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Florida State 60, Tennessee 57

NICEVILLE, Fla. - Florida State’s depth was good enough to withstand Tennessee’s one-man show.

Devin Vassell scored 13 points, made a key steal and sank pair of free throws in the final minute, and Florida State upended No. 17 Tennessee 60-57 in the Emerald Coast Classic.

Vassell led a balanced scoring attack for the Seminoles, while Lamonte Turner was the undisputed star for Tennessee. The point guard scored 20 points but twice had to leave the court with cramps.

Florida State (6-1) started hot, sprinting to a 14-2 lead. The Seminoles never trailed, although the Volunteers (5-1) twice closed the gap to three points in the final 3 minutes of what turned out to be a defense-dominated struggle.

“No doubt this had ... an NCAA, ACC tournament type of feel,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We knew we had to step it up in order to be successful against a team of this caliber. They kept coming back. They didn’t go away.”

Ten players scored for Florida State, but M.J. Walker was the only other Seminole in double figures with 10 points. Yves Pons added 13 for Tennessee. Jordan Bowden had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Bowden hit a 3-pointer and Davonte Gaines made a pair of free throws in the final 2 minutes to narrow the margin to 57-54. Trent Forrest made one of two free-throw attempts with 32 seconds left to put Florida State ahead by four before Vassell stole the ball. He then made two free throws to ice the game.

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said the Vols had to rely too much on Turner.

“We can’t play with one offensive player on the floor,” Barnes said. “When guys are open, they should shoot their shots.”

Associated Press

November 29, 2019