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Big Second Half Sends No. 4 Volunteers Past Razorbacks

Big Second Half Sends No. 4 Volunteers Past Razorbacks

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -JaJuan Smith scored 32 points, including going 6-for-6 from 3-point range, to lead No. 4 Tennessee in a 93-71win overArkansas on Wednesday night.

Smith setting a school record for 3-point percentage. Four other Vols, including current senior Chris Lofton, have gone 5-of-5.

Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism both added 15 points for the Volunteers (22-2, 9-1 Southeastern Conference), while Duke Crews had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Sonny Weems had 20 points for Arkansas (17-6, 6-3).

The Vols took an 11-4 lead in the opening 3 1/2 minutes, driving inside several times against one of the SEC’s stingiest defenses.

“We got just enough inside offense tonight to keep things honest,” Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl said.

Tennessee built its lead to 11 points twice during the first half with the help of free throws.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Vincent Hunter and Weems whittled the margin to 35-30 with 4:50 left in the first half. A free throw by Darian Townes cut the Vols’ lead to 41-38 with 1:45 left.

But Tennessee came out strong in the second half as JaJuan Smith hit a 3 within 30 seconds. Tyler Smith stole the ball from Michael Washington, who had grabbed a rebound, and was fouled as he made a layup.

Tyler Smith nailed the free throw as part of the 11-1 run that put the Vols up 54-39 with 17:30 left.

Townes finished with 12 points and Washington grabbed 10 rebounds.

The loss was the most lopsided for Arkansas since an 84-60 defeat at Mississippi State exactly a year ago.

The Vols managed to shut down Patrick Beverley, one of only three SEC players averaging a double-double in league play. Beverley finished with five points and one rebound.

Tennessee showed that its focus on free throw shooting during practice this week paid off, taking advantage of 14 first-half Razorback fouls by going 14-of-17 from the line.

Pearl concentrated on free throw shooting during practice after the Vols went 4-for-15 from the line against LSU on Saturday in their 47-45 win.

The Razorbacks travel to Mississippi State on Saturday for a 3 p.m. game televised by ESPN.

Sports Category : Basketball (M)