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Kulas, Missouri fall to No. 10 Tennessee
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri was hoping for a repeat of last season’s upset of Tennessee. The Tigers didn’t shoot well enough for a similar outcome.
The Tigers shot 7 of 32 from beyond the arc, including 2 of 15 before halftime. Despite the misses, the team clawed back to 50-47 on Kulas‘ layup with 1:22 to go after the Lady Vols held a 43-27 advantage just 10 ½ minutes earlier.
“It was just one of those nights that we had a hard time getting things going,” coach Robin Pingeton said. “And it never really got contagious except for that little stretch down there in the second half.”
The Tigers (16-11, 5-9 SEC) only trailed by one point at halftime and shot 29.2 percent from the field before Tennessee built its lead early in the second half.
“No, I don’t think we were nervous,” said Tennessee’s Andraya Carter about the final minute. “We actually just kept telling each other to stay composed. Just play our game, slow down, relax. We were going to be fine.”
Only four players scored for the Tigers, who finished 7 of 32 from 3-point range.
“Our shots just weren’t falling tonight,” Kulas said. “But we’re still going to continue to shoot those shots because we have confidence in ourselves and we know we can knock down those shots.”
The schools met for the first time since Missouri upset then-No. 9 Tennessee 80-63 on Feb. 3, 2013. Officials announced attendance at 5,017, the highest this season for Missouri.
“There was definitely an extra edge,” Simmons said. “We knew we didn’t want to lose. We knew this was going to be a big game for us. We just decided to come out and just play hard.”
Eye gave the Tigers their first lead of the game with 3:30 remaining before the break, hitting her first 3-pointer in six attempts to give Missouri a 22-21 advantage. She finished short of her 18.4-point average, good for second in the SEC.
Missouri’s lead lasted only 22 seconds, though, as Russell converted a layup and Andraya Carter added another to give Tennessee a 23-22 halftime edge. The Lady Vols then started the second half on a 18-5 run before Eye ended the run with a 3-pointer with 11:19 left.
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