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February 15, 2006

Hot Vols blow past Auburn

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Box score

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Chris Lofton scored 25 points and JaJuan Smith added a career-high 19 to lead No. 8 Tennessee to a 105-89 victory over Auburn on Wednesday night that included a school-record 16 3-pointers.

C.J. Watson added 18 points, Patterson had 15, Major Wingate 12 and Stanley Asumnu 10 for the Volunteers (19-3, 10-1), who won their eighth straight Southeastern Conference game.

The Tigers (10-12, 2-9) have not won on the road this season.

Tennessee lost 62-59 at Auburn last season, but the game wasn't close this time.

The Vols opened with an 8-0 run and the closest the Tigers got was five points. The Vols led by as many as 17 points.

Auburn cut it to 35-25 on Quantez Robertson's 3-pointer with 2:10 left, but Tennessee went on a 7-0 run to finish the first half.

Tennessee pushed its lead to 67-44 on Patterson's three-point play and a basket by Asumnu with 12:15 remaining. Auburn rallied with a 9-0 run that included consecutive baskets by Korvotney Barber to cut it to 14 with 9:57 left.

Lofton ended the spurt with a 3 that bounced off the rim and in. Ronny LeMelle scored for Auburn, but Lofton made two free throws and Smith had a 3 to restore the 20-point lead with 8:52 to go.

The starters stayed in the game and scored the most points since beating East Tennessee State 106-83 in the season opener.

LeMelle scored 19 points, Robertson had 17, Barber 14, Frank Tolbert 13 and Rasheem Barrett 11 for Auburn.

Lofton was selected the SEC player of the week after scoring 31 points at Kentucky and 33 points at Georgia last week. He made his first 3 with 1:42 remaining in the first half, and scored 22 points in the second half.

Meanwhile, Patterson was scoring inside, and the Vols had 12 steals. Tennessee leads the SEC in steals at 9.2 per league contest.

Auburn coach Jeff Lebo was back on the bench after spending the Tigers' last game at Arkansas in the locker room because he had the flu.

For more coverage of the Tennessee Volunteers, check out Volquest.com.
For more coverage of the Auburn Tigers, check out AuburnSports.com.

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