Final
  for this game

No. 24 Tennessee faces Coppin State in first-ever meeting

Nov 19, 2006 - 4:01 PM Coppin St (0-2) at No. 24 Tennessee (3-0) 4:00 pm EST

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- A tenacious defense has been a significant factor in Tennessee's quick start this season.

Coach Bruce Pearl hopes the 24th-ranked Volunteers can maintain their high energy level Sunday in their first-ever meeting against Coppin State.

After opening with an 83-52 rout of Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee posted consecutive victories over Fordham and UNC-Wilmington in the first two rounds of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Nashville. The Volunteers will meet Butler in Wednesday's semifinals.

JaJuan Smith scored a career-high 21 points, Chris Lofton added 17 and Duke Crews 13 for Tennessee, which forced 32 turnovers in Tuesday's 87-75 triumph over UNC-Wilmington.

The Volunteers are averaging 82.7 points and forcing an average of 27.7 turnovers in its first three outings.

Coming off a 94-43 loss to Virginia Tech in the season opener, Coppin State suffered a 79-67 defeat at Hawaii on Monday. Tywain McKee scored 22 points and was the only Eagles' player in double figures.

Coppin State has lost 28 consecutive games against non-conference opponents and is 1-30 against ranked teams. The lone victory was against South Carolina in the 1997 NCAA Tournament.






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