|No. 8 Tennessee runs over South Carolina in 80-56 victory|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 12 January 2008 18:03|
The Vols (14-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) are off to their best start in seven seasons. Tennessee jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never trailed. They didn't put the Gamecocks (8-8, 0-2) away until the start of the second half.
Tennessee put the game away with a 23-5 run to build its lead to 66-40 with 11 minutes left.
Wayne Chism added 13 points in 14 minutes and Tyler Smith and J.P. Prince each added 11 for Tennessee.
Devan Downey led all scorers with 24 and Dominique Archie added 11 as South Carolina lost its third game in a row.
Tennessee forced 17 turnovers, slightly under its second-in-the-nation average of 21.4 turnovers. The 24-point margin of victory was the biggest for the Vols in Columbia since South Carolina joined the SEC 15 years ago.
Vols coach Bruce Pearl emphasized stopping the Gamecocks' 3-point shooting. South Carolina came into the game shooting 41.1 percent on 3-pointers, but made just 23.8 percent (5-of-21) shots behind the arc Saturday night.
Tennessee dominated the smaller Gamecocks inside, scoring 34 points in the paint and ran them over, scoring 22 points off turnovers.
Tennessee's push to put the game away actually started at the end of the first half. The Gamecocks had fought back to trail by just five when Chris Lofton buried a 3 with 28 seconds left in the half to put the Vols ahead 43-35 at the break.
South Carolina hit two free throws to open the second half, then Chism hit a layup to start Tennessee's run. The Vols would score on six of their next seven possessions to take a 57-38 lead with 15 minutes to go as it turned into the kind of rout Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt - who watched the game - usually gives SEC opponents.