and free throws

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Tennessee withstood another rally by an opponent and closed out the game against Missouri with a burst of defensive intensity and solid free throw shooting to win 59-51.

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers notched a good road win this afternoon against the Missouri Tigers, winning 59-51. Armani Moore led the way with a double-double, putting up 15 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Kevin Punter and Derek Reese were also in double figures in points.

Both teams looked pathetic on offense and formidable on defense in the first half and went to the locker room with the Vols up 26-24. After the break, Tennessee began to put some distance between themselves and the Tigers and looked like they were going to pull away before Missouri started hitting three pointers to make it interesting. For ten minutes of game time starting at about the thirteen minute mark, Missouri rode treys by Tramaine Isabell, Keith Shamburger, and Wes Clark to tie the game at 46 at the under-four timeout.

But then the Vols turned up the defensive intensity, forced three consecutive turnovers, and extended the lead to 52-49. They then went 7-8 from the free throw line to seal the game when Missouri got into desperation fouling mode with just over a minute remaining. Tennessee was a remarkable 18-20 from the charity stripe for the game.

The road win gets the Vols to 11-5 overall and 3-1 in the SEC, and with all of the crazy happenings of the afternoon, we find ourselves tied with Florida in the SEC standings, one game behind Kentucky. RealTimeRIP currently has Tennessee at 54ESPN has us at 52.

Up next is a trip to South Carolina at 9:00 ET on Tuesday on ESPNU. The Gamecocks are 10-5 (1-2) and have an RPI of 82.