February 14, 2019 / 1:38 AM / 6 months ago

No. 1 Tennessee handles South Carolina for 19th straight

EditorsNote: update 2: fixes “15 rebounds” in third graf

Feb 13, 2019; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers guard Lamonte Turner (1) leads teammates in a pregame dunk ritual prior to their game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Admiral Schofield scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead five Tennessee double-figure scorers Wednesday night as the No. 1 Volunteers extended their school-record winning streak to 19 games with an 85-73 victory over South Carolina in Knoxville, Tenn.

Jordan Bowden came off the bench to score 16 points for Tennessee (23-1, 11-0 Southeastern Conference), while Jordan Bone, Lamonte Turner and Kyle Alexander each added 10. SEC scoring leader Grant Williams was held to eight points, far below his 19.9 average, but contributed nine rebounds and seven assists.

Georgetown transfer Tre Campbell canned all five 3-point attempts and scored a team-high 19 points for the Gamecocks (12-12, 7-4), who went 14 of 23 on long-distance shots but never got the deficit into single digits in the second half. Chris Silva chipped in 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Hassani Gravett added 15 points in a reserve role.

It wasn’t nearly enough against the deep, experienced Volunteers. They sank 49.3 percent of their field-goal attempts, drawing 22 assists on 34 made buckets, and also outrebounded South Carolina 40-33, converting 13 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points.

Next up for Tennessee: a Saturday night showdown at No. 5 Kentucky, which is coming off a controversial upset loss Tuesday night to No. 19 LSU.

South Carolina got off to a solid start, establishing a 15-12 lead at the 13:07 mark of the first half as Gravett connected on a 3-pointer. Then Tennessee ran off and hid with a 21-3 tear that gave the Vols a 33-18 advantage with 6:39 left after an Alexander jam.

The Gamecocks found firmer footing after a Bowden 3-points put them down by 41-23 with 5:03 remaining, responding with seven straight points. The margin eventually made it back up to 15 before Campbell drained a jumper with 28 seconds to go, pulling South Carolina within 49-36 at the half.

The Volunteers canned 52.8 percent of their shots in the first half and did a good job making the extra pass, drawing 12 assists on 19 field goals.

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