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    Tennessee Downs Mississippi State

    By: Sean Cartell
    Twitter: @SEC_Sean
    SEC Digital Network

    Box Score (PDF) | Photo Gallery | Tennessee Quotes | Mississippi State Quotes | Highlights

    NASHVILLE - Jordan McRae scored a team-high 17 points Thursday and fifth-seeded Tennessee achieved a 20-win season for the first time since 2009-10 with a 69-53 win against 13th-seeded Mississippi State at the Southeastern Conference Tournament at Bridgestone Arena.

    Tennessee (20-11) advances to the SEC Tournament quarterfinals to face fourth-seeded Alabama (20-11) at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday in a game that will be carried live on ESPNU.

    McRae was one of four Tennessee players to achieve double-figure point totals as Trae Golden added 15 points, while Quinton Chievous and Jarnell Stokes each chipped in 10. Stokes, who averaged a double-double in conference play, finished with a game-high nine rebounds.

    Tennessee shot 51.8 percent (29-of-56) from the field in the game, while Mississippi State shot 34.5 percent (20-of-58) from the floor. The Vols out-rebounded the Bulldogs 35-33.

    Mississippi State (10-22) was led by a game-high 19 points from Craig Sword.

    Tennessee-Mississippi State Series Notes:
        All-Time Series:  Tennessee leads 77-41
        In SEC Tournament Games: Tennessee leads 7-3
    Earlier this Season:  on Jan. 19, Tennessee won 72-57 in Knoxville
        
    Game Notes:
    •    Key run: after Mississippi State scored the first four points of the game, Tennessee went on a 12-0 run and led the remainder of the game.
    •    Tennessee led 35-19 at halftime.
    •    Mississippi State got as close as nine points (58-49) with 4:42 remaining but Tennessee outscored MSU 11-4 the rest of the way.
    •    Key stats: Tennessee won points in the paint 42-24 and bench points 21-1.  
        
    Mississippi State Notes:
    •    Mississippi State is 10-22 but finished the season with three wins in its last five games.
    •    Freshman All-SEC selection Craig Sword led the Bulldogs with 19 points and added four steals.
    •    Colin Borchert scored 12 points, tallying double figures in five of his last six games.
    •    Trivante Bloodman scored 10, just three shy of his career high.

    Tennessee Notes:
    •    Tennessee is 20-11 and the Volunteers have won nine of their last 10 games.
    •    This is 25th season in school history that Tennessee has won at least 20 games.  The last time was 2009-10 when the Vols went 28-9.
    •    Tennessee made 51.8 percent of its shots today, 29 of 56.  UT is 6-0 this season when shooting at least 50 percent from the field.
    •    Jordan McRae led Tennessee with 17 points, continuing his recent surge.  McRae is averaging 24.6 points over his last seven games.
    •    Also landing in double figures were Trae Golden (15 points), Quinton Chievous (10) and Jarnell Stokes (10).  Stokes also had a game-high nine rebounds.
    •    Looking ahead to Friday – Tennessee takes on Alabama at 2:30 p.m. CDT.  The teams split two games in January, Alabama winning 68-65 in Tuscaloosa and Tennessee winning 54-53 in Knoxville.