Tennessee spoiled the Senior Night festivities for USC’s Sam Muldrow and Johndre Jefferson beating the Gamecocks 73-69 Thursday night at the Colonial Life Arena. It’s the Gamecocks seventh loss in their last eight games, and it’s Tennessee’s 9th straight win over he Gamecocks.
USC falls to 14-14 overall and 5-10 in the SEC. Tennessee improved to 18-12 and 8-7 in the league.
The Vols jumped out to a big first half lead shooting nearly 62% in the first 20 minutes. They led 40-23 at the break. USC shot shot just 31% in the first half.
The Gamecocks battled back in the second half and made it a game. A Sam Muldrow rebound basket and following free throw made it 69-66 with 1:06 to play. Melvin Goins answered with a ten foot jumper with :32 to play to give the Vols a 71-66 lead.
USC turned the ball over on its next possession. Goins hit one of two free throws for a six point lead and after Ramon Galloway missed a long three and Muldrow a short jumper, Tennessee had the game in its hands.
Muldrow went out in style with a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds. Galloway added 15 points. Tobias Harris led all scorers with 25 points. Scotty Hopson also was strong for UT with 24 points.
The Vols shot 51% for the night and won had a huge advantage at the line. They made more free throws than the Gamecocks attempted. UT was 25-34 while USC was 12-13. The Gamecocks were whistled for 24 fouls to the Vols 15.
USC will close out the regular season at Mississippi State Saturday. The Vols finish up at home Sunday against Kentucky.