Feb. 26, 2014
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Vols posted their ninth wire-to-wire victory this season, topping Mississippi State, 75-68, on Wednesday night at The Hump. The Vols were once again led by the trio of Jordan McRae (29 points and 10 rebounds), Jarnell Stokes (14 points and nine rebounds) and Jeronne Maymon (10 points and 11 rebounds) who combined for 53 points and 30 rebounds.
McRae had his second career double-double while Maymon had a double-double for the second game and fourth this season. It is the fourth time this season and second in a row that Tennessee had a pair of players with double-doubles.
The Vols improved to 17-11 overall and 8-7 in the SEC, taking over fourth place in the league. Mississippi State lost its 10th game in a row as the Bulldogs are now 13-15 overall and 3-12 in the SEC.
Tennessee's defense was stout, limiting Mississippi State to 42.9 percent from the floor and just 3-of-14 from 3-point range.
Led by McRae -- who had a season-high in rebounds -- the Vols outrebounded the Bulldogs, 43-35. Stokes became Tennessee's career leader in offensive rebounds with five of his nine boards on the offensive glass. With 303, has passed Wayne Chism (302).
The Bulldogs were led by Roquez Johnson, who had 19 points. Leading Craig Sword (13.5 ppg) was limited to nine points. Fred Thomas added 18 points, 14 in the second half.
Up by 11 at halftime, Tennessee fended off the Bulldogs early in the half as Mississippi State got as close four points on three occasions midway through the half.
After Sword's jumper cut the Bulldogs deficit to 54-50 with 10:18 left in the game, McRae went to work. The senior jammed home back-to-back slam dunks to regain a 10-point bulge for Tennessee with 8:34 left, 60-50.
Mississippi State got back within four points on a Sword layup with 2:16, as he cut the Vols lead to 67-63.
Tennessee had just two turnovers in the second half after nine in the first 20 minutes.
The Vols outscored the Bulldogs 19-9 late in the first half to lead 35-24 at halftime. McRae (12) and Stokes (10) combined for 22 first-half points. McRae tied his season high for rebounds in the first half alone with seven.
Mississippi State missed its first six shots from the field as the Bulldogs didn't make a basket for the game's first 5:30. The Bulldogs shot just 34.6 percent in the first half and were just 1-of-7 from 3-point range.
The Vols return to action on Saturday as Tennessee hosts rival Vanderbilt at 12 Noon. That game airs on ESPN2 and can be heard on the Vol Network.
On Saturday, Tennessee will retire the No. 14 jersey of Dale Ellis. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 11:40 a.m., for the the ceremony prior to the 12:02 p.m. tip-off.