No. 19 Vols hand No. 6 Arizona first loss, 77-73

December 23, 2021 GMT
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Tennessee guard Santiago Vescovi (25) shoots past Arizona guard Pelle Larsson (3) during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
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Tennessee guard Santiago Vescovi (25) shoots past Arizona guard Pelle Larsson (3) during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — John Fulkerson had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 19 Tennessee overpowered No. 6 Arizona early and held on for a 77-73 win Wednesday night, giving the Wildcats their first loss.

Santiago Vescovi had 15 points, Josiah-Jordan James added 12 and Justin Powell scored 11 for the Volunteers (9-2).

Bennedict Mathurin had 14 of his 28 points in the first half. He was the only Arizona (11-1) starter to score in the first 20 minutes as Tennessee took a 34-21 lead. Kerr Kriisa scored 11 points for Arizona.

Tennessee hit seven of its first 11 shots and opened with a 16-2 advantage in the first five minutes. It took the Wildcats until the first four minutes of the second half to get back in the game. Arizona hit 7 of 9 shots to start the second half to cut the Vols’ lead to 44-40.


DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Paolo Banchero had 23 points and Duke shot 62% after halftime to beat Virginia Tech in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.

Banchero scored 17 points in that dominant second half, fueled by the move to a smaller lineup around the versatile 6-foot-10 star freshman. That helped Duke (11-1, 1-0 ACC) erase an eight-point deficit early in the second half while slowing Keve Aluma after his big first-half performance.

Wendell Moore Jr. added 18 points for Duke, which has won four straight.

Virginia Tech (8-5, 0-2) thrice closed within seven in the final 5 1/2 minutes, and had a terrific opportunity to draw even closer when Aluma got a wide-open corner 3 down 72-65. But he couldn’t connect, and then Trevor Keels followed with two free throws and a transition layup off a steal to all but seal this one.


AUBURN, La. (AP) — Wendell Green Jr. and Jabari Smith both had double-doubles and Auburn beat Murray State for its eighth straight win.

Auburn (11-1) held Murray State to 28 points below its season average and out-rebounded the Racers 48-33.

Green had 13 points and a career-best 10 rebounds off the bench for the Tigers. Smith had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

Walker Kessler led the way for Auburn’s defense with a season-high seven blocks, giving him three straight games with at least four rejections. Kessler added 13 points and seven rebounds.

Tevin Brown keyed Murray State (10-2) with 22 points in a return to his home state. The rest of the Racers combined to make 11 of 41 shots from the field.


HOUSTON (AP) — Josh Carlton scored a season-high 20 points, Kyler Edwards added 14 and Houston defeated Texas State.

Marcus Sasser had 13 points and Jamal Shead finished with 12 points and 10 assists for Houston (11-2).

Houston, which has won 33 straight home games, outrebounded the Bobcats 31-26 and held a 36-16 advantage in the paint.

Shelby Adams scored 10 points, Nighael Ceaser added nine and Isiah Small had eight for Texas State (9-3), which had won eight in a row.


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Dylan Disu scored 14 points and made three blocks and Texas pulled away in the second half to defeat Alabama State.

Marcus Carr scored 13 for Texas, Andrew Jones had 12 and Timmy Allen produced 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Gerald Liddell, a former Longhorn who transferred to Alabama State (1-10) this season, led the Hornets with 16 points. Juan Reyna added 10.

Texas (9-2) and Alabama State were not scheduled to face each other until their original opponents this week experienced COVID-19 issues.

NO. 17 LSU 95, LIPSCOMB 60

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Darius Days scored 21 points and LSU stayed unbeaten with a win over Lipscomb.

Xavier Pinson scored a season-high 17 points for the Tigers (12-0), who never trailed. Eric Gaines had a career-high 13 points, Brandon Murray also had 13, Efton Reid had 12, and Mwani Wilkinson scored a season-high 11.

Jacob Ognacevic led the Bisons (6-8) with 12 points. Lipscomb shot 39% from the field and committed 22 turnovers.

Hot outside shooting propelled LSU to a 48-24 halftime lead. The Tigers were 8 of 16 on 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes. Days knocked down four 3-pointers.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kellan Grady made six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 23 points, Oscar Tshiebwe grabbed a Rupp Arena-record 28 rebounds and Kentucky used an 18-2 second-half run to blow out Western Kentucky.

TyTy Washington Jr. added 20 points and Jacob Toppin scored 12 as the Wildcats (9-2) routed their second consecutive substitute opponent.

The in-state Hilltoppers (8-5) were added Monday after the postponement of Kentucky’s scheduled matchup against archrival Louisville because of positive COVID-19 tests within the Cardinals’ program. The Wildcats thumped North Carolina 98-69 on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Josh Anderson scored 18 points and Camron Justice had 13 for WKU, which was coming off an 82-72 victory over Louisville.


LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Kevin Obanor had 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists without a turnover, helping Texas Tech beat Eastern Washington.

Adonis Arms and Bryson Williams each had 12 points for the Red Raiders (9-2), who rebounded from their loss Saturday to fourth-ranked Gonzaga. Kevin McCullar had 10 points and five assists.

The Red Raiders played without starting guard Terrence Shannon, who missed his second game in a row because of back spasms. Guard Mylik Wilson missed his third straight game because of a knee issue.

Rylan Bergersen had 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting for Eastern Washington (6-6), which entered the game with five players averaging double-figure scoring.


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