Vols give Pearl home win
Published: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - C.J. Watson scored 20 points and Chris Lofton scored all of his 16 in the second half in Tennessee's 89-76 win over Georgia on Wednesday.
The Volunteers led the entire second half and gave coach Bruce Pearl a victory in his first Southeastern Conference home game.
Reserve JaJuan Smith tied a career high with 16 points while Major Wingate had 14 and Andre Patterson had 11 for Tennessee (11-1, 2-0), which has won five in a row.
The Bulldogs (10-5, 0-2) went without a field goal over 5 of the last 6 minutes as Tennessee continued to build its lead and put it out of reach.
Watson scored 13 points in the first half and finished with five steals. Lofton, who came into the game averaging an SEC-best four 3-pointers a game, didn't make one until 9:08 remaining. Smith made up for it with four 3s of his own.
Tasmin Mitchell scored 19 points, including a key jumper in the final minute, and LSU held off Arkansas (11-4, 0-2).
The Razorbacks trailed by as many as 12 in the second half before pulling to 59-58 on Eric Ferguson's drive with just over a minute remaining. But Mitchell answered with a jumper from the left wing to restore the lead to three, and after an Arkansas time-out, Ferguson's pass was broken up by LSU's Glen Davis.
The Razorbacks still had another chance - Davis missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and the rebound went out of bounds to Arkansas with 5.5 seconds to play. LSU (9-5, 1-0 SEC) fouled rather than let the Razorbacks attempt a tying 3-pointer, and Dontell Jefferson missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Mitchell rebounded and made two free throws to seal the win.
Mitchell had nine rebounds for the Tigers, and Tyrus Thomas added 13 points and 14 rebounds. Davis had 12 points and 10 rebounds. LSU won despite shooting 0-for-8 from 3-point range.
Bam Doyne had 23 points and hit two key free throws with 9 seconds remaining to lift Mississippi to a win over South Carolina.
Auburn transfer Dwayne Curtis added 15 points for the Rebels (12-3, 2-0 SEC), who won their sixth straight game despite nearly blowing an 11-point lead in the final 3 minutes.
South Carolina (9-6, 0-2) twice closed to within two points, but Dwayne Day missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 12 seconds left.
Alonzo Gee scored six of his 17 points over the final 2:17 to lift Alabama to a win over Auburn (8-5, 0-2).
Gee, a freshman who is replacing injured star Chuck Davis, made a 3-pointer and 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch after going two games without scoring a point.
The Crimson Tide (8-6, 1-1 SEC) trailed by seven points at halftime and didn't catch up until Gee's 3-pointer from the left corner with 2:17 left.
The Tide has won the past six meetings with Auburn and nine of 11.
Gee also had 10 rebounds while Steele had 15 points and five assists. Both had three steals.
Jermareo Davidson had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Tide.
Rasheem Barrett had 14 points for Auburn and Josh Dollard added 11.
The Tigers made just 7-of-27 shots in the second half and were outrebounded 42-27 despite the absence of Davis, a senior forward out for the season with torn knee ligaments.
The Tigers turned it over on a bad pass and Ronny LeMelle missed a 3 on Auburn's next two possessions after Gee's basket.
Richard Hendrix hit one of two from the line with 48 seconds to play, then swiped another errant pass. Steele hit a pair of free throws with 29 seconds left to make it 55-50.
Frank Tolbert hit a basket inside and was fouled. He missed the free throw but Barrett grabbed the rebound, giving Auburn a chance to tie it.
But Dollard missed a 3-point attempt and Gee made 1 of 2 from the line with 3.5 seconds left to seal it. Dollard had made a first-half 3-pointer but was only 2-for-12 on the season before the desperate attempt.
Joey Cameron's jumper at the buzzer gave Auburn its biggest lead of the first half, at 34-27. Barrett had a layup and 3-pointer in the final two minutes for the Tigers.
The Tide's first two baskets were 3s but of the other eight in the half, five were dunks or layups.
The teams made just one field goal apiece in the first 5:45.
Alabama has played 11 of its first 13 games at home.
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