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(Friday, March 21st)
Final Score: Tennessee 86, Massachusetts 67
Raleigh, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Jarnell Stokes had a career-high 26 points, Jordan McRae scored 21 and Tennessee posted an 86-67 victory over Massachusetts in second-round action of the NCAA Tournament.
Stokes tied a school tourney single-game record with 14 rebounds.
Jeronne Maymon also registered a double-double with 11 points and as many boards for the Volunteers (23-12), who rallied to beat fellow No. 11 seed Iowa in overtime in the First Four on Wednesday.
Tennessee will next face upstart Mercer in the third round on Sunday. The Bears stunned Duke, the Midwest Region's No. 3 seed, earlier Friday.
"Mercer can be a very scary team if you don't play defense well," Stokes said. "If you're a bad defensive team, Mercer will pick you apart."
Chaz Williams and Maxie Esho each scored 12 points for the sixth-seeded Minutemen (24-9), whose first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1998 was a brief one.
"The game didn't turn out the way we'd like, but these guys gave their heart and soul to the program," said UMass head coach Derek Kellogg about the seniors.
Tennessee showed no signs of fatigue, racing out to a 21-8 lead in the first eight-plus minutes against a sluggish UMass team.
"Thought we got out the gates and played well on both ends of the floor," said Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin.
The Minutemen started 1-of-8 from the floor and wound up being held to a season-low 22 points in the opening half on 33.3 percent shooting.
A one-handed dunk in transition by McRae made it 38-18 with 2:08 remaining, and the Vols carried a 19-point lead to the break.
UMass came out strong to begin the second half, closing the gap to 46-36, but could never trim its deficit to single digits.
"We definitely felt like it was going to be a turning point. I can't even tell you what went wrong," said UMass forward Sampson Carter.
Tennessee went on a 19-6 run after the Minutemen got within 10 a second time. Stokes concluded the burst with two free throws as the lead stretched to 67-44 with 8:36 left.
Josh Richardson had 15 points, five assists and two blocks for the Volunteers ... Tennessee shot 53.6 percent for the game and improved to 4-0 against Massachusetts ... Derrick Gordon scored 10 points for the Minutemen.
03/21 18:35:30 ET
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