KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Diamond DeShields scored 22 points Thursday as Number 24 Tennessee marked its return to the Top 25 by pulling away in the fourth quarter of a 77-66 victory over Missouri.
This marked the Lady Volunteers’ first game since they came back into the rankings Monday after an eight-week absence.
Tennessee (16-8, 7-4 SEC) won for the fifth time in its last six games and bounced back from Sunday’s 81-78 double-overtime loss at Georgia. Missouri (16-9, 6-5) has dropped two straight but had won five consecutive games before this skid.
The game was tied 54-all after three quarters, but Tennessee opened the final period with a 17-4 run that was capped by a pair of DeShields 3-pointers. DeShields scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half.
Jordan Reynolds’ 3-pointer with 9:40 left put Tennessee ahead for good. Missouri missed 10 of its first 11 shots in the fourth quarter.
Before that fourth-quarter run, this was a back-and-forth game. The third quarter alone featured seven lead changes and four ties.
Jaime Nared scored 18 points for Tennessee. Reynolds and Mercedes Russell added 12 points each.
Cierra Porter had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Missouri. Sierra Michaelis scored 17 points and Sophie Cunningham added 16.