Vols top Dogs in SEC opener
Published: Monday, January 8, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 8, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Chris Lofton scored 21 points and Duke Crews added 18 to help No. 19 Tennessee open the Southeastern Conference slate with a 92-84 win over Mississippi State.
Big Baby in wreck
- BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU forward Glen Davis was taken to the hospital for evaluation after being in an automobile accident early Sunday morning just hours after the Tigers' 66-49 victory over Connecticut.
Ramar Smith added 13 points and seven assists, and JaJuan Smith had 12 points for Tennessee (13-2) which has won nine in a row since back-to-back losses to Butler and North Carolina in November. The streak is the Vols' longest since they opened the 2000-01 season 9-0.
Jamont Gordon had a career-high 25 points, and added 11 rebounds and nine assists, but it wasn't enough for the Bulldogs (9-5), who don't have an SEC road win since the end of the 2004-05 season.
NO. 2 NORTH CAROLINA 84, FLORIDA STATE 58
Tyler Hansbrough scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half and No. 2 North Carolina beat visiting Florida State for the Tar Heels' 11th straight victory.
Freshman Brandan Wright added 20 points, and North Carolina (14-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) got the dominating victory it needed to perhaps ascend to No. 1 when The Associated Press Top 25 is released Monday.
Al Thornton had 29 points to lead Florida State (12-4, 0-2).
North Carolina took control with a 20-7 run late in the first half, then broke the game open by starting the second half on a 15-6 run that pushed the Tar Heels' lead into double figures to stay.
North Carolina, which remained perfect at home and has won nine of its 10 games at the Dean Smith Center by at least 12 points, made a strong case for taking over the top spot from UCLA, which was upset over the weekend by Oregon.
Florida State fell to 1-4 against ranked teams with its lone victory coming against defending national champion Florida on Dec. 3.
NO. 9 KANSAS 70, SOUTH CAROLINA 54
Mario Chalmers scored 19 points and Darrell Arthur added 17 to help visiting Kansas win its seventh straight and end South Carolina's six-game winning streak.
Chalmers had 13 of his points in the first half when the Jayhawks (13-2) opened a 14-point lead.
Dwayne Day scored 13 points to lead South Carolina (10-3), which got a boost when leading scorer Tre Kelley returned from a left knee sprain that caused him to miss a victory over Western Carolina earlier this week.
But Chalmers and the Gamecocks held Kelley to 10 points — nearly 7 below his average — on 3-of-16 shooting.
NO. 10 PITTSBURGH 69, SOUTH FLORIDA 48
Pittsburgh overcame another ineffective game by star Aaron Gray, turning to a smaller unit to open an 11-point lead and cruise to victory over visiting South Florida.
The 7-foot Gray, the Big East preseason player of the year, scored in single figures for the fourth game in a row — he had seven points on 2-for-7 shooting in 20 minutes. Also, 6-10 power forward Levon Kendall was held to five points by the smaller Bulls.
Levance Fields had 11 points and was the only player in double figures for Pittsburgh (14-2, 2-0 in Big East), but the Panthers had seven players with seven or more points. Pitt is 10-0 at home.
Kentrell Gransberry had 14 and Jesus Verdejo added 12 for South Florida (9-7, 0-2), which is 1-17 in Big East play since moving from Conference USA last season.
SYRACUSE 70, NO. 15 MARQUETTE 58
Eric Devendorf scored a season-high 20 points to help visiting Syracuse upset Marquette.
It was the first victory in four games against ranked teams this season for the Orange (12-4, 1-1 Big East).
Jerel McNeal scored 16 points in his return to the lineup for Marquette (13-4, 0-2), which has lost its first two conference games for the first time in eight seasons under coach Tom Crean.
Syracuse had only two field goals in the final 9 minutes of the game, but managed to keep pace with the Golden Eagles by going to the free-throw line and holding Marquette's offense in check. The Orange held Golden Eagles guard Dominic James to a season-low six points.
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