Late MTSU Run Ends Vols’ Year, 71-64

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MTSU finished the game with a 15-0 run to knock top-seeded Tennessee out of the NIT with a 71-64 win on Monday night.

No. 4 seed MTSU (27-6) will take on the winner of the No. 6-seed Minnesota at No. 2-Seed Miami (Fla.) game which is taking place right now. The NIT Quarterfinal final game will be played on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. And be televised on ESPN2.

The Vols finish the season at 19-15 as Jeronne Maymon tallied 17 points and seven rebounds. Jarnell Stokes netted 15 points while Trae Golden had 14 and eight assists.

Bruce Massey, who came into the game averaging 5.6 points, scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds. He also made 8-of-9 free throws, after coming into the game as a 55 percent shooter.

Massey put MTSU ahead for good at 65-64 with 1:29 left in regulation. He then blocked Trae Golden’s jump shot just seconds later and added a jump-stop bucket in the paint with 39.1 seconds left in the game.

Raymond Cintron made four free throws in the final 17.2 to seal the win and finish the 15-0 run.

Tennessee didn’t score for the game’s final 7:11. The Vols made just 1-of-13 from 3-point range and were outrebounded 46-30 by MTSU.

MTSU battled back to get within one at 64-63 on a lay-up by Marcos Knight with 2:41 left in regulation as the Blue Raiders went on a 7-0 run.

The Vols extended their lead to 64-56 on a Jordan McRae driving lay-up after Stokes saved a ball from going out of bounds with 7:11 remaining. That would be the Vols’ final points of the season.

A putback by Yemi Makanjuola gave the Vols a 55-48 lead with 11:27 left in the second half and forced MTSU to call timeout.

The Vols took a 45-41 lead on a 3-point play by Golden with 16:28 left in the second half.

Tennessee took its first lead since 2-0 on a Maymon lay-in, one minute into the second half, as the Vols took a 39-38 advantage.

The Vols trailed 36-34 at halftime as McRae swatted Massey as time expired in the half. Stokes tallied 12 and Maymon added 11 points in the first half.

The end of the first half was frenetic as the Vols cut the deficit to a bucket after being down 36-29 with less than a minute left.

Down by as many as 12 points in the first half, the Vols rallied tie the game at 25-25 on a Josh Richardson jumper with 2:58 left in the first half. That bucket finished off a 14-2 run by the Vols spanning 5:19. During that stretch, the Vols forced MTSU into six turnovers.

MTSU opened the game with runs of, 8-0, 7-0 and 6-0 in the first 12 minutes to build a 23-11 lead with 8:36 left in the first half. Bruce Massey’s jumper gave the Blue Raiders a 12-point bulge.

Courtesy UT Media Relations