Lofton finished with 23 points and Smith had 22 for Tennessee, which won its second straight to improve to 18-2 overall and 5-1 in the SEC. Tyler Smith contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Tide was led by Alonzo Gee's game-high 27 points and nine rebounds. He also blocked four shots for Alabama, which fell to 12-9 overall and 1-5 in the SEC. Gee recorded his 1,000th career point in the loss, finishing the game at 1,014.
Richard Hendrix added 20 points and 12 rebounds in the closely contested game, in which Alabama trailed just 83-81 with 1:44 remaining.
But JaJuan Smith scored a three-pointer and Lofton hit two free throws that put the game out of reach at 88-81 with 59 seconds left.