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Tennessee stuns No. 4 Gamecocks 76-74

55 days ago
Associated Press

Jamie Nared had a career high 27 points including two tie-breaking free throws with 5.9 seconds left to help Tennessee end No. 4 South Carolina's 29-game home win streak in the Southeastern Conference with a 76-74 victory Monday night.

Nared was fouled after the Gamecocks (18-2, 8-1 SEC) rallied from 11 points down in the final six minutes to tie the game at 74 on Bianca Cuevas-Moore's 3-pointer with 14.7 seconds left.

Tyasha Harris was called for guarding Nared too closely and the junior, who knocked down the winning shot two weeks ago in Tennessee's 71-69 victory over No. 6 Notre Dame, calmly made these shots.

Cuevas-Moore's three in the final seconds bounced away the Lady Vols (14-7, 5-3) were celebrating their third top-10 victory this season, adding South Carolina to No. 10 Stanford in December and the Irish earlier this month.

In this one, Tennessee shut down South Carolina's twin-post powers in A'ja Wilson and Alaina Coates, who came in averaging more than 30 points and 18 rebounds combined. But the two were held in check because of early fouls that kept them on the bench most of the first two quarters and a technical foul on Wilson in the third period that sent her back to sidelines.

Tennessee's 6-foot-6 Mercedes Russell, with room to move, controlled the middle with 16 points and 10 rebounds for her 12th double-double this season.

Diamond DeShields had 21 points for Tennessee.

It was the Lady Vols first win over a top-five team since topping No. 4 South Carolina in 2014 and their first road win over a top-five team since winning at No. 5 UConn on Jan. 6, 2007. South Carolina had not lost an SEC game at home in nearly four years

For South Carolina, it was the first loss at home since Texas A&M's 50-48 victory nearly four years ago on Feb. 10, 2013. The defeat also opened up what looked like a closed race for the SEC crown.

The three-time defending champion Gamecocks took control with last week's 64-61 showdown win over previously unbeaten and fourth-ranked Mississippi State. Now, the Gamecocks fall into a tie for the top with the Bulldogs.

Wilson had 14 points and Coates seven. Cuevas-Moore led the Gamecocks with 18 points.

THE BIG PICTURE

Tennessee: Watching the Lady Vols play against South Carolina, it seems hard to believe they've lost seven games this season coming into this one. Tennessee shot 54.8 percent for the first half, its best showing in its past eight games. DeShields pushed the pace and led the way with 12 points in the opening half. Russell exploited the absence of twin-post powers Alaina Coates and A'ja Wilson (benched with two first-half fouls) to hit four of five shots.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks once more showed how dependent they are on their two tall stars -- and how much they can struggle with Alaina Coates and A'ja Wilson out of the lineup. Coates, who averages nearly 14 points a game, has scored just three points combined in six straight quarters between Georgia last Thursday night and Tennessee.

UP NEXT

Tennessee returns home to play LSU on Thursday night.

South Carolina travels to No. 25 Kentucky on Thursday night.