No. 6 Tennessee looks to rebound against No. 19 Missouri

A look at the weekend action around the Southeastern Conference:

GAME OF THE WEEKEND

No. 6 Tennessee (10-2, 4-2 SEC) tries to rebound from a humbling loss with a visit to 19th-ranked Missouri in a matchup of two of the league’s three ranked teams. The Volunteers fell 75-49 to a short-handed Florida team while shooting just 29% (17 of 58). Missouri (9-2, 3-2) is off to its best 11-game start since the 2013-14 team that started 10-1. John Fulkerson leads the Vols balanced attack, averaging 12.2 points and 6.2 rebounds a game while shooting 54.2% from the floor. Xavier Pinson is leading Missouri in scoring (12.9 ppg) and assists (37). Jeremiah Tilmon Jr. is averaging 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds and also has recorded four double-doubles in his last six games. It’s the first of three straight games for Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena, where the Vols are 8-1.

PLAYER TO WATCH

John Petty, G, Alabama: The 18th-ranked Crimson Tide’s sharp-shooting guard made 8 of 10 3-pointers and scored 24 points in a rout of LSU to keep his hot streak alive. Petty has made 17 of 26 3s over the last three games, while averaging 21-plus points. He has stepped up his play significantly since a one-game suspension. Petty also has already set Alabama’s career record for made 3-pointers since returning for his senior season to try to improve his NBA draft stock. He has helped lead the Tide on an eight-game winning streak and a two-game SEC lead entering Saturday’s game against Mississippi State.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Florida shot 49.2% in that romp over the Vols, who came in second in the nation in scoring defense (58.2 points per game). … Mississippi’s 64-46 win over Mississippi State marked its fewest points allowed in a league game since 2004 and the fewest against the Rebels’ in-state rival since 1996. … Georgia picked up its first win over Kentucky since March 7, 2013, winning 63-62 on P.J. Horne’s layup with just over a second left. … In his four games since being cleared by the NCAA, Auburn freshman PG Sharife Cooper has averaged 22.5 points and 8.2 assists. … Missouri held South Carolina’s A.J. Lawson, who came in on a three-game scoring tear, to five points on 2-of-9 shooting. The Tigers also shot a season-best 58.3 percent.

ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE

The weekend action for the women’s teams is also highlighted by a Top 25 matchup: No. 12 Kentucky at No. 25 Tennessee. Both teams are trying to stay within striking distance of No. 4 South Carolina in the league standings. Kentucky is led by Rhyne Howard, who came into the week averaging 20.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Tennessee’s Rae Burrell was scoring 16.7 points a game. … Vanderbilt opted to end its season because of a mix of COVID-19 issues and injuries, finishing the season 4-4 and 0-3 in league games.

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