PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas -- Tennessee was sputtering after its debut in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Volunteers are heading home with a slew of newfound momentum.
Jarnell Stokes scored a season-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Darius Thompson scored 16 and Tennessee beat Wake Forest 82-63 on Saturday in the fifth-place game at the tournament in the Bahamas.
Jordan McRae scored 10 points for the Volunteers (5-2), who controlled play throughout. Tennessee outscored Wake Forest 40-26 in the paint, and held a 34-28 rebounding edge in the first matchup between the schools in nearly 43 years.
Codi Miller-McIntyre scored 17 points for Wake Forest (6-2). Travis McKie scored 15 points and Coron Williams added 10 for the Demon Deacons, who shot 42 percent compared with 53 percent by the Volunteers.
The game was chippy, sometimes mildly heated, with the teams combining for 50 personal fouls and 60 free-throw attempts.
Tennessee's first game in the Bahamas was a late-night loss Thursday to Texas-El Paso, an outing that left Vols coach Cuonzo Martin lamenting how his team was misfiring in a number of areas.
A night of short sleep followed, and Tennessee got right in a hurry. The Volunteers won their last two games in the tournament by a combined 34 points, and Stokes had the 22nd double-double of his 57-game Tennessee career to finish off their stay in the Bahamas.
Tennessee wasn't just hurting Wake Forest inside, the Vols were even hurting each other -- so to speak. After Jeronne Maymon scored with 18:11 to put his team up 50-34, he slapped five with Vols' guard Antonio Barton.
Maymon left that exchange smiling.
Barton left it smarting, shaking his hand after a particularly hard smack from his teammate.
The win came in Tennessee's first of three games against Atlantic Coast Conference teams in the coming weeks. Tennessee plays host to North Carolina State on Dec. 18 and Virginia on Dec. 30.
Wake Forest resumes its schedule against Tulane on Dec. 4. Tennessee is off until it plays host to Tennessee Tech on Dec. 7.