Niceville, FL – With 1.7 seconds remaining and the score tied at 69-69, Tennessee senior Lamonte Turner buried a 3-pointer from the corner to lift the Volunteers to a 72-69 victory over VCU on Saturday night at the Emerald Coast Classic.
Turner’s buzzer-beater capped his 12-point, seven-assist performance, which also featured with three steals.
Vols junior John Fulkerson scored a career-high 17 points and racked up seven rebounds as UT improved to 6-1.
Senior Jordan Bowden was incredibly efficient from the field, knocking down four of his six shots from the field while draining all six of his attempts from the foul line to finish with 14 points.
Off the bench, junior Jalen Johnson was critical to the Vols’ early first-half run, knocking down two big buckets to help give Tennessee its 11-point halftime advantage.
With less than a minute remaining and UT holding a 67-66 edge, Fulkerson blocked De’riante Jenkins’ layup attempt and grabbed the ensuing rebound.
After getting fouled, Fulkerson knocked down both free throws before Jenkins came right back down the floor to hit a three to tie things up at 69 apiece.
With the game tied, Turner knocked down his second three of the night and sealed the win. The shot placed him just one 3-pointer outside the top 10 in Tennessee history for career 3-point makes (170).
In the game’s opening 10 minutes, the teams traded blows, with VCU draining its first four shots from 3-point range, while the Vols were able to get to the rim at will. Tennessee got to the line on three separate occasions and scored eight points in the paint during that span.
At the under-12 timeout in the first half, UT held a slim 20-19 lead with all seven Vols who had entered the contest penning their names on the scoresheet.
Over the next five minutes, UT stretched its lead using a 9-2 run engineered by two buckets off the bench from Johnson and two big baskets in the paint from Fulkerson.
The Vols also held VCU to a 1-of-16 mark from the field over the final 12 minutes of the half.
The incredible effort on the defensive side of the ball, paired with a few timely baskets, gave Tennessee a 37-26 advantage heading into the locker room.
With just under seven minutes remaining in the contest, the Rams took a 58-56 lead; it was their first lead since the 15:12 mark of the first half, when they led 12-10.
The teams traded baskets and the lead, heading into the game’s final minute of action.
Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Cover Fulk
Junior John Fulkerson poured in a career-high 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, and he added seven huge rebounds and a block with less than a minute remaining to keep the Vols in the lead late.
Money from the Line
Tennessee knocked down 13-of-14 attempts from the foul line, a percentage of .938. That percentage was the Vols’ highest of the season as a team, with three Vols shooting a perfect percentage from the charity stripe.
Spreading the Love
All eight Vols who saw action Saturday recorded at least two points on the final stat sheet.
Up Next For Tennessee Men’s Basketball
Tennessee Vols Basketball returns home to Thompson-Boling Arena to take on Florida A&M on Wednesday night. Tipoff is slated for 6:00pm CT on SEC Network.