Tennessee Athletics Department
Columbia, SC – Tennessee struggled from the field against the SEC’s top-rated defense, suffering an 82-55 defeat at South Carolina on Saturday. Senior guard Robert Hubbs III was the only Volunteer to finish in double figures, scoring 16 points on the afternoon.
Statistically, South Carolina (21-8, 11-5 SEC) entered Saturday’s game allowing its opponents only 64.7 points per game on a 39.8 field goal percentage–both conference-bests. Those figures held true on Saturday as Tennessee (15-14, 7-9 SEC) was limited to 55 points–its lowest scoring output of the season–on just 33.3 percent shooting.Looking to get back on track after a home loss to Vanderbilt on Wednesday, the Vols got off to a rocky start, committing five turnovers over the first four minutes of action.
Those miscues allowed South Carolina to race out to an early 8-2 lead–an advantage that would grow to as many as 27-9 after a pair of 8-0 runs.
The Vols would respond late in the opening frame, though, as Hubbs and freshman Grant Williams led a charge that saw UT pull back to within single digits by intermission. The pair finished with eight points apiece in the opening frame.
UT looked poised to maintain the momentum after halftime, whittling the deficit to four after a coast-to-coast layup from Hubbs. But not long thereafter, South Carolina got back-to-back 3-pointers from Duane Notice, opening up a 12-3 run that restored the Gamecocks’ lead to double figures and ultimately put the home side out of reach for good.
Along with his eight points, Wiliams led UT with eight rebounds to go along with a season-high four steals. Admiral Schofield and Lamonte Turner–who made his fifth career start on Saturday–finished with seven points apiece. Sophomore Kyle Alexander added five points and a team-high three blocked shots.
Tennessee committed 20 turnovers on the afternoon, matching its total turnovers from the previous meeting with South Carolina–a 70-60 loss in Knoxville on January 11th.
Offense At A Premium
Tennessee’s 55 points and three total assists on Saturday were both season-lows. UT has now finished with season-lows in scoring in back-to-back games after scoring just 56 total points in Wednesday’s loss to Vanderbilt. In fact, Tennessee’s four lowest-scoring games this season have come this month and all against previously faced opponents.
Kwe Gets The Start
Tennessee freshman guard Kwe Parker made his first start of the season at South Carolina on Saturday. With Parker’s start, every active, scholarship player on Tennessee’s roster has made at least one start this season. Parker did not score in eight minutes of play.
Up Next for UT Vols
Tennessee kicks off the final week of the regular season on Wednesday, traveling to face LSU in Baton Rouge. Tipoff is set for 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET on the SEC Network.