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BAD BOY MOWERS BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS - Imperial Arena - Nassau, Bahamas

Vols come up short against No. 5 Villanova

333 days ago
Tennessee Athletics

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas -- A sloppy second half spelled trouble for Tennessee on Thursday as its 12-point halftime lead wasn't enough to hold off No. 5 Villanova, ultimately falling 85-76 in the semifinals of the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis.

Grant Williams led the Vols (3-1) in scoring for the second consecutive game, finishing with 20 points to go along with a game-high eight rebounds. Admiral Schofield scored 16 points and James Daniel III added 10 off the bench.

Coming off a win over No. 18 Purdue on Wednesday, Tennessee looked poised to grab its second consecutive ranked win after it used a 15-4 run midway through the first half to claim a 10-point advantage. Williams scored six points, including an emphatic slam along the baseline, and Jordan Bowden buried one his of three 3-pointers in the frame to power the spurt.

The lead would grow to as many as 15 with 1:39 left in the first half after John Fulkerson knocked down a pair of free throws, helping UT to a 46-34 halftime advantage. Tennessee enjoyed 50 percent shooting (17-of-34) in the first half while scoring 15 second-chance points.

But Villanova (5-0) shot out of the second-half gate, needing fewer than five minutes to level the score. The Wildcats scored the first 11 points of the second half, ultimately tying the score on a three from Donte DiVincenzo before taking the lead on their next possession when Jalen Brunson got free for a layup.

Forcing 12 second-half turnovers while shooting 52 percent from the field, Villanova extended its advantage to 15 points with 4:40 to play. Tennessee would not go away quietly, whittling the deficit to 79-76 with less than a minute remaining, thanks in large part to the combined efforts of Williams and Schofield. It was as close as the Vols would come, though, as Villanova-which attempted 37 free throws on the afternoon-put the game away at the foul line.

SCHOFIELD'S SCORING STREAK CONTINUES: Forward Admiral Schofield is the only Vol to have scored in double digits every game this season. He finished Thursday's game with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field. On the season, he is averaging 15.5 ppg and is the team's second-leading scorer.

WILLIAMS POSTS ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE: Forward Grant Williams posted another strong performance in the second game of the Battle 4 Atlantis, tallying 20 points, eight rebounds, three assists and a pair of blocks in 30 minutes of action. So far in the tournament, he's averaging 21.0 points and eight boards per game and is a candidate to land on the all-tournament team.

UP NEXT: Tennessee faces NC State on Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN2. After that, Tennessee returns home to host Mercer in a 7 p.m. tip on Nov. 29. That game will available online through SEC Network + (WatchESPN).