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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.

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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