Tennessee bests NC State in sloppy affair

Wolfpack lose for second straight day after big win in Bahamas opener

Tennessee forward Grant Williams drives to the basket as NC State center Omer Yurtseven defends during the second half in the 2017 Battle 4 Atlantis in Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort. (Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports)

Tennessee forced NC State into 21 turnovers and 38.2 percent shooting to earn a 67-58 victory in the Battle 4 Atlantis third-place game Friday afternoon at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Sophomore power forward Grant Williams piled up 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals to pace the Volunteers (4-1), who never trailed. Sophomore guard Jordan Bone added 13 points and junior center Kyle Alexander racked up 13 rebounds and three blocks.

Allerik Freeman led NC State (5-2) with 14 points and nine rebounds, but the senior guard converted just 4 of 18 shots from the field. Senior power forward Lennard Freeman added 11 points.

Perhaps feeling the effects of their third games in 48 hours, both teams struggled to figure out how to fit the ball through the rim in the first half.

The Wolfpack committed 16 turnovers and shot just 31 percent in the opening 20 minutes, which included an 0 for 8 showing on 3-pointers.

Tennessee committed 12 turnovers and wasn’t much better from the field (36 percent), but the Volunteers canned 5 of 11 3-pointers to make the difference.

Bone hit both of his tries while graduate transfer James Daniel III, junior guard Chris Darrington and sophomore guard Lamonte Turner came off the bench to convert one apiece as the Volunteers built a 30-23 lead by the break.

The Wolfpack sorted out some issues during intermission and converted on four of their first six second-half possessions. Torin Dorn canned a 3-pointer, fed Lennard Freeman for a dunk and added a layup to push N.C. State within 32-30.

That’s where the Wolfpack‘s momentum slowed. First-year coach Kevin Keatts’ crew scored just 13 points over the next 10 minutes as Tennessee pushed its lead to 54-43 with 8:17 left when Williams fed sophomore guard Jordan Bowden (10 points) for two straight 3-pointers.