BAYAMON, P.R. (release) -- Thanks to a career-high 24 points from sophomore Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee captured third place in the Puerto Rico Tipoff with a 83-69 victory over UMass on Sunday. The Vols (3-1) used a late surge to plow past the Minutemen (2-2).
Stokes added a game-high 12 rebounds as the Vols ripped down 51 rebounds for a +14 margin off the glass.
Jordan McRae netted 12 points off the bench while Trae Golden, Skylar McBee and Josh Richardson each scored 11 for the Vols, who had five scorers in double-figures for the second time this year.
After falling behind momentarily, the Vols went on a 17-2 run as Stokes scored six points in the spurt to make it 61-54 UT with seven minutes left. A McRae dunk had tied the game at 52, then his 3-pointer put the Vols ahead 57-54 with 8:15 left.
Tennessee reeled off 14 points in a row as Richardson converted back-to-back layups to give the Vols a 68-54 lead with five minutes left.
UMass hit consecutive 3-pointers to trim the margin back to seven at 69-62 with 3:17 left, but the Vols quickly responded with layups from Richardson and Stokes to move the margin back to double-figures at 73-62.
The Vols made eight of 10 free throws in the final 2:11 to ice the win.
UMass was led by Jesse Morgan, who had 18 and Chaz Williams, who had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Tennessee's defense buckled up down the stretch and held the Minutemen to just 34.8 percent from the floor including 27 percent in the second half.
UMass used a 7-0 run to take the brief lead -- its first advantage of the game since 10-9, at 52-50 with 10:29 left in the second half as Morgan canned a 3-pointer in transition.
Stokes led all players in the first half with nine points and six rebounds as the Vols held a 38-34 advantage. The largest lead in the first half was seven points as the Vols were up 31-24 on a Quinton Chievous layup with four minutes left in the first half.
The Tennessee bench did a great job late in the first half with contributions from McRae, Chievous (four points, four rebounds), Yemi Makanjuola (five points, four rebounds) and Armani Moore (two points, two rebounds).
The Vols outebounded UMass, 23-15 in the first half, but were hurt by shooting just 6-of-12 from the foul line in the first 20 minutes.
The Vols return to action on Monday, Nov. 26 as Oakland comes to Thompson-Boling Arena for a 7 p.m. tipoff, That game airs on Fox Sports South and the Vol Network.
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