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USC routs Tennessee


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LOS ANGELES -- Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl didn't have much of a scouting report on Southern California point guard Mike Gerrity, mostly because he wasn't sure the floor general would be eligible to play.

Pearl wound up seeing plenty of him on Saturday afternoon.

Gerrity had 12 points and 10 assists as the Trojans routed the No. 9 Vols 77-55, their worst loss since Pearl took over before the 2005-06 season.

"They're a completely different team with him running the show," Pearl said. "We knew he could become eligible, but we hadn't seen him on any tape. ... His play was a huge factor in their dominating us."

Gerrity was making his debut for Southern Cal (5-4) after transferring from Charlotte following the first semester of last season. He helped the Trojans build a 24-point lead in the second half, as Southern Cal won its third straight and first against a ranked team.

Considering Gerrity hadn't played a game since March 2008, USC coach Kevin O'Neill said he was "shocked at how well he played." Gerrity found out Friday that he would be eligible.

"It was incredible, it felt so good," Gerrity said. "From the moment we tipped, I found my way into the game a few minutes and once I got that comfort [level], it was just unbelievable the rest of the game."

Alex Stepheson had 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, while Nikola Vucevic added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Trojans, giving them three players with double-doubles.

Scotty Hopson had 16 points to lead Tennessee (8-2), which was out-rebounded 43-21 and had its own four-game win streak snapped. Melvin Goins added 10 points.

Gerrity did most of his work in the first half, handing out seven assists and grabbing three rebounds. Dwight Lewis did his damage after the break, scoring 11 of his 21 points -- including all nine during a 9-2 run that made it 59-40.

"I thought at halftime if we could come out and not let them barrage us in the first seven or eight minutes in the second half that we would have a chance," O'Neill said. "I didn't think we'd beat them like this."

Tennessee committed just eight turnovers, but shot a season-low 2 of 22 (9.1 percent) from beyond the 3-point line and scored a season-low 55 points. The Vols entered the week eighth in the nation in scoring offense (85.0) and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (43.4).

"I couldn't be happier with it," O'Neill said of his team's defense. "I thought we did a great job of protecting the paint. I thought our guys did a good job of being in their air space and changing their shots."

Tennessee struggled early and never found a rhythm, missing their first nine 3-pointers and making just 2 of 14 field goals. The drought allowed USC to jump out to an early 11-5 lead.

"Early in the game we had good looks and we just didn't make anything," Pearl said. "They pack it in defensively and we've got to be able to make shots."

The Vols employed a full-court press that led to seven unanswered points, capped by consecutive lay-ups from Bobby Maze to give Tennessee a lead. But the Trojans' Marcus Johnson scored seven points during a 14-1 run over the final four minutes of the first half.

The Trojans shot 61.9 percent from the field while holding the Vols to a season-low 29.6 percentage in building their 33-20 halftime lead. The 20 points were the fewest Tennessee has scored this season.

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Richmond rallied from a 13-point first-half deficit, and Kevin Anderson made four free throws in the final 5.4 seconds to upset No. 13 Florida 56-53 Saturday night in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.

The Gators shot 7 for 27 in the second half (26 percent), including 1 for 9 from 3-point range. They led for the last time at 49-48.

Richmond missed 12 consecutive shots over a 9-minute span before Gonzalvez's 23-footer with 1:33 left put them ahead 52-49. Anderson sank both ends of a one-and-one with 5.4 seconds to go for a 54-53 lead, and after Erving Walker made a 3-pointer, Anderson hit two more free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining.

The Gators (8-2) lost their second game in a row, after falling to No. 5 Syracuse last week.

Gonzalvez scored 16 points for the Spiders (8-3), who beat a Southeastern Conference team for the second time this season. They defeated Mississippi State on Nov. 27.

Richmond defeated a ranked opponent for the third season in a row.

Alex Tyus scored 15 points to lead Florida. Starting guards Walker and Kenny Boynton shot a combined 5 for 23, including 2 for 11 from 3-point range.

The Gators led 32-19 after 18 minutes but were outscored 20-5 to start the second half.

Trailing 52-50 with less than 15 seconds left, Florida tried two shots with a chance to erase the deficit. Walker missed a 3-pointer, and Vernon Macklin grabbed the rebound but missed the follow. When Florida's Dan Werner snatched the rebound he was stripped, and Anderson drew a foul.

Tyus' dunk 10 minutes into the game put the Gators up 16-14, and they led the rest of the half, running off 10 points in a row en route to their biggest lead.

The Spiders shot 5 for 12 from 3-point range in the second half. They made four consecutive shots to score the first nine points of the half for a 33-32 lead, and 3-pointers by Gonzalvez and Ryan Butler on back-to-back possessions helped them build a 46-37 lead.

Miami beat Florida Atlantic 87-69 in the first game of the doubleheader at the NHL Florida Panthers' arena.

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