No. 19 Tennessee improves to 8-5 in SEC play after beating South Carolina 93-73


Victor Bailey Jr. scores a career-high of 29 points

Feb 17, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers guard Victor Bailey Jr. (12) looks to pass the ball against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the first half at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- No. 19 Tennessee was just seven points shy of eclipsing the century mark, scoring the most points since December of 2020 to beat South Carolina, 93-73.

The Vols picked up their sixth win over the Gamecocks in the two team’s last seven meetings after a season-best performance from both Victor Bailey Jr. and John Fulkerson.

The Vols jumped out to an early 14-11 lead following back-to-back threes from Bailey Jr.

A three from Santiago Vescovi made it a 17-14 game, but South Carolina matched the Vols three-point shooting to tie it at 17 with 11:39 left in the first half.

The Gamecocks continued to make a splash, knocking down 7 of their 9 three-point attempts to take the lead 23-21 with 9:40 before intermission.

AJ Lawson and TJ Moss paced the Gamecocks in scoring combining for 20 points, both shooting 66% from beyond the arc.

However, as South Carolina started to go cold, Tennessee got hot.

The Vols went on a 12-2 run to pull away from South Carolina 38-29.

Bailey Jr. scored 14 points and made 4 of his 7 attempts from beyond the arc, while Jaden Springer added 10 points to help the Vols lead 50-39 at the half.

Tennessee turned the ball over three times in two minutes putting the Gamecocks back within nine points to make it a 64-55 score, but the Vols continued to push the tempo.

The Vols went on a 12-0 run to extend their lead 91-69 with a minute left in the game. The Vols capped off an explosive offensive performance with a Drew Pember dunk to send the Gamecocks home riding a four-game losing skid.

Tennessee shot 54% from the field and 47% from beyond the arc.

With the absence of Santiago Vescovi in the starting five and Josiah-Jordan James out, VJ stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park. The redshirt junior guard had a career night, scoring a career-best 29 points on 7-10 shooting from three-point range.

Fulkerson scored a season-high 19 points while adding 6 rebounds.

The win extends Tennessee’s home win streak to four games. Tennessee improves to 15-5 on the season and 8-5 in SEC play.

Up Next: The Vols host Kentucky on February 20 with tip-off set for 1 P.M.

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