JaJuan Smith Lifts Basketball Vols Past MTSU, 109-40

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - by by special report to The Chattanoogan

KNOXVILLE -- JaJuan Smith scored 32 points in leading Tennessee past Middle Tennessee State, 109-40, in a college basketball game.

Chris Lofton broke out of an early season shooting slump and added 17 points. He made 5 of 8 three-point shots.

Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl: "At this point, we are playing about as well as we can expect. We were really quiet before the game, and I did not know if we were nervous or what, but we were very focused.

"I had said that against Prairie View we did not play very hard, but I was wrong. After looking at the film I realized we did play hard, but not with purpose and focus.

"What a tremendous night it was for JaJuan Smith he was terrific. And to think, he could be as good a defensive player as there is in the country. I feel bad about the margin tonight because we did not press. We have a lot of respect for Middle Tennessee.

"Our three seniors had a total of 17 assists and only 1 turnover; that is what you call leadership. Ramar Smith worked hard to change his free-throw stroke. Jordan Howell played with confidence at that position. We had terrific play from our point guards.

"Duke Crews did a good job and we credit Chad Newman, our head trainer, for helping to get him back. Brian Williams has a hip pointer, but we hope he can return by Friday.

"We had good preparation and practice. At the half I told the team to continue to play with purpose. On offense and defense we had some good learning tonight. It was encouraging to see Chris Lofton shooting so well. Our guys were looking for each other. JaJuan Smith was over on the bench jumping up and celebrating everytime Lofton made a bucket."

Middle Tennessee Head Coach Kermit Davis: "You've just got to give a lot of credit to Tennessee. They have been struggling shooting the ball, but they are a national championship-contending team when they shoot the ball like that. I thought they came out with a lot of energy. We started some different guys to try to get some guys' attention, and Tennessee just overwhelmed them early. We could never get our foot back on the ground.

"We just have to close the book on the game. It is an embarrassment to what we are trying to do and what we are trying to be about. But give all of the credit to Tennessee. We are just not getting it done right now, and we will keep working at it and grinding away. We will get it fixed.

"JaJuan Smith and Chris Lofton, who I think is the best backcourt in college basketball, played like it tonight.

"If they shoot it like that, especially with the way they can drive, it is hard to defend them. When you start extending your defense the way we did, they drove it right by us. I thought Wayne Chism is much-improved. We did not get anything accomplished."

POSTGAME NOTES

* JaJuan Smith set a career-high with 32 points, with 26 of them in the first half (previous high: 25)
* Smith's seven 3-pointers tied for third-most in school history.
* The Vols hit 16 3-pointers, tying for the most in school history (last: Ohio State, March 22, 2007).
* Tennessee's 69-point margin of victory is the second-largest in school history (121-42 [79] vs. Mexico, Jan. 24, 1966).
* The Vols' 30 assists are second-highest in school history.
* Jordan Howell and Chris Lofton each had 7 assists (a career-high for Howell, and tying Lofton's career-high).
* Al Kenner of Maryville was selected as the 5,000,000th fan in Thompson-Boling Arena.
* Middle Tennessee's 40 points scored ties the Arena record for lowest points by an opponent (ETSU, Dec. 31, 1996).

VISITORS: Middle Tennessee 1-3
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
21 Hair,Dino........... f 0-1 0-0 2-4 0 2 2 1 2 0 3 0 1 11
54 Hethington,Uriah.... f 1-3 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 1 2 0 1 0 1 13
02 Gilchrest,Broderick. g 1-4 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 4 2 0 1 0 1 19
05 Kanaskie,Kevin...... g 3-10 1-4 2-2 0 6 6 3 9 2 4 0 0 30
11 Johnson,Nigel....... g 3-6 1-2 0-1 0 0 0 4 7 2 2 0 1 28
22 Avery,Darren........ 0-3 0-2 2-2 0 0 0 0 2 0 4 0 0 14
23 Green,Demetrius..... 0-2 0-0 2-4 0 3 3 4 2 1 7 0 0 24
24 Sain,Josh........... 1-6 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 0 2 10
31 Yates,Desmond....... 1-3 0-0 2-2 1 5 6 4 4 1 4 0 0 31
45 Hudson,Theryn....... 3-4 0-0 2-2 2 1 3 5 8 1 2 0 2 20
TEAM................ 1 1
Totals.............. 13-42 2-12 12-17 6 18 24 27 40 7 29 0 8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 6-22 27.3% 2nd Half: 7-20 35.0% Game: 31.0% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-7 28.6% 2nd Half: 0-5 0.0% Game: 16.7% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 7-9 77.8% 2nd Half: 5-8 62.5% Game: 70.6% 3

HOME TEAM: Tennessee 4-0
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
01 Smith,Tyler......... f 4-5 0-0 3-4 0 2 2 2 11 2 1 0 1 21
04 Chism,Wayne......... f 2-6 0-1 1-2 2 3 5 2 5 2 0 0 1 13
02 Smith,JaJuan........ g 11-15 7-11 3-4 0 3 3 0 32 3 1 0 2 19
05 Lofton,Chris........ g 6-9 5-8 0-0 0 3 3 0 17 7 0 1 0 23
15 Howell,Jordan....... g 3-4 3-4 0-0 1 2 3 1 9 7 0 0 3 21
11 Cannington,Quinn.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2
12 Smith,Ramar......... 3-4 0-0 6-7 0 2 2 3 12 2 0 0 2 16
22 Pearl,Steven........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 8
23 Tatum,Cameron....... 3-6 1-2 2-4 0 2 2 2 9 1 3 0 4 20
24 Wild,Tanner......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4
25 Tabb,Josh........... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 0 2 1 0 0 1 15
32 Crews,Duke.......... 3-4 0-0 3-5 0 3 3 3 9 3 2 0 1 22
34 Childress,Ryan...... 1-3 0-2 1-2 2 2 4 0 3 1 0 1 1 14
40 Daniels-Mulholland,R 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
TEAM................ 1 1
Totals.............. 37-57 16-28 19-28 6 25 31 14 109 30 9 2 18 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 20-32 62.5% 2nd Half: 17-25 68.0% Game: 64.9% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 8-15 53.3% 2nd Half: 8-13 61.5% Game: 57.1% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 13-18 72.2% 2nd Half: 6-10 60.0% Game: 67.9% 5

Officials: Doug Shows, Antinio Petty, John Hampton
Technical fouls: Middle Tennessee-None. Tennessee-None.
Attendance: 18592
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
Middle Tennessee.............. 21 19 - 40
Tennessee..................... 61 48 - 109

(E-mail Stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)


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