Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - Jarnell Stokes registered a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds as the Tennessee Volunteers held on for a 64-62 victory over the Missouri Tigers in a Southeastern Conference battle at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Jordan McRae led Tennessee (19-11, 11-7 SEC) with 15 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field. Trae Golden and Josh Richardson netted 12 and 11 points, respectively, as the Volunteers picked up their eighth win in their last nine games to close out the season. The strong finish earned Tennessee the fifth-seed in the upcoming conference tournament.
Laurence Bowers poured in a game-high 20 points for the Tigers (22-9, 11-7), which received 10 points and nine assists from Phil Pressey. The loss snapped Missouri's three-game winning streak.
The Tigers led by seven early in the contest before the hosts responded with a 16-4 run to go ahead, 26-21, with 2:45 left before the break. Missouri chipped away and Tony Criswell sent the game into halftime tied at 29 with a put-back layup just before the buzzer. The visitors were lucky to be even with Tennessee at halftime after they were limited to 1-of-6 shooting from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.
In the second half, Missouri once again took control, as Keion Bell put in a layup with 10 minutes left to give it a 50-42 lead. The Volunteers responded once again as well, this time with an 18-3 run that put them on top, 60-53, with just over three minutes left in regulation. Golden sank a pair of clutch free-throws with 11 seconds left to push Tennessee's lead to five before Earnest Ross drained a meaningless triple as time expired.
The hosts enjoyed a sizeable, 45-32 edge in the rebounding battle and outscored Missouri, 21-12, from beyond the arc.
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