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DeAndre Gholston, Mizzou stun No. 6 Vols on buzzer-beating heave

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DeAndre Gholston hit a desperate 3-point heave at the buzzer to lift Missouri to an 86-85 upset of No. 6 Tennessee on Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Volunteers (19-6, 8-4 SEC) had a chance to ice the game with four seconds left, but Santiago Vescovi missed a free throw, and then a lane violation on Tobe Awaka gave Missouri the ball while trailing 85-83.

Gholston, who hit a similar shot to beat UCF in December, took the inbounds pass, dribbled across half court and swished his shot from well above the key.

Kobe Brown led the Tigers (19-6, 7-5) with 21 points. Gholston scored 18, Sean East II scored 17 and D’Moi Hodge added 14 before fouling out.

Tyreke Key scored 23 points for the Volunteers, who have lost back-to-back games for the first time since the 2021 postseason. Vescovi scored 16 points, and Zakai Zeigler added 11 points and 10 assists before fouling out.

Tennessee suffered the loss playing shorthanded. Guard Josiah-Jordan James sat out the game with a sprained left ankle and Julian Phillips suffered a hip flexor injury during the first half and played just 10 minutes.

After Tennessee pushed its early lead to 17-12, Gholston capped a 9-3 Missouri run with a 3-point jumper that put the Tigers up 21-20.

Olivier Nkamhoua put the Volunteers back up with a 3-point jumper, but East scored 10 straight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, to trigger Missouri’s 23-7 surge.

Tennessee came into the game leading NCAA Division I teams in field-goal percentage defense (.347) and 3-point defense (.228). The Vols’ scoring defense (55.0 per game) ranked second.

But Missouri finished the first half with a 44-32 lead on 51.5 percent shooting from the floor, including 8-for-16 shooting from 3-point range.

The Tigers scored the first five points of the second half to extend their lead to 17 points. Then Missouri got in foul trouble and Tennessee rallied with five free throws and a 3-pointer by Key during 9-0 burst to cut its deficit to 59-54.

Gholston scored five straight points for Missouri, then Key hit consecutive 3-pointers to begin a 15-0 run as Tennessee surged ahead 69-64.

After Vescovi put the Volunteers up 85-82 with two free throws with 7.1 seconds left, East hit one throw with four seconds left to set up the final sequence.

–Field Level Media

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