LAFAYETTE, La. (AP)—Chris Lofton scored 31 points, including seven 3-point baskets, to lead Tennessee to a 77-67 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Monday night.
Lofton had three straight baskets for the Volunteers (5-2) in a five-minute period late in the second half, helping UT hold on after the Ragin’ Cajuns (1-4) had whittled as much as a 17-point deficit down to two points with 4:24 left on an Adam James free throw.
Lofton hit his seventh and final 3-pointer 30 seconds later and Tennessee led by at least five points the rest of the way. JaJuan Smith added 11 points for Tennessee, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
Ross Mouton had 22 points to lead four double-figure scorers for the Cajuns, who lost their fourth straight game. David Dees added 18 points, Rhett Hebert 12 and Valentino Hart 10 along with a game-high 16 rebounds.
The Vols hit six first-half 3-pointers and forced the Ragin’ Cajuns into 14 turnovers in taking a 38-30 halftime lead, after back-to-back baskets by Tony Passley had given Tennessee its largest lead at 13 in the half.
UT led by 17 three minutes into the second half on Smith’s steal and layup off an inbounds pass, and the Vols still led by 14 with 13:11 left on a Lofton trey before UL Lafayette went on an 8-0 run to get the margin down to single digits.