KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Taking the court with its youngest lineup in 20 years, Tennessee dropped its season opener 82-69 to Chattanooga on Friday night in Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Vols (0-1) took a 17-10 lead on freshman guard Jordan Bone’s 3-pointer with 10:32 to go in the first half, which marked their biggest lead of the night and their only made shot from long range. Tennessee finished 1-16 from 3-point range and shot just 32.8 percent from the field.
Bone, whose older brother, Josh, played at UT from 2009-11, led the Vols with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting in his Tennessee debut. Another freshman, Lamonte Turner added 12 points off the bench. Grant Williams, a 6-foot-5 freshman, had a team-high 10 rebounds for Tennessee.
Tennessee sophomore forward Kyle Alexander started and totaled seven points, eight rebounds, four blocks and a steal in 28 minutes of work.
Senior Justin Tuoyo led Chattanooga with a game-high 22 points, while Tre’ McLean added 20. Tuoyo (11) and McLean (10) posted double-digit rebound totals.
The Mocs (1-0) had plenty of success on the road last season, picking up victories at Georgia, Illinois and Dayton on their way to a school-record 29 victories and the second-round of the NCAA Tournament. All three of Chattanooga’s leading scorers from last year were on the court Friday night.
Chattanooga’s victory is its first in Knoxville since 2004.
Rare Spoiler: Friday’s loss marks just the third time Tennessee has lost its season-opener in 30 games at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Brotherly Love: Chattanooga freshman Makale Foreman, younger brother of Vols defensive back Malik Foreman and former teammate of Tennessee forward John Fulkerson, did not play Friday night.
Next Up: The Vols return to the court Tuesday night, hosting Appalachian State for a 7 p.m. ET tip. The game will be televised nationally on the SEC Network.