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COL BKB: Tennessee 72, American 57

March 21, 2008 at 3:25 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 21 (UPI) -- JaJuan Smith scored 19 points Friday, pacing Tennessee to a 72-57 victory over American in a first-round NCAA Tournament contest in Birmingham, Ala.

The Volunteers, seeded second in the East Region, struggled for much of the game to shake the underdog Eagles.

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Tennessee led by just 53-51 with 5:45 left but put the game away with a 19-6 run.

Wayne Chism had 16 points and seven rebounds and Tyler Smith scored 14 with seven rebounds and six assists for the Volunteers (30-4), who got only five points from their leading scorer, Chris Lofton.

Garrison Carr's 26 points led American.

Brian Gilmore added 13 points and six rebounds for the 15th-seeded Eagles, who ended the season with a 21-12 mark.

American, which won the Patriot League Tournament, was playing in its first NCAA Tournament game.

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