Dec. 23, 2006

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Game Highlights

Coach Pearl | C. Lofton & W. Chism

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Chris Lofton scored a career-high 35 points, including a key 3-pointer to give Tennessee its first lead in the second half, and the Volunteers held off Texas in overtime to win 111-105 on Saturday.

Tennessee (10-2) came back from 17 points down in the second half to take the lead 88-87 when Lofton hit a 3 with 18.1 seconds left in regulation.

Texas (8-3) couldn't get the ball inbounds amidst the deafening cheering, and the Vols got it back.

Ramar Smith was fouled and made one of two free throws to put Tennessee ahead by two. Texas set up its final play, and big freshman Kevin Durant drove to the basket and scored with 1.1 seconds left to tie it at 89 and send the game into overtime.

Lofton hit his career-tying seventh 3 of the game to start overtime. D.J. Augustin answered with a basket for Texas to cut it to 92-91, but that was as close as the Longhorns would get the rest of the way.

Tennessee went 8-of-10 from the foul line in the final 1:12.

JaJuan Smith added 19 points, and Wayne Chism had 18 for Tennessee. Duke Crews scored all of his 16 points in the second half, and Ramar Smith added 15 points and nine assists for the Vols. Lofton also had 11 rebounds for his first career double-double.

Durant led Texas with 26 points, Augustin had 20, A.J. Abrams added 17 and Justin Mason had 15 before fouling out.

The Longhorns, who have the youngest starting lineup in school history, looked like they were headed for an easy victory to avenge last year's stunning 95-78 loss to the other UT in Austin last year in coach Bruce Pearl's first season.

But once again Pearl found a way to win with the youngest team he's ever coached, overcoming Texas' dominance in the first half and bigger speedy players.

At 6-foot-9, Durant proved tough to guard, but he picked up his fourth foul late.

The Longhorns were ahead by eight after Abrams hit a 2 with 2:52 left. But Tennessee kept chipping away as they had during the whole game. Crews scored twice around a free throw by Texas, and Lofton hit another 3 with 1:05 left to cut it to 87-85. Abrams miss on a drive, and Lofton got his shot to give the Vols the lead and made it.

Tennessee was playing without starting point guard Jordan Howell, who broke his right hand in practice on Thursday. For most of the game, it didn't look like it would matter because the Longhorns were so dominant.

Texas was up 50-35 at halftime. Three Longhorns reached double figures in scoring, and Texas' defense was stifling as the Vols struggled to score.

Tennessee led 11-5 after a hot start, but it was short lived. The Vols went cold, and Texas reeled off a 17-2 run to take the lead and go up by nine with 10:35 remaining. Tennessee went nine minutes between field goals -- both shots by JaJuan Smith. His 3-pointer cut it to 24-20 with 8:31 remaining in the first half, but Mason hit one at the other end for Texas.

The Vols have won six in a row after loss to No. 2 North Carolina on Nov. 24. Their wins include Memphis, Western Kentucky and Oklahoma State on Monday.





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