The SEC regular season championship trophy is headed to Columbia. USC clinched at least a share of the crown Thursday night with a 73-60 win at Tennessee in front of 10,297 fans. For the Gamecocks, the title is their 7th since the 2014 season, and they will be the number one seed for the SEC Tournament next week in Greenville.
They will clinch the title outright Sunday with a win at home over Georgia.
The top-ranked Gamecocks got off to an uncharacteristically slow start shooting just 25% in the first quarter and trailed 19-10. They turned the game around with a 23-10 second quarter for a 33-29 lead at the break. USC continued to surge in the third quarter 26-12 for a 59-41 lead with ten minutes to play, and they went on to their third straight win over the Lady Vols.
Zia Cooke led four Gamecocks in double figures with 19 points. Kierra Fletcher added a season high (and Gamecock career high) 15 points. Aliyah Boston and Brea Beal contributed 11 points each. And Kamilla Cardoso grabbed 15 rebounds.
The Gamecocks did not dominate scoring the paint as they normally do (38-34), but they did pull down 20 offensive rebounds they turned into 18 second chance points.
USC has won 34 games in a row, 30 straight SEC games and 20 straight road games. The Gamecocks are 28-0 overall and 15-0 in the SEC.