BATON ROUGE, La. -- Jordan McRae scored 19 points and Jarnell Stokes registered his 25th career double-double to lead Tennessee to a 68-50 victory against LSU in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams Tuesday.
McRae, who made all three of his 3-point attempts, also handed out five assists. Stokes finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Antonio Barton, who made four 3-pointers, added 14 for the Volunteers (10-4), who have won six consecutive games against the Tigers.
LSU (9-4) had only two players in double-figure scoring. Jordan Mickey had 14 points, while Johnny O'Bryant III chipped in with 11. Senior Andre Stringer failed to score a point for the first time in his career.
Tennessee used smothering defense and red-hot 3-point shooting to take a 38-24 halftime lead. LSU made just 34 percent (11-of-32) of its first half shots. Meanwhile, the Volunteers made seven first-half shots from behind the arc -- four by Barton.
Tennessee took the lead for good at 15-12 on a D'Montre Edwards 3-pointer with 11:58 remaining in the first half. The Vols pulled away in the final seven minutes of the opening half when they outscored the Tigers 18-4. All of those Tennessee points came from its perimeter players.
Barton made three of his four 3-pointers in that stretch. McRae made two baskets, including a 3-pointer, and Josh Richardson made two field goals. The only LSU points during that time came on field goals by O'Bryant and Mickey.
The Volunteers protected their double-digit lead throughout the second half. In the first eight minutes after halftime, LSU cut its deficit to a dozen points on three occasions. Each time, Tennessee answered with a basket -- twice by Stokes.
Andrew White III will return to the Nebraska men's basketball team next season after removing his name from the NBA draft.
Mike Brey is looking at former Notre Dame players to fill two assistant jobs that have opened up with the departures of Martin Ingelsby and Anthony Solomon.
Purdue's 2016-17 prospects got a jolt Wednesday when forward Caleb Swanigan announced he will return for his sophomore season.