Tennessee cruises to 18th straight home winNov 15, 2007 - 4:27 AM KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Tyler Smith and the rest of the seventh-ranked Tennessee offense did its part to ensure the home-court winning streak continued Wednesday night.
Smith scored 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting and four other players registered double figures as the Volunteers cruised to their 18th consecutive home victory, a 101-44 drubbing of Arkansas-Monticello in a regional round-robin game of the Legends Classic tournament.
Wayne Chism had 13 points and seven rebounds and JaJuan Smith added 14 points for the Volunteers, who have not lost at Thompson-Boling Arena since suffering an 80-78 setback to Kentucky during the 2005-06 campaign.
"Tennessee has an excellent basketball team," Arkansas-Monticello coach Mike Newell said. "They are deep, and they are going to be tough to contend with. I do not see them losing at home. They have the big kid (Tyler Smith) back; they have good size and excellent athleticism."
Ramar Smith collected 12 points and five assists while Jordan Howell added 10 points and five for Tennessee (2-0), which entered the season with its highest preseason ranking in school history.
Chris Lofton, who scored just five points in 22 minutes, was the only Volunteer starter not to reach double figures. Tennessee had 14 of its 15 players score.
"The way we played was a testament to our depth," Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl said. "We have 12 good players in the program, and we do not have a player who cannot play."
The Volunteers knocked down 15 of their first 16 two-point attempts en route to taking a 45-25 lead into the break. They did not let up in the second half, shooting 63 percent (20-of-32) from the floor after intermission.
"You have got to give Tennessee credit," Newell said. "Physically, they are so much bigger and stronger than our bunch. Obviously, in the second half, they came out and got too many easy baskets. I think we wore down a little bit."
Tennessee shot 60 percent (39-of-65) overall from the field, despite going just 7-of-23 from the arc.
"We were unselfish in shooting, as indicated by our shooting 60 percent," Pearl said. "We passed up some good shots to get some better shots. We had good looks from 3-point range, but we did not hit our 3-pointers very well."
The Boll Weevils were led by Deron Brown, who finished with 11 points. Arkansas-Monticello shot just 25 percent (15-of-56) and committed 26 turnovers.
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- Tennessee's Punter emerges as 1 of nation's prolific scorers Jan 8
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