March 14, 2013
Vols move past Bulldogs, 69-53
NASHVILLE -- Tennessee (20-11, 12-7) opened play in the SEC tournament with a solid showing today, handling an outmanned Mississippi State (10-22, 4-15) squad 69-53 to advance to Friday afternoon's match-up against No. 3 seed Alabama.
The Vols controlled the game for the duration and Mississippi State looked like a team that was playing it's second game in less than 24 hours.
Tennessee jumped on top early in the first half, and built a 35-19 halftime lead. The Bulldogs took advantage of some sloppiness on the Tennessee side to make a bit of a second half run, but never got close enough to seriously think about pulling the upset.
"I think we played well in that first half. I don't think anybody was nervous, which is something you wonder about in a different atmosphere, but I thought guys were really ready to play today," Jordan McRae said after helping lead his team to a win.
"You really want to come out and play well in your first game, get your legs under you. I thought we did a really good job of that in the first half but we've got to close it out better."
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