KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - JaJuan Smith scored 22 points and Ramar Smith added a career-high 21 to help pull Tennessee out of a slump with an 82-71 win over Georgia Wednesday night.
The Volunteers (15-7, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) won for the first time without the league's leading scorer Chris Lofton, who missed a third game with a sprained ankle. Tennessee had lost five of its last six -- all losses on the road.
The Bulldogs (13-7, 5-3) were one of the hottest teams in the S-E-C, winning five of the last six in a stretch that included wins over three straight ranked teams. But they trailed all but a few seconds in the opening minutes of the game and lost their fifth straight to Tennessee.
Jordan Howell had a career-high 11 points with three 3-pointers and Duke Crews added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Vols.
Georgia was led by Sundiata Gaines with 21 points while Levi Stukes and Takais Brown each had 12. The Bulldogs cut it to seven with 9:17 left, but Ramar Smith hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 61-48. Georgia had another chance to trim it when Terrance Woodbury made a free throw but missed the second and Stukes got the rebound. Mike Mercer hit a 3 to cut it to 63-55, but Ramar Smith scored again for a 10-point lead. The Bulldogs couldn't get any closer.