Lamonte Turner scored 25 points off the bench as No. 21 Tennessee held off South Carolina, 70-63, in an SEC game Saturday night at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia , S.C.
Grant Williams scored 14 points, Admiral Schofield had 12 and Derrick Walker 10 for the Volunteers (13-5, 4-3 SEC). They snapped a three-game losing streak to South Carolina as they prepare to host Vanderbilt on Tuesday.
Justin Minaya and Wesley Myers scored 16 points each and Frank Booker had 10 for the Gamecocks (12-7, 3-4), who lost for the second time in nine home games this season. They visit Florida on Wednesday.
South Carolina’s Chris Silva, who entered the day second in the SEC with an average of 19.3 points per league game, had just six after scoring a career-high 27 in a 76-68 victory against No. 18 Kentucky on Tuesday night.
The Volunteers led by three at halftime and saw the lead shrink to one three times early in the second half without relinquishing it. Williams made three baskets as they increased the lead to 55-48 midway through.
Myers and Minaya each made a 3-pointer before Maik Kotsar’s jumper pulled the Gamecocks even at 57.
The score was tied again before Turner’s jumper and Schofield’s 3-pointer gave Tennessee a 64-59 lead with 3:59 left.
South Carolina cut the lead to 66-63 and had the ball with less than two minutes to play, but missed four shots on one possession.
Turner made two free throws for a 68-63 Volunteers lead with 36 seconds left and the Gamecocks didn’t score again.
Williams scored six points as Tennessee raced to a 16-7 lead, and Turner scored seven straight Vols points as they maintained the margin at 25-16.
Booker scored five points as South Carolina closed within 25-23.
Walker scored six of Tennessee’s last eight points and the Volunteers took a 33-30 halftime lead.
--Field Level Media