McRae, Stokes lead Vols past Alabama, 76-59

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press
Alabama guard Trevor Releford (12) goes inside for two as Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) and guard Josh Richardson (1) defend during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Photo by Vasha Hunt, lead

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press Alabama guard Trevor Releford (12) goes inside for two as Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) and guard Josh Richardson (1) defend during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Jarnell Stokes delivered body blows near the basket, Jordan McRae bombed away from behind the arc and the Tennessee men’s basketball team continued to play well in February under UT coach Cuonzo Martin.

It also wiped clean what had become a concerning trend — losing to Alabama.

UT never trailed and beat Alabama 76-59 at Coleman Coliseum on Saturday. UT (14-7, 5-3 SEC) claimed its first win here since 2010, which prompted fans who made the trip from Knoxville to sing “Rocky Top” from their seats.

Alabama (9-12, 3-5) lost its second game in a row and fell to 1-12 when an opponent scores 65 points or more.

McRae, who missed his first four shots, finished with a game-high 26 points. He made five of 10 3-pointers. Stokes notched his 30th double-double as a Vol, finishing with 22 points and 16 rebounds. The UT duo counteracted Alabama star point guard Trevor Releford (23 points) and forward Nick Jacobs (13).

UT relied heavily on its long range game early. Six of its eight successful shots from the field in the first half came from behind the arc. The only two that didn’t were compliments of Stokes, who pushed around and overpowered members of the Alabama frontcourt who got in his way. UT improved to 71.4 percent from the field in the second half.

The Vols are now 14-3 in February under Martin. They return to action Wednesday, when they play Vanderbilt in Nashville.

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Comments » 4

no1djkb#278630 writes:

Heck of a win. Like the freshman at starting PG

underthehill writes:

A game the Vols had to have ..Thompson is really coming on..the team handled the full court pressue better..and looked good when they went to zone..good signs this team is finally understanding they can be better than they have played..keep it up and might get the Gators in K town..

no1djkb#278630 writes:

in response to underthehill:

A game the Vols had to have ..Thompson is really coming on..the team handled the full court pressue better..and looked good when they went to zone..good signs this team is finally understanding they can be better than they have played..keep it up and might get the Gators in K town..

totally agree. we need more consistency though. hopefully that will come

johnlg00 writes:

No question this was one of the cleanest games the Vols have played in some time. They looked prepared for everything Bama tried, including the press that tripped the Vols up last year. It took me a few possessions in the second half to realize that the Vols were playing a 1-3-1 zone most of the time. Bama seemed really surprised by that and they had very little success against it. Maybe Martin isn't quite as conservative as some seem to think. Eight down, 10 to go. Keep getting better. "Put your hands on the plow and hold on."

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