No. 12 Tennessee women beat No. 20 Missouri 71-55
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Diamond DeShields had 11 points and nine rebounds and Bashaara Graves scored 10 with eight boards and four assists to help No. 12 Tennessee beat 20th-ranked Missouri 71-55 on Monday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Jaime Nared scored 13 points and Mercedes Russell added 11 points and seven rebounds for Tennessee (10-3).
DeShields made a layup and a jumper to spark a 9-0 run to open the third quarter and push the Tennessee lead to 42-26. The Lady Vols led by at least 14 the rest of the way.
''Our press helped us out a lot,'' DeShields said. ''Keeping them in the front court for so long, when they did cross half court they didn't have a lot of time to set up their offense. The shots they did get off, they were quick, they were off balance a lot of times and they were contested.''
Tennessee forced 14 turnovers, including seven steals, which it converted into 19 points.
''I thought it was important,'' Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said of the full-court press. ''Whether we got a steal or not, a lot of times they were getting across and starting their offense with 20 seconds. I thought that was huge for us.''
Missouri (13-1) shot 32.8 percent (21 of 64) from the field and made just 2 of 21 (9.5 percent) from 3-point range - both season lows. Missouri came in ranked 15th in the nation in field goal percentage at 47 percent.
''It was a tough game for us,'' Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said. ''(Tennessee) came out as the aggressors. They kind of threw the first punch and we took it. I felt like we got outplayed in pretty much every phase of the game. I think we will learn from this. We'll make some adjustments and we'll be better because of it.''
After trailing by as many as 13 points, Missouri closed the second quarter on a 9-3 run and pulled within seven, 33-26, at the break. The Tigers made four of their final five shots while Tennessee missed eight in a row.
Jordan Frericks led Missouri with 11 points and eight rebounds. Sierra Michaelis scored 10.
Tennessee made 22 of 32 free throws while the Tigers hit 11 of 17.
Tennessee: The Lady Vols have the second-toughest schedule in the nation, ranking behind only Southern University. ... Tennessee leads the series 7-1. ... DeShields has reached double-figure scoring in nine of the last 10 games.
Missouri: The Tigers cracked the Top 25 for the first time since Jan. 9, 2006. It is their highest ranking since Dec. 30, 1984. ... Monday night's attendance of 7,989 was the fourth-biggest in school history and the largest at Mizzou Arena, which opened in Nov. 2004.
Missouri visits Georgia Thursday.
Tennessee hosts Florida Thursday.