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Gamecocks can’t match Tennessee’s firepower, fall to No. 1 Vols in Knoxville

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Gamecocks can’t match Tennessee’s firepower, fall to No. 1 Vols in Knoxville

February 13, 2019

South Carolina forward Alanzo Frink (20) dives for the loose ball as he’s defended by Tennessee forward John Fulkerson (10) and Admiral Schofield during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP photo/Wade Payne)

They crowded Admiral Schofield into a turnover on one possession, forced an air ball on the next and drew a foul on the next.

The South Carolina Gamecocks knew what they were getting into Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. A main reason behind Tennessee’s No. 1 ranking was a roster stacked in offensive riches. The Volunteers, from Schofield on the wing to Grant Williams in the post to Jordan Boone on the perimeter, pose threats from every angle.

But let the record state that USC made three consecutive stops Wednesday. It happened over a tiny stretch of the first half that easily gets lost in the Vols’ 85-73 win before an orange-clad crowd of over 20,000.

South Carolina (12-12, 7-4 SEC) did a ton of things well Wednesday. It’s just that it needed a near-perfect performance to beat these Vols (23-1, 11-0). They’ve won 19 straight games because they don’t get fazed by a two-minute drought in a 40-minute game. It’s that kind of relentless pursuit that should serve UT well come the postseason.

Five different Volunteers scored in double figures as they overcame a dazzling shooting performance by the Gamecocks.

South Carolina made a season-best 14 3-pointers, but never were within single digits after the nine-minute mark of the first half. After being stopped three straight times, Tennessee exploded for a 15-3 run that established the game’s tone.

The Volunteers over-powered the Gamecocks like they did in the first meeting, but they added new characters. Sixth man Jordan Bowdenm, who was injured for UT’s 92-70 win at Colonial Life Arena, had 16 points. Kyle Alexander, who fouled out in 10 minutes at CLA, had 10. Williams and Schofield, terrors in the first game, combined for 29.

South Carolina was led by Tre Campbell’s 19 points.

NEXT GAME

Who: Texas A&M at South Carolina

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Colonial Life Arena

TV: SEC Network

  • High Five 1

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