NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -Chris Lofton scored 19 points, JaJuan Smith made five free throws in the final 36 seconds and No. 7 Tennessee held off West Virginia 74-72 in the semifinals of the StubHub! Legends Classic on Friday night.
Wayne Chism added 17 points and Smith finished with 15 for the Volunteers (5-0), who kept letting the Mountaineers (2-1) back in the game after seeming to take control.
Tennessee will play Texas (4-0) on Saturday for the title. The Longhorns beat New Mexico State 102-87 in the other semifinal earlier at the new Prudential Center.
Newark native Da'Sean Butler had 16 points to lead West Virginia. Darris Nichols added 15 and Alex Ruoff had 14.
The Volunteers never trailed after Smith hit consecutive 3-pointers in a 9-2 spurt early in the second half for a 48-43 lead, but West Virginia kept coming back and had at least three chances to tie the game.
The last came with about 10 seconds to play when Ruoff was short with a 3-pointer with the Volunteers ahead 73-70.
Smith had hit two free throws with 36 seconds to play to give Tennessee a 71-67 lead and Mountaineers seemed out of it when Butler had a shot go in and out of the basket.
Lofton was fouled after the play and he then missed two free throws, giving West Virginia life. Ruoff followed with a 3-pointer with 14.2 seconds to play to cut the margin to 71-70.
Smith was quickly fouled again and he swished both free throws.
Without any time outs, West Virginia rushed the ball up the court and Ruoff failed to hit the rim.
Smith added a final free throw for a 74-70 lead. Josh Sowards backed in a shot at the buzzer for the final margin in the game that featured technical foul calls against Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl and West Virginia coach Bob Huggins.

NCAAB Headlines

Advertisement

NCAAB Top Stories

Thumbnail Georgetown vs. Xavier Pick Will No. 22 Xavier have any problems at home when it hosts Georgetown today at 2PM ET?
Thumbnail Northwestern vs. Ohio State Pick Will today's Big Ten matchup between Northwestern and Ohio State go over the betting total at 1:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Miami vs. Duke Prediction No. 18 Duke has lost back-to-back games, but will the Blue Devils cover when they host Miami at 7:15PM ET?
Thumbnail Stanford vs. Oregon Prediction No. 11 Oregon hosts Stanford at 6:00PM ET tonight - will the game be low-scoring for bettors?
Thumbnail South Carolina vs. Kentucky Pick No. 24 South Carolina will be in Lexington this evening when it visits No. 5 Kentucky at 6:00PM ET. Will the Wildcats cover?

NCAAB Team Pages