Jabari Brown scored 24 points and deflected an inbounds pass for a steal that helped the host Tigers seal a key Southeastern Conference win over the Volunteers.
Earnest Ross scored 15 points and Johnathan Williams III added 10 for Missouri (18-7, 6-6 SEC), which has won two straight following a three-game skid. Rarely used forward Torren Jones contributed eight points and five rebounds off the bench as the Tigers bolstered their NCAA Tournament hopes and pulled even with the Volunteers in the SEC standings.
Jordan McRae poured in 31 points - but was just 3-of-11 from 3-point range - for Tennessee (15-10, 6-6), which has lost two straight for only the second time this season. Josh Richardson scored 16 points and Jarnell Stokes added 13 points and eight rebounds.
Missouri was up 71-65 with less than a minute left, but the Tigers fouled Richardson on a 3-point attempt and the Volunteers came up with a steal that led to two more Richardson free throws. Brown made a pair of foul shots to extend the lead to 73-70, and after Tennessee got the ball back when the rebound off McRae's 3-point miss caromed out of bounds, Brown stole the inbounds pass and Williams knocked down two free throws to seal it.
The Tigers jumped out to a 13-point lead in the first half, getting great production from their normally quiet post players, before McRae led the Volunteers back by hitting a pair of free throws to pull within 41-37 at the half and coming out of the break with a 3-pointer to trim it to one. The teams traded punches through eight lead changes and three ties in the second half and battled to the improbably wild finish.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Missouri G Jordan Clarkson had seven points on 3-of-11 shooting, the first time all season either he or Brown has failed to reach double figures. … McRae (1,320) jumped three spots on Tennessee's all-time scoring list, moving into 22nd place. … Seventeen of Missouri's last 18 games have been decided by 10 points or fewer.