Moore’s double-double leads Vols past Mizzou

Armani Moore’s double-double helped the Vols slip past Missouri, 59-51.

Armani Moore’s double-double helped the Vols slip past Missouri, 59-51.

Tennessee controlled the tempo and the lead for most of the first half, but both teams struggled on the offensive end. Missouri shot 29 percent from the field in the first half including 18 percent from beyond the arc. Tennessee shot 40 percent from the field and 5-6 from the free-throw line but also recorded 8 first half turnovers.

Josh Richardson had 5 first half points on 2-5 shooting and also recorded 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Johnathan Williams III led Missouri in first half scoring with 8 points on 4-8 shooting and also grabbed 4 rebounds. Kevin Punter went 2-5 from the field and also recorded 5 points. He played more aggressively on the offensive end of the court, looking to break out of the shooting funk he’s been in recently. The Vols played tough defense in the first half, recording 6 blocks, and it was enough to give them a 26-24 halftime lead.

The Vols faced offensive woes again in the second half, going several minutes without scoring a field goal which allowed Missouri to go on a run that tied up the game. Tennessee was able to leave Columbia with a win thanks to their free-throw shooting.

The Vols went 90 percent from the charity stripe, the only place they could shoot well all night. Tennessee shot 38.8 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from three-point range. They also gave the ball away 12 times, and it seemed like their offense could not find their rhythm.

Armani Moore was the highlight of this win for the Vols. He recorded a double-double, with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He went 6-8 from the field and also dished out 2 assists and recorded 2 steals. Derek Reese also contributed down low for Tennessee, scoring 10 points on 4-8 shooting and grabbing 8 rebounds. Josh Richardson struggled to shoot the ball, going 2-9 from the field and only scored 3 second half points which gave him 8 on the night. He was able to contribute to the win though by grabbing 5 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists at the point. Kevin Punter went 3-8 from the field and scored 12 points. He also was active on defense, stealing the ball 3 times.

Missouri, like Tennessee, also had a rough night shooting and taking care of the ball. They went 36 percent from the field, 34 percent from three-point range and had 14 team turnovers. Namon Wright led the Tigers with 13 points on 5-10 shooting and also had 6 rebounds.

While Tennessee’s play was sloppy for most of the game, there are a couple of positive takeaways from this win. First, this game shows that Josh Richardson doesn’t have to be the star every single game. While Richardson is the best ball-handler and scorer on the Vols, tonight showed that he does have some significant support, namely in Reese and Punter, and especially in Armani Moore. The second positive takeaway is that Tennessee showed that they can win games when the offense is not clicking. Their defense and free-throw shooting really saved this game for the Vols.

Tennessee will play at South Carolina on Tuesday.

Edited by Maggie Jones

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Jordan Dajani is a junior journalism/electronic media major from Raleigh, North Carolina.
Follow him on twitter @JDnumba3.