No. 1 Tennessee hosts Mizzou, goes for 17th straight W

Top-ranked Tennessee toppled a school mark that stood for over 100 years and doesn't feel the least bit satisfied.

The Volunteers strive to increase their program-record winning streak to 17 games when they host Missouri on Tuesday in Southeastern Conference play.

Tennessee set the record with Saturday's 93-76 road win at Texas A&M. The victory supplanted a 15-game streak that began in the 1914-15 season and ended in the second contest of the 1916-17 campaign.

"We have a long season ahead of us," junior forward Grant Williams told reporters. "It's nice to set that record but we want more. We can't ever settle because if we settle or we start thinking that's all we want, we're going to drop to teams left and right."

The Volunteers (20-1, 8-0 SEC) have won their initial eight conference games for the first time since the 1981-82 season.

The 17-point win over the Aggies also represented Tennessee's 17th win by double digits this season. One of those victories was an 87-63 road rout at Missouri on Jan. 8.

Williams (team-best averages of 20.4 points and 7.5 rebounds) and senior guard Admiral Schofield (16.8 points, 6.5 rebounds) are the team's stars, but junior point guard Jordan Bone is up there as well when it comes to importance.

Bone averages 13.6 points and a team-best 6.6 assists and coach Rick Barnes said Bone has developed the knack for making the right call to exploit an opponent's defense.

"Just being out there, you have a feel of what is going on," Bone said after tallying 18 points on 7-of-7 shooting with 10 assists against the Aggies. "I feel like (Barnes) trusts all our guys to be able to call things down the stretch. You recognize patterns out there when you run certain things."

Missouri (11-9, 2-6) is just 1-4 in road games this season as it looks to notch a huge upset.

The Tigers knocked off visiting Vanderbilt 77-67 on Saturday for just their second victory in the past eight games.

Sophomore forward Jeremiah Tilmon scored 19 against the Commodores and he has had 14 or more points in four of the past five games to raise his season average to 10.9. Tilmon is 27 of 41 from the field during the stretch.

"This is probably his best effort since he's been in this program at playing against the double (teams)," Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said after the victory. "When they blitzed him, he found the right guys, and made the right plays."

Senior guard Jordan Geist leads the Tigers with a 13.9 scoring average. Sophomore guard Mark Smith is averaging 12.6 points but could miss his fourth straight game due to an ankle injury.

The Tigers committed 15 turnovers in last month's loss to the Volunteers. But they were better at taking care of the ball in Saturday's win against Vanderbilt when they had just nine miscues, well below the team's 14.6 average.

"We turn it over when teams don't pressure us," Martin said. "Some of that stuff is hard to see, hard to understand. But like I told the staff, though we're not playing the game as coaches, it's our job to correct it. I think that's very important. ...

"This game is supposed to be fun. You're supposed to move the ball, play in space and drive the ball. We have to find ways for them as a staff so they can play and not turn the ball over."

--Field Level Media

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