Vols thump UMass, 86-67

By: utsports.com
By: utsports.com

RALEIGH, N.C. (UT Sports) -- Tennessee won its second NCAA Tournament game in less than 48 hours as the Vols dominated UMass, 86-67, in the NCAA Tournament Second Round.

Tennessee (23-12) has won seven of its last eight games and advances to play upset winner #14 seed Mercer on Sunday at a time to be determined.

UMass finished its season at 24-9 as the Minutemen made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 16 years.

Jarnell Stokes (career-high 26 points and 14 rebounds) and Jeronne Maymon (11 points and 11 rebounds) each posted double-doubles in the game. For Stokes, it was his 21st double-double of the year, one shy of Bernard King's school record of 22 in 1976-77.

With two double-doubles, the Vols had multiple double-doubles in an NCAA Tournament game for the second time in history. The only other came in 1977 when Ernie Grunfeld (26 points, 12 rebounds), Bernard King (23 points, 12 rebounds) and Reggie Johnson (17 points, 10 rebounds) achieved the feat in an overtime loss to Syracuse.

Stokes' 14 rebounds tied the Tennessee NCAA Tournament record for rebounds in a game. The record of 14 was previously reached by Isiah Victor (1999) and set by Reggie Johnson (1980).

Senior Jordan McRae finished with 21 points. Josh Richardson tallied 15 points as he stellar on both ends of the floor for the second straight tournament game.

UMass was led by senior Chaz Williams, who scored 12 and handed out five assists. Maxie Esho had 12 points and Derrick Gordon scored 10.

Tennessee shot 53.6 percent in the game including 58.3 in the first half while the Vols' defense forced UMass into 42.4 percent shooting for the game.

After UMass scored the game's opening basket, but Tennessee scored the next eight and the Vols led for the entire afternoon.

Down by 19 at halftime, UMass came out strong in the second half and crept back within 10 points on several occasions early in the half.

But McRae scored five of the next seven points in a 7-0 Vols' run as Tennessee went back up by 17 points, 55-38 with 12:43 left in the game.

The Vols went up by as many as 23 points on a pair of Stokes' free throws with 8:36 left, making in 67-44.

The Vols dominated throughout the first half, taking a 41-22 lead at halftime behind 14 points from McRae. Tennessee held UMass to a season low in points for any half (22) and the Minutmen had 10 turnovers and shot 33.3 percent from the floor and did not make a 3-pointer.

Tennessee took a 20-point lead on a monster slam by McRae with two minutes left in the first half at 38-18.

The Vols took control in the first half building a 21-8 lead with a 9-0 run finished by a Maymon layup with 11:33 left.

The Vols and Mercer have some recent history. Last season, Mercer ended the Vols season in the NIT with a 75-67 win in Knoxville on March 20.


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