Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - Joe Jackson scored 20 points, leading four starters in double figures, as the Memphis Tigers held on to defeat the Tennessee Volunteers, 85-80, in non-conference play at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Jackson, who shot 9-of-11 at the free-throw line, added seven assists and four steals for the Tigers (10-3) as they picked up their fourth win in a row and the eighth in nine tries. Adonis Thomas tallied 18 points, Geron Johnson 16 and D.J. Stephens 11 points to go along with six boards and five blocked shots for the visitors.
The Volunteers (8-4) were paced by Jordan McRae who dropped in a game-high 26 points in 31 minutes off the bench, followed by Josh Richardson with 20 and nine boards as the team had a four-game win streak snapped. Kenny Hall logged a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Jarnell Stokes came up a rebound shy of a double-double himself as he posted 11 points.
Memphis scored the first points of the night and never looked back as the team made good on an impressive 64.0 percent from the floor, including 4-of-5 behind the three-point line in the first half on the way to a 42-28 lead at the break.
After shooting just 27.6 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes of action, the Vols showed signs of life in the second half with 56.8 percent accuracy as they closed the gap from what was once a 21-point deficit to single digits before suffering the five-point setback.
The Tigers finished the meeting with 56.4 percent accuracy from the field and 7-of-11 shooting beyond the arc.