Dec. 27, 2005
Knoxville, Tenn. (AP) -- Chris Lofton scored 19 points Tuesday night to lead Tennessee to a 93-68 win over Alabama A&M.
The Volunteers (7-1) spent last week in the Top 25 for the first time since late in the 2000-01 season after they beat then-No. 6 Texas 95-78. But Tennessee dropped out of the rankings this week following an 89-73 loss at Oklahoma State.
The Vols rebounded from their only loss of the season in their second home game this month.
Alabama A&M (2-4), coming off losses at Vanderbilt and Nebraska, kept pace with Tennessee in the first half, trailing by six with 3:46 left before halftime.
But the Vols expanded their 13-point halftime lead to 24 in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second half. Andre Patterson had a lay-in, then stole the Bulldogs' inbound pass under his basket and completed a three-point play to start the half. Major Wingate had two dunks during the span, and Tennessee was in control.
The Vols pushed their lead to 30 halfway through the period.
Lofton scored 17 points by halftime and was 5-of-9 from beyond the arc for the game. JaJuan Smith and C.J. Watson each scored 16 points, a career high for Smith, Stanley Asumnu had 15 points and Patterson grabbed 14 rebounds for Tennessee.
Alabama A&M was led by Joe Martin's career-high 27 points. He was 11-of-16 from the field. Obie Trotter and Michael Ford had 12 points apiece.
Tennessee had a flurry of fast-break scoring that stretched their lead to 15 in the final minute of the first half. Lofton had layup on a breakaway and then he passed ahead to Asumnu for a basket on the next fast break that put the Vols ahead 45-30.