The USC football team stunned 5th ranked Tennessee in Columbia in November scoring 63 points on the Vols. Saturday afternoon in Columbia, the Gamecock basketball team would not enjoy the same success against the 8th ranked Vol hoopsters.
Rick Barnes has a deep and talented team that may very well win it all this season, and they showed why in an 85-42 win over the Gamecocks that was every bit as dominating as the score indicates.
The Vols put this one to bed early building a 20-5 lead in the first eight minutes. Tennessee led 43-21 at the half and grew the lead to 45 late in the game. The final 43-point margin of defeat for the Gamecocks is their most ever at the Colonial Life Arena and their worst ever in SEC play.
The Tennessee defense never let the Gamecocks run an offense. USC was 12-48 from the floor (25%). They made just 1 of their first 12 shots and finished the game making just 3 of their last 15. Star freshman forward GG Jackson missed all 8 of his shots, grabbed just a single rebound and turned it over 4 times.
Meechie Johnson was the only effective Gamecock. He scored 19 points mixing his outside shooting with drives to the basket.
The Gamecocks suffered 18 turnovers that were converted into 20 points, and they were outrebounded 48-21. The Vols grabbed 18 offensive rebounds they turned into 20 second chance points.
Four Vols scored in double figures led by Olivier Nkamhoua. He was 10-10 from the floor with 1 three-pointer for 21 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. Porter-Guad product Josiah Jordan-James scored 12 points off the bench, and Blythewood native Julian Phillips added 8 points.
The Gamecocks suffered their first home loss of the season, and their fourth straight loss to the Vols, to fall to 7-8 overall and 0-2 in the SEC. They will play at Kentucky Tuesday night.
Lamont Paris postgame press conference