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Bears Looking to Find Mark in Second Half, Trail Vols 31-27



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Missouri State has connected on just 31-percent of its first-half field goals and trails homestanding Tennessee 31-27 at the intermission here in the second round of the Dicks Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off.  The winner advances to play VCU at Madison Square Garden in New York next Wednesday.

The Bears jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on a three-pointer by Jermaine Mallett 36 seconds into the game, but the Bears would make just 3-of-15 from beyond the arc after that. The lead changed hands seven times before the Vols took the lead for good on a three-pointer by Skylar McBee at the 11:36 mark.

After Kyle Weems brought the Bears back within 14-13, Tennessee built on its lead with a 12-2 run to extend its advantage to 26-15 with 6:48 remaining in the first period.

MSU kept in the game with a three by Weems, a put-back by Weems, and seven straight points by Mallett to close out the half.

Weems has a game-high 12 points, while Mallett has contributed 9 for MSU, which was 10-for-32 (.313). The Bears made all three free throw attempts and out-rebounded the Volunteers by a 21-13 margin.

UT was led by Cameron Tatum with 8 points, Tennessee was 12-for-24 (.500) from the field, 3-for-10 (.300) from three-point range, and 4-of-6 (.667) at the line.

The game is being televised by Ozarks CW, Charter Cable in St. Louis, MetroSports in Kansas City and live on-line at KY3.com.



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