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Slow start limits Tennessee, Vols fall to Villanova, 71-53

Turnovers and lack of offensive execution gave Tennessee its first loss of the season at the Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It is hard to claw your way back from a 20-point deficit against a top-five team in the nation, especially when you turn the ball over 18 times. 

Tennessee, unfortunately, learned that lesson the hard way against Villanova on Saturday. 

No. 5 Villanova started the game on a 9-0 run, while the Vols started the first half, 0-5 from the field. With seven minutes left to play in the first half, Tennessee had committed eight turnovers on their nine points.

One bright spot in Tennessee's offense was guard Santiago Vescovi. Vescovi finished with 23 points and six rebounds. 

Tennessee did not have a single other player scoring in double-digits. 

Villanova had three different players post double-digit scoring. 

Coming into the game against Villanova, Tennessee had forced 26 turnovers through its first two games. The Vols had four steals against the Wildcats.

Next Up: Tennessee will play the winner of North Carolina/Purdue on Sunday.