COLUMBIA, Mo. Tennessee survived one of its worst offensive performances of the season with perhaps its best effort on defense.
The Lady Vols built a 16-point second half and needed almost all of it to survive an SEC women’s basketball upset scare from Missouri, winning 56-50 Sunday afternoon at Mizzou Arena.
The Tigers crept with 50-47 inside the final minute when UT got a key defensive stop.
Meighan Simmons led No. 10 Tennessee (22-5, 11-3 SEC) with 20 points.
Bri Kulas led Missouri (16-11, 5-9) with 22 points.
Tennessee did the job on defense at the outset.
The Lady Vols used a combination of presses and man defense to limit the Tigers to 22 first-half points.
The SEC’s most prolific 3-point shooting team was 2 for 15 from long range before the break and was shooting 28.6 percent overall (10 for 35).
Forward Kulas had 10 points but needed 15 shots for her production.
UT’s problems were on offense. The Lady Vols’ aim wasn’t much better than the Tigers, as reflected by their 35.5 percent shooting from the floor (11 for 31).
Their 10 turnovers added to their woes, resulting in six Missouri points.