Mizzou Suffers Conference Loss in Closing Seconds

Ashley Wright, 23 Sports

Mizzou Women’s Basketball (19-8, 8-5 SEC) dropped a tough battle against the Tennessee Volunteers (17-8, 6-6 SEC) on Sunday at Mizzou Arena as a season-high 8,559 fans witnessed the 62-60 conference loss.

There were nine ties and 17 lead changes in the game as neither team was able to pull away with a comfortable lead. Both teams played a virtually even game, with Mizzou shooting just over 41 percent from the field and Tennessee shooting just under 40 percent. The Volunteers were able to pull off the win due to a pair of free throws with only 52 seconds left to go in the game.

Tennesse’s leading scorer, Evina Westbrook, poured a game-high 18 points and shot 30 percent from the field, however, Tigers forward Cierra Porter shot 86 percent from the field while scoring 13 points. Porter also grabbed nine rebounds for Mizzou.

In the fourth quarter, with 52 seconds remaining on the game clock, the teams were tied with 60 points apiece. Cierra Porter was called for a shooting foul on Tennessee guard Rennia Davis. Davis drilled both free throw attempts to help with the Volunteers a two-point advantage. Davis’s free throws proved to be what Tennessee needed to pull off the conference win.

Mizzou had a chance at the victory with a three point shot from Akira Levy with two seconds left, but she missed, almost sealing the victory for the Volunteers. After Tennessee got the rebound, Mizzou fouled quickly. Tennessee then got called for an offensive foul with 0.3 seconds remaining. Jordan Chavis hit a half court shot, but it was released after the buzzer sounded, allowing Tennessee to head home winners.

The Tigers will look to bounce back in their next game on Sunday, February 24 against the Auburn Tigers at Auburn Arena. Stakes will be high as Mizzou currently sits fifth in the SEC while the Auburn Tigers are currently sixth.