NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jordan McRae scored 17 points Thursday as fifth-seeded Tennessee defeated No. 13 seed Mississippi State 69-53 in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Tennessee (20-11) won for the ninth time in its last 10 games to advance to a Friday quarterfinal against No. 4 seed Alabama (20-11) in a matchup of NCAA tournament bubble teams. Tennessee and Alabama split their regular-season matchups, with the home team winning each time.
Trae Golden had 15 points and Jarnell Stokes and Quinton Chievous added 10 points apiece for Tennessee. Chievous' 10 points represented a career high for the redshirt freshman.
Craig Sword scored 19 points, Colin Borchert had 12 and Trivante Bloodman added 10 for Mississippi State (10-22). The Bulldogs entered the SEC tournament with only six scholarship players.
Mississippi State scored the first four points of the game, but Tennessee answered with a 12-0 run and never looked back.