Tennessee 64, Murray St. 53
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Chris Lofton scored a game-high 18 points and spurred the game-breaking run as Tennessee beat Murray State 64-53 Wednesday night in Nashville.
Major Wingate and Andre Patterson each added 11 for the Volunteers, who improved to 4-0 under new coach Bruce Pearl. Pearl, who led Wisconsin-Milwaukee to the NCAA Regional semifinal last season, was named coach at Tennessee last April.
Issian Redding had 14 points and Tyler Holloway 11 for Murray State (1-2). The Racers led 32-26 at the half and still were ahead 47-46 with 7:35 left when Lofton started a 12-1 Tennessee run.
First, Lofton hit back-to-back 3-pointers and then connected on two baskets in transition.
A reverse layup by Lofton with 2:41 remaining put the Vols up 58-48.
Murray State shot 46.4 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes but the Tennessee defense slowed the Racers in the second half, holding them to 28.6 percent.
At one point during the pivotal stretch, Murray State missed six straight shots. Murray State took their halftime lead on a 12-6 run, including consecutive 3-pointers by Holloway.
The game was played in Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center.