Tennessee tops S. Alabama
Published: Thursday, January 5, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 5, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Major Wingate scored 17 and C.J. Watson added 16 to help Tennessee to an 87-69 win over South Alabama on Wednesday.
The Volunteers (9-1) have won three in a row since their only loss of the season at Oklahoma State and had their final tune-up before Southeastern Conference play begins Sunday at South Carolina.
The Jaguars (9-3), who got their first victory over a ranked team since 1997 by beating then-No. 25 Houston earlier this month, were outmatched from the beginning.
Tennessee shot a season-high 56.5 percent from the floor (35-of-62) and had 10 steals.
Chris Lofton scored 14 points and JaJuan Smith had 10 for the Vols. Dane Bradshaw had a career-high eight assists.
Rasheem Barrett scored 21 points and Auburn shot 60 percent in a win over Southern Miss.
The Tigers (8-3) have now won the past 12 meetings with the Golden Eagles (6-9), who are 1-14 in the series. It was the final nonconference game for both teams.
Daniel Hayles had 17 points and Ronny LeMelle added 16 for Auburn. Barrett, Hayles and LeMelle were a combined 19-of-25 shooting.
They had only one less field goal than the Golden Eagles, who were 20-of-51.
Led by Barrett, Auburn got 40 points from its reserves.
The Tigers finished both the first and second half in dominant fashion.
Auburn surged to a 42-28 halftime lead, closing on a 23-5 run after Southern Miss briefly took the lead. LeMelle scored Auburn's final seven points of the half, including a layup with 26 seconds left off a pass from Barrett.
Maureece Rice scored 14 points and Mike Hall had 12 points and 11 rebounds, leading No. 20 George Washington to a win over Temple in the Atlantic 10 Conference opener for both teams.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Danilo Pinnock each added 12 points for George Washington (9-1).
Mardy Collins had 19 points and Antywane Robinson added 13 for Temple (6-5).
George Washington climbed to No. 12 in the AP poll by winning its first eight games, but fell eight spots after a 21-point loss to then-No. 19 North Carolina State last Friday.
Clemson made 10 of 16 free throw attempts in the final seven and a half minutes to hang on to beat visiting Florida State in the ACC opener for both teams.
Clemson, 12-2 overall and 1-0 in the ACC, snapped a two-game losing streak. The loss drops Florida State to 9-2, 0-1 and ends the Seminoles' seven-game winning streak.
The Tigers scored just five field goals in the second half, one in the final 13:30, but still managed to pull out its fourth victory in its last five games against Florida State.
Clemson shot just 22 percent from the field in the second half (5-23) and finished the game at 36 percent.
The Tigers also snapped another losing streak. Before Wednesday night, Clemson had lost seven straight ACC openers.
Shawn Robinson led Clemson with 12 points. Robinson also had five rebounds. Troy Mathis and Vernon Hamilton added 10 points apiece for the Tigers.
Florida State was led by Al Thorton with 12 points and Alexander Johnson with 11.
The Tigers opened the second half by increasing their six-point halftime lead to double digits at 41-30 with 18:45 left.
A bank shot by Jerel Allen at the 12:55 mark cut the Clemson lead to 46-42.
The Seminoles got within three, 47-44, with 9:26 to play. But the Tigers put together five straight points on two free throws and a 3-point basket by Cliff Hammonds for a 52-44 lead at the 7:22 mark.
An inside basket by Thornton got Florida State to within two 53-51 with 2:55 left, but the Seminoles would get no closer.
Florida State, trailing 33-22 at the 2:18 mark, outscored Clemson 8-3 in the final two minutes to cut the Tigers' halftime lead to 36-30. The Tigers aided the late Seminole run with three turnovers in their final four possessions.
Mathis closed the half with a 3-point basket at the horn to increase Clemson's lead to six points.
After a tie at 12 at the 10:04, Clemson used a 14-6 run to take a 26-18 lead with 5:04 left in the half.
The Tigers made seven 3-point goals in the first half, three by Mathis and two by Rivers.
Florida State shot 56 percent in the first half but was 0-for-1 from behind the arc and just 2-for-7 from the free throw line.
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