Grant Williams scored 14 points to help Tennessee beat N.C. State 67-58 in Friday’s third-place game at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Jordan Bowden scored all 10 of his points after halftime for the Volunteers (4-1). That included a long jumper to beat the shot clock with 43.3 seconds left, keeping Tennessee in control down the stretch as the Wolfpack tried to mount a comeback.
Tennessee shot 38 percent but made 8 of 18 3-pointers and scored 22 points off 21 Wolfpack turnovers. That secured its best finish in an early-season tournament since finishing third in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in 2011.
Allerik Freeman scored 14 points to lead N.C. State (5-2), which opened its stay in the Bahamas with an upset of No. 2 Arizona. But the Wolfpack made too many mistakes and went just 3 of 16 from 3-point range to suffer a second straight loss.
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N.C. State: First-year coach Kevin Keatts has talked often about building a culture around his team’s fullcourt pressure and a demand for his players to compete at all times. Wednesday’s 90-84 win against Arizona offered a best-case scenario of what can happen when his team plays with a fearless edge. But Thursday’s 64-60 loss to Northern Iowa followed by this one offer a reminder that Keatts will need time to change the Wolfpack’s fortunes.
Tennessee: The Volunteers opened the tournament with a comeback 78-75 overtime win against No. 18 Purdue, then built a double-figure lead on No. 5 Villanova before falling 85-76 in the semifinals. They never trailed in Friday’s finale to finish 2-1 in the tournament.
N.C. State: Penn State visits the Wolfpack on Wednesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Tennessee: The Volunteers host Mercer on Wednesday.