By: Sean Cartell
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
• 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 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.