Mizzou's Gholston sinks buzzer beater, stuns No. 6 Vols
Knoxville, Tenn. - Graduate student DeAndre Gholston (Gary, Ind.) sunk his second buzzer beater of the season to lead the Missouri men's basketball team to an 86-85 victory over No. 6 Tennessee on Saturday night. With the win, the Tigers improve to 19-6 and 7-5 in SEC play, while the Volunteers drop to 19-6 and 8-4 versus league foes.
Trailing by two points with 4.2 seconds remaining, Gholston receive the inbound pass from underneath his own basket. The guard dribbled down the court and pulled up from 35 feet, draining the game-winning triple as time expired. The 3-pointer was the second one for Gholston this season as he hit a similar shot in a 68-66 win over UCF on Dec. 17.
Gholston finished with 18 points on the night - making 6-of-10 field goals and 4-of-5 from 3-point range - but none were more important than his last triple of the night. Senior Kobe Brown (Huntsville, Ala.) led Mizzou with 21 points and five rebounds, while Sean East II (Louisville, Ky.) and D'Moi Hodge (Tortola, British Columbia) also scored in double figures with 17 and 14 points, respectively.
In a battle of two top-15 units, Mizzou's 13th-ranked scoring offense got the better of Tennessee's second-ranked scoring defense. The Volunteers entered the game allowing just 55.0 points per game with Mizzou's 86 points the most allowed by UT this year. Tennessee also entered as the nation's top-ranked team in field goal percentage defense (34.7) and 3-point defense (22.8) but the Tigers easily surpassed both of those number by making 52.6 percent of their field goals and 53.8 percent of their 3-point attempts (14-26).
The Tigers got off to a strong start in the game and raced to a double-digit halftime lead. Trailing by five points, 20-15, the Tigers used a 16-3 run to move in front by eight, 33-25. East led the spurt by scoring the final 10 points on his own and Mizzou would carry its momentum into a 44-32 halftime lead.
Missouri would pull in front by as many as 17 points before the nation's sixth-ranked team made its move. Trailing by 14, Tennessee responded with a 24-5 run to grab a five-point advantage, 69-64 with just under seven minutes remaining. Mizzou did not give up, however, four times pulling within a single point only for the Vols to respond each time. The fifth time, however, was Gholston's opportunity to win the game.
The Tigers look to carry their winning ways on the road, facing Auburn on Tuesday night. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN2.