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Sophie Cunningham elbow, handshake snub creates tension as Mizzou beats Lady Vols

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Mizzou knocks off No. 10 Tennessee in Knoxville (2:51)

Tigers head coach Robin Pingeton breaks down her team's performance in an upset victory over the Lady Vols. (2:51)

The aftermath of No. 10 Tennessee's 66-64 home loss Sunday was marked by tension when a Lady Vols assistant appeared to skip Missouri's Sophie Cunningham in the handshake line, after the senior was whistled for an elbow earlier in the game.

Video of the postgame handshake line showed Cunningham going back to take the hand of Tennessee's Janet McGee -- head coach Holly Warlick's personal assistant -- who initially appeared to walk past the Tigers' top player without shaking her hand.

"I just wanted to make sure that she tapped my hand because we're going to meet again and I kind of wanted to end on good terms,'' Cunningham said.

Cunningham then exchanged words with Tennessee players Rae Burrell and Lou Brown.

The incident appeared to stem at least in part from a play in the final minute of the third quarter when Cunningham delivered an elbow to Rennia Davis' face while driving to the basket for a shot that extended Missouri's lead to 48-44.

Although Cunningham's basket counted, she was called for an unsportsmanlike foul after officials saw the replay. Jackson made the ensuing two free throws for Tennessee.

"I'm really not surprised because of who it was,'' Davis said. "At the end of the day, I was just playing defense and she was dribbling and she stuck her elbow all the way up and I flew back. She hit me dead in the eye."

Asked if she considered Cunningham, who has a reputation for physical play, a dirty player, Davis said: "She plays her own way. How she is is how she is.

"We just have to adjust to every player we're playing against. We know she plays physical, she plays hard every possession. So I mean, I wouldn't really say 'dirty' but she just has her own way of playing."

Cunningham, a consensus first-team all-SEC player last season, led the Tigers with 20 points and added six rebounds and six assists as Missouri edged 10th-ranked Tennessee for its first-ever win in Knoxville in five attempts. The victory, Missouri's fifth in a row, also ended a 20-game skid in road games against top-10 teams.

"It was such a good game, it was a hard-fought win," said Cunningham, who scored 32 points in a victory over Tennessee last season. "Honestly, I prefer those close games. I think blowout games can get old."

The teams will play again in Columbia, Missouri, on Feb. 17.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.