Rebels lose at Tennessee 86-72

At 13-8 overall and 3-5 in SEC play, Ole Miss travels to Auburn for a game Wednesday night.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - C.J. Watson scored 18 points to lead No. 13 Tennessee to an 86-72 win over Mississippi, the Volunteers' fifth straight victory.

Chris Lofton opened the game with a 3-pointer against the Southeastern Conference's stingiest defense behind the arc, and Tennessee (16-3, 7-1) was off to a quick start. The Vols slightly cooled after halftime, but they put it away with a 10-0 run with 5 minutes left.

The Rebels (13-8, 3-5) lost their fifth in a row and had trouble overcoming 22 turnovers that led to 26 points for the Vols. Tennessee had 12 steals in a fast-paced and very physical game.

Clarence Sanders, who scored a career-high 29 points, hit a 3 with 5:14 to go that cut Tennessee's lead to 12 points. Tennessee then went on the 10-0 run that included a 3-pointer by Watson that came off Lofton's steal on an inbounds play. Stanley Asumnu followed with another basket to push the lead to 81-59 with 4:28 remaining.

JaJuan Smith added 15 points and Asumnu and Lofton each had 14 for Tennessee, while Major Wingate finished with 10.

Watson scored 13 points in the second half and was a perfect 3-of-3 on 3-pointers.

Ole Miss came into the game leading the league in holding SEC opponents to 27 percent shooting beyond the arc. Tennessee was close to its average by going 7-of-19.

Sanders was 7-of-11 behind the arc, but it wasn't enough for the Rebels. Todd Abernethy added 14 points and Dwayne Curtis had 10 for Ole Miss.

The Rebels opened the SEC slate with three straight wins but haven't won since Jan. 14, against Mississippi State.

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