By: John Dunn
The All Vol Call in Show
With six players in double digit scoring, the Vols notched their first SEC road win of the season against the Missouri Tigers, 69-59.
The Tennessee Volunteers traveled to Columbia, MO for their first SEC road game of the season.
Led by former Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin, the Tigers are still searching for their identity, just like the Vols.
After an exciting debut, Santiago Vescovi was ready to show that game number-one wasn’t the standard for his play.
The Vols began the game with the first basket just seconds into the game on an Yves Pons jump shot, giving them an early 2-0 lead.
Each ensuing possession for both teams was sloppy as both tried to find their footing early on.
With an offensive rebound by Nikko, Missouri notched their first basket of the night with 18 minutes remaining, bringing the score to 2-2.
Missouri added a three pointer to grab their first lead of the night on a B. Smith jumper. Leading 5-2, the Vols caught a cut to the basket and added another bucket, bringing the score to 5-4.
After a handful of empty possessions for each team, Vescovi hit Bowden on an outlet pass, allowing Bowden to regain the lead on an easy lay up at 6-5.
John Fulkerson then connected on two free throws to extend Tennessee’s lead to 8-5 with just over 15 minutes remaining.
Pinson connected on a three pointer for Missouri, tying the game at eight each with 14:50 remaining in the first half.
Tennessee followed with back-to-back turnovers, allowing Watson to cut to the basket for an easy lay up, giving Missouri the lead back at 10-8.
Bowden finally saw a three go down, which he desperately needed on the Vols’ ensuing possession, allowing them to take an 11-10 lead.
Fulkerson then connected on a lay up after rebounding his own miss, extending the lead to 13-10 in favor of Tennessee with just under 13 minutes remaining.
Another sloppy turnover allowed Missouri another opportunity with the ball. However, the Tigers gave it right back on a Pinson walk.
Bowden began to look more like himself, connecting on a 15-foot jump shot extending the Tennessee lead to 15-10 and adding to the Vols’ run which then reached 7-0.
On the following play, Missouri connected in their third three pointer of the night, bringing the score back to one possession at 15-13 with 11:30 remaining in the first half.
Missouri knotted things up at 15-15 on a pair of free throws before Pons gave Tennessee the lead back on a 5-foot jump shot, 17-15 with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Adding another three points, Tennessee extended their lead to 20-15 with just over nine minutes remaining. D. Smith halted the Vols’ run with a three pointer, bringing the game back to within one possession at 20-18.
Quickly working their way up court, Missouri knotted the game at 20-20 on a fast break lay up.
Jalen Johnson connected on a three point shot to give Tennessee a 23-20 Lead before adding another, extending the lead to 26-20.
Missouri answered with a three from Pinson, bringing the score back to 26-23. They added another lay up to cut within one point at 26-25 with five minutes remaining.
K. Brown drove to the rim to finish an and-one attempt giving Missouri a 27-26 lead before a trip to the charity stripe. After connecting on a free throw, the Tigers took a 28-26 lead with 3:40 remaining in the first half.
Fulkerson knotted the score at 28-28 after a nice move to the basket. On the ensuing offensive possession, Fulkerson came down with an offensive rebound but the Vols came up empty.
After taking the ball away from the Tigers, Jalen Johnson stepped to the charity stripe, connecting on both free throws, giving Tennessee a 30-28 lead with less than a minute remaining in the half.
Fulkerson then added a pair of free throw to give the Vols a two possession lead at 32-28 with :23 remaining in the half.
Two empty possessions for each team left the score at 32-28 as each team went into the locker room at the half.
Josiah James began the second half with a three point basket, extending the Tennessee lead to 35-28.
Pons then connected on another three pointer, extending the Tennessee lead to 10 points, 38-28, their largest of the game.
Each team traded buckets and left the score at 40-34 with 16:30 remaining in the game.
After trading buckets for the next few minutes, the game sat knotted at 45-45 with 11:33.
Pons connected on a baseline jumper giving Tennessee the lead back at 47-45.
After much deliberation, Missouri was assessed a technical foul and Bowden connected on one of two free throws, extending the Tennessee lead to three at 48-45.
D. Smith delivered a free throw for Missouri, bringing them back to within two points at 48-46 with 9:30 remaining.
The Tigers knotted things back up at 48-48 with 8:30 remaining in the game. After turning the ball over, the Vols’ defense held strong on defense and came down with a defensive rebound.
After coming up empty on the offensive end, Missouri regained the lead on a three pointer. Pons then drove to the bucket and finished through contact, but missed on the ensuing free throw, allowing the Tigers to maintain a slim 51-50 lead with 6:40 remaining.
Smith connected on a pair of free throws, extending Missouri’s lead to 53-50. With Vescovi coming down with an offensive rebound, the Vols got a three from James to tie the game at 53-53 with 5:45 remaining.
After holding Missouri to nothing on their ensuing possession, Vescovi connected on a three pointer, extending the Vols’ lead to three at 56-53.
After an offensive foul from Missouri, Tennessee got another three from Vescovi on the pass from Bowden, allowing them to take a six point lead at 59-53.
A sloppy inbounds pass led to a wide open lay up for Vescovi, allowing him to extend the lead to 61-53 with 4:13 remaining.
The Tigers then connected on one of two free throws, chipping away a the Tennessee lead 61-54 with 3:46 remaining in the game.
M. Smith grabbed an offensive rebound, and put it back for a lay up, bringing the score to 61-56. After scoring eight straight points, Vescovi had back to back turnovers, allowing the Tigers an extra possession.
On the ensuing play, Jordan Bowden connected on another three pointer, further extending the lead to 64-56. Fulkerson then delivered a free throw to bring the score to 65-56 with 1:33 remaining.
Jackson delivered a pair of free throws after a Pons foul, allowing Missouri to chip away at the Vols’ lead, 65-58 with 1:31 remaining.
Tennessee got the ball in the hands of Bowden who was fouled, but missed the front end of a one-and-one.
With :58 remaining, Vescovi stepped to the line for his first collegiate free throw, connecting on both, extending the lead to 67-58 with :45 remaining.
The Vols closed out the game and cruised to a 10-point victory.