Tennessee 89, Appalachian St. 81

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- C.J. Watson scored 23 points and Chris
Lofton added 15 as Tennessee held off Appalachian State 89-81
Tuesday night.

The Mountaineers (3-4) led by 12 in the first half, but
Tennessee (5-0) had a long rally to regain the lead and maintained
it most of the rest of the game.

The Vols are off to their best start since 2000-01, Jerry
Green's last season, when the Vols began 9-0. But their next two
games are on the road at No. 2 Texas on Dec. 17 and Oklahoma State
on Dec. 22.

Tennessee pulled away with a late 9-0 run to go ahead 81-71 with
5:12 left, but Appalachian State scored seven quick points to
threaten the lead. Then Watson nailed his fifth 3-pointer of the
game to stop the spurt with 3:17 to go. He sank four free throws in
the final 1:23 to seal it.

Douglass McLaughlin-Williams scored a career-high 21 points for
Appalachian State and was 6-of-6 shooting before missing a putback
with 10 minutes left. He finished 7-of-9 from the field and 5-of-5
from beyond the arc.

Major Wingate and Stanley Asumnu each scored 12 points and Andre
Patterson had 11, and Dane Bradshaw added 10 rebounds for

The Vols trailed 41-29 after D.J. Thompson's 3-pointer with 6:14
left before halftime and then got aggressive and scrappy in a 19-2
run to finish the half and regain the lead.

Watson hit a 3 and Wingate dunked to start the rally, and Jordan
Howell tied it with another 3-pointer and then dove to the ground
to secure a loose ball that led to Asumnu's three-point play to
take the lead at 46-43 with 2:07 left in the first half.

The Mountaineers made seven of their first eight 3-point
attempts and finish 11-of-24 in 3-pointers. The Vols were 11-of-21
from beyond the arc.

Appalachian State also had 14 points from Thompson, 13 points by
Jarvis Jackson and 10 from Tyler Webb.