In Tennessee's tale of two halves, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times. A balanced offensive attack led by Santiago Vescovi helped give the Vols a 6-point lead at halftime. Dominance on the glass and in the paint from Mississippi State led to a huge second half from the Bulldogs, beating the Vols in Starkville, 86-73.
Tennessee has lost three games in a row. It's Tennessee's first three-game losing streak since Feb. 22 through March 1 of the 2016-2017 season.
Freshman guard Josiah-Jordan James missed his first game as a Vol, a pulled groin held him out of the game on Saturday against Mississippi State. Head coach Rick Barnes said earlier this week he aggravated the groin during the loss to Kansas last Saturday. Redshirt freshman Uros Plavsic started in his place. The seven-footer scored a career-high 16 points.
Tennessee was led by Santiago Vescovi and Plavsic, who each scored 16 points.
Mississippi State had two players dominate: Reggie Perry with 24 points and 12 rebounds and D.J. Stewart, who scored 20 points, shooting 4/5 from three.
The second half was all Bulldogs. Mississippi State shot 69.2 percent from the field, 4/5 from three and 17/19 from the free throw line.
Next up, the Vols will play the second half of a back to back road game stretch, with a trip to Tuscaloosa to matchup against Alabama on Feb. 4. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. You can watch the game on ESPNU.