The basketball Vols lost its season opener last night, falling to the Chattanooga Mocs 82-69.
The result, disappointing as it was, wasn’t completely unexpected, as Tennessee rolled out the youngest lineup it’s had in two decades against a veteran team that posted 29 wins last season. The Mocs beat Georgia, Illinois, and Dayton last year and made it into the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and all three of their leading scorers from that team returned this year. Justin Toyo had 22 points, and Tre’ McLean added another 20, and both of them also got double-digits in rebounds.
Tennessee did have a 17-10 lead with 10:32 to go in the first half when freshman guard Jordan Bone’s 3-pointer went in, but the team struggled from long range all night, hitting only 1 of 16 from deep. Bone did lead the team with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Freshman Lamonte Turner added 12 points, and freshman Grant Williams had 10 rebounds.
The Vols will attempt to get on track Tuesday night at Thompson-Boling against App State.