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UMass Knocked Out of NCAA Tourney with 86-67 Loss to Tennessee

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

by AARON BEARD, AP Basketball Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Jarnell Stokes scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help Tennessee beat Massachusetts 86-67 on Friday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Jordan McRae added 21 points for the Volunteers (23-12), the No. 11 seed in the Midwest Regional. Tennessee had little trouble with the sixth-seeded Minutemen (24-9), shooting 54 percent from the field and handling UMass’ fullcourt pressure in a surprisingly one-sided performance that included another solid defensive showing.

The Vols are in the NCAAs for the first time in three seasons, starting with a First Four overtime win against Iowa. Now they are headed to Sunday’s third round to face 14th-seeded Mercer, who upset Duke in Friday.

Chaz Williams and Maxie Esho scored 12 points each for UMass in its first NCAA appearance since 1998. But the Minutemen fell behind by double figures early, trailed by 20 points before halftime and never got closer than 10 again.

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