KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Elvin Brown scored a career-high 23 points and Dyron Nix added 20 points as Tennessee beat Pepperdine, 96-75, and won the 22nd annual Volunteer tournament championship Tuesday night.
The victory gives Tennessee its 19th Volunteer tournament title.
In a consolation game earlier Tuesday, Trent Shippen scored 14 points and Pat Durham had 12 to lead Colorado State past Army, 61-36.
Said Tennessee Coach Don DeVoe: "In the second half, we played the best basketball we've played all year," he said. "Our inside game was working."
The Volunteers (7-1) built a 37-31 halftime lead after straight field goals by Clarence Swearengen, Mark Griffin and Greg Bell and three free throws by Griffin.
That margin came after several lead changes and ties in the period, and the Volunteers held the advantage thereafter.
The Waves drew to 43-40 three minutes into the second period on Middlebrooks' two free throws, but the Volunteers surged to 60-46 on a Nix basket with 11:40 left.
Tennessee increased its lead to 67-50 on Ian Lockhart's jumper at 9:07.
From then on, the closest Pepperdine came was 14 points, at 69-55, on Tom Lewis' three-point shot with 8:25 left.
Craig Davis had a game-high 19 points, and Levy Middlebrooks added 18 points and 12 rebounds for Pepperdine.
For Colorado State, Durham also grabbed six rebounds as the Rams improved to 7-2 after the consolation victory over Army (3-5).
Steve Rothert led the Cadets' with 10 points. Army shot only 36% from the field and turned the ball over 21 times.
The Rams took a 22-14 halftime lead after both sides went scoreless five minutes into the game.
Then three-pointers by Shippen and David Turcotte, who had 12 points, gave Colorado State a 28-18 advantage.
The Rams built their advantage to 47-30 on a Shippen layup with 5:14 left to play.
The Rams lost to Pepperdine, 66-62, in Monday's opening round. Tennessee defeated Army, 75-52, in the opener.