No. 17 Tennessee Falls to Florida State in Emerald Coast Classic Despite Turner’s 20 Points

Cory Sanning

Lamonte Turner has proven that he can shoulder a heavy load, but he can only do so for so long.

He learned that lesson the hard way on Friday.

Turner scored a game-high 20 points, Yves Pons added 13 points and 10 rebounds and Jordan Bowden tallied 11 points and 10 boards as the Vols fell to unranked Florida State 60-57, suffering their first loss of the season.

Devin Vassell led the Seminoles (6-1) with 13 points and five rebounds.

Needless to say, those tuning in with hopes of seeing a high-scoring affair likely felt disappointed once the final buzzer sounded.

Neither team topped 35 percent shooting, and both teams combined to go 8-of-33 from three-point range.

For Tennessee (5-1), the offensive struggles that plagued the Vols against Chattanooga on Monday manifested themselves once again, only this time, UT was playing from behind for the entirety.

A 10-0 run by Florida State in the first half put Tennessee in an early 12-point hole, a hole that it could never manage to completely dig itself out of. 

The Vols used a quick spurt to pull within five at the half, something that head coach Rick Barnes had high praise for following the game. 

“I am not surprised we fought back the way we did,” Barnes said. “I am with these guys every day. We are going to grow up."

Tennessee's fortunes only got worse once the second half began.

Another quick spurt by Florida State put the Seminoles ahead by 11 with just over 15 minutes to play.

UT was able to pull within three twice in the final three minutes, but the Vols were unable to inch any closer. A critical stop by Vassell with less than 30 seconds left in regulation sealed Tennessee's fate, and sent FSU to its sixth consecutive win.

The Vols will face the loser of VCU-Purdue on Saturday in the tournament's consolation game at 4 p.m. ET. 

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