BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana State pulled away in the second half for an 80-67 men's basketball victory over the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Tuesday.
The visiting Mocs were within 55-53 with about 11 minutes to play before the undefeated Tigers from the Southeastern Conference took control.
UTC junior forward Zaccheus Mason set a career high with 22 points, and sophomore guard Ronrico White added 17. Andre Stinger and Johnny O'Bryant III led LSU (6-0) with 18 points each.
"We got better tonight, but you can't walk out of here with a smile on your face," UTC coach John Shulman said on the UTC postgame radio show. "We were good enough to win the game. We just didn't play good enough to win the game."
The Mocs (2-7) struggled in the opening minutes for the third straight time. This game was a return to home for UTC's Gee McGhee of Baton Rouge and Casey Jones of New Orleans.
McGhee finished with 10 points and Jones scored two with a throng of personal fans in the stands.
UTC led 23-20 before the Tigers went on a 19-3 run. A 3-pointer by Corban Collins sent LSU into halftime with a 42-30 lead.
The Mocs pulled within 55-53 on a 3-pointer by Mason. Then the Tigers scurried down the court for a 3 by Stringer, which started the decisive 12-3 run by the home team.
"It hurts because we had a chance to beat a good team today," Mason said on the radio. "We fell short."