Tennessee Out-Muscles UMass In NCAA Second Round, 86-67
March 21, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - The power combo of Jarnell Stokes and Jordan McRae proved too much for the sixth-seeded UMass basketball team as 11th-seeded Tennessee took an 86-67 win over the Minutemen in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon at PNC Arena. Stokes netted 26 points, while McRae had 21 for the Volunteers who will advance to face Mercer on Sunday.
UMass finishes the season with a 24-9 overall record, while Tennessee improves to 23-12. For the Minutemen, the at-large berth marked the first time in 16 years that UMass had made the NCAA Tournament.
Joining Stokes, who also had 14 rebounds, and McRae as scoring leaders for Tennessee were Josh Richardson who had 15 points and Jeronne Maymon who had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The inside game of the Vols was a turning point in the first half as Tennessee controlled the tempo early. The Vols shot 51.5 percent from the floor (17-of-33) and forced 10 turnovers.
Unable to push the ball in transition and set up its high-pressure trapping defense, UMass was held to a season-low tying 22 points at halftime and trailed Tennessee 41-22.
The Minutemen seemed to grab some momentum coming out of the intermission with a quick six-point run, but back-to-back baskets by Tennessee quieted the momentum.
UMass cut the lead to 10 points after back-to-back three pointers from Sampson Carter cutting Tennessee's lead to 46-36 with 14:20 left in the game.
The teams traded baskets with a falling down Williams jumper keeping the deficit at 10 points.
That was the closes UMass could get, however, as Tennessee put together a 15-to-4 run powered by eight points from Stokes and seven from McRae. That extended the Vols lead to 63-42 with 9:41 remaining.
UMass again showed a spark of a comeback three minutes later when Trey Davis hit a three-pointer and then stole the ensuing inbounds pass for a lay-up cutting the lead to 67-51. Richardson snuffed out the momentum with a traditional three-point play on the next Tennessee possession.
Tennessee finished the game shooting 54 percent (30-of-56), while UMass hit 42 percent (28-of-66) of its shots. The Vols held a big advantage at the free throw line hitting 24-of-31 attempts, while UMass was 8-of-11.
After committing 10 first half turnovers, UMass had just three in the second half to finish with 13 for the game.