Dec. 17, 2005

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  Coach Pearl | Watson

Austin, Texas (AP) - Chris Lofton scored 21 points and Tennessee kept up its perfect early season run under first-year coach Bruce Pearl with a 95-78 victory over No. 6 Texas on Saturday, the Longhorns' second straight blowout loss.

C.J. Watson added 17 points for Tennessee (6-0), which hit 12 3-pointers, hounded Texas into 22 turnovers and routinely sliced through the Longhorns' normally tough defense for easy baskets.

A week earlier, Texas (8-2) was ranked No. 2 and off to its best start in 24 years. Then came a 31-point loss to No. 1 Duke and then this, a surprisingly easy Tennessee victory that snapped the Longhorns' 33-game home winning streak outside the Big 12.

P.J. Tucker had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Texas, which was booed briefly by the home crowd in the first half. The Longhorns outrebounded Tennessee 37-25 but couldn't stop the Volunteers from cashing in on the rash of turnovers with 3-pointers.

Duke hit 12 3-pointers against Texas, nine by All-America J.J. Redick. Lofton filled in where Redick left off, hitting five 3s, some when he was wide open, others with a defender in his face.

Tennessee built a 48-28 halftime lead behind seven 3-pointers. Their tough perimeter defense confused the Longhorns guards and kept them from dumping the ball into center LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 15 points but took just two shots in the first half.

The Longhorns were already playing without injured starter Brad Buckman (calf) when point guard Daniel Gibson staggered off the floor 9 minutes into the first half with a concussion after a blow to the head away from the basket.

Texas hit just two baskets in the first 7 minutes and the home crowd booed when Aldridge turned the ball over on an inbounds pass. Tennessee kept putting on the pressure. JaJuan Smith hit consecutive 3-pointers from deep on the right wing that made it 18-5.

Texas was just as bewildered coming out of the locker room as it was going in. Turnovers by A.J. Abrams and Mike Williams on the first two possessions led to easy layups by Tennessee's Watson.

Tennessee kept stretching the lead.

Lofton hit a 3-pointer from the right corner, then another when the Volunteers missed three shots under the basket before the ball was tipped out to Lofton, who was all alone on the wing. Watson then exploited another hole in the Texas defense, blowing past three Longhorns in the lane for another layup that made it 64-39.

Tennessee led 77-53 before Major Wingate and Ryan Childress fouled out and Texas whittled the lead to 79-68 with just over 3 minutes to play.





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