The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Thompson-Boling Arena - Knoxville, TN

Gamecocks upset UT for first top-5 road win since 1997

25 days ago
South Carolina Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Ta'Lon Cooper hit a critical 3-pointer with 40 seconds left and scored 18 points, and B.J. Mack added 16 points to lead South Carolina to a 63-59 victory over No. 5 Tennessee on Tuesday night.

Myles Stute scored 13 points for the Gamecocks (18-3, 6-2 Southeastern Conference), who have beaten the conference's two highest-ranked teams. They knocked off No. 10 Kentucky on Jan. 23.

Dalton Knecht scored 12 points in the final three minutes and finished with 31 points, and Santiago Vescovi added 10 points for the Volunteers (15-5, 5-2), who had won four straight games and 11 of their last 12 entering the game.

South Carolina led by three points with 30 seconds left when Stute hit two free throws. Knecht hit a 3-pointer with 5 seconds remaining that cut the Tennessee deficit to two points. Stute hit two more free throws with 4 seconds left to seal the win.

Tennessee shot 36% (21 for 58) from the field and 24% (5 for 21) from 3-point distance.

South Carolina handled Tennessee's aggressive defense in the first half and led 30-26 at the break.

Cooper had 10 points and Mack nine for the Gamecocks in the first half. Knecht had 13 points to pace Tennessee which shot 2 for 11 (18%) from long distance.

The Gamecocks had a 21-19 rebounding edge and limited Tennessee to 36% (12 for 33) shooting to build its lead in the first half.

KEY STAT

  • The Gamecocks, who entered as the No. 1 scoring defense in the SEC allowing just 64.4 points per game, held the Volunteers to a season-low 59 points on just 36.2 percent (21-for-58) from the floor and 23.8 percent (5-for-21) from three. Tennessee came into tonight's matchup 5th in the SEC in scoring offense averaging 79.5 points per game.
  • Carolina hands Tennessee their first home loss of the season, snapping their 13-game home winning streak improving to (18-3, 6-2 SEC), their best start since the 2015-16 season when the team started the year 19-3.

NOTABLES

  • The win is the first against Tennessee for head coach Lamont Paris and the second top-10 victory for Carolina in its last three games. Per Elias Sports, the last time the Gamecocks defeated a pair of top-20 opponents in a three-game stretch was a 56-50 win at No. 8 Duke on Feb. 24, 1968 and an 87-86 victory at No. 3 North Carolina on Feb. 28, 1968 in back-to-back games.
  • The Gamecocks last top-five road win was a 72-66 win at No. 3 Kentucky on March 2, 1997.
  • Graduate guard Ta'Lon Cooper was huge for Carolina scoring a team-high 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Cooper has scored in double-figures in each of his last four games and his 61 points over his last four marks the best scoring stretch of his career. He scored 57 over a four-game stretch last year at Minnesota.
  • Cooper is now 11-of-15 from 3-point land over his last four games. Carolina as a team knocked down 10 triples improving their record to 11-3 under Lamont Paris when the team makes 10 or more 3s. All three losses have come on the road.
  • Junior guard Myles Stute returned to action for the first time since sustaining a shoulder injury against Georgia on Jan. 16. The sharpshooter scored 13 points off the bench knocking down all three of his triples. The Gamecocks are 12-0 in games when Stute scores 10 or more this season.
  • Three Gamecocks scored in double-figures: Cooper (18), B.J. Mack (16), and Stute (13). Mack has now scored in double-digits in five of his last six games.
  • Free throws were crucial down the stretch and Carolina as a team went 15-of-18 at the charity stripe, good for 83.3 percent. Stute made four crucial free throws to ice the game over the final 23 seconds of regulation.
  • Senior forward Josh Gray was big on the boards for Carolina grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. It is his second game this season leading the team on the glass.
  • Junior guard Meechie Johnson provided for his teammates dishing out a team-high six assists with zero turnovers. It marks his third game of the season with 5+ assists and his sixth leading the team in passing.
  • The Gamecocks are now 8-0 under Lamont Paris when holding opponents to 60 points or less over the last two seasons.
  • Carolina improves to 6-2 in SEC play matching their best start over eight games since the 2018-19 season.

UP NEXT

Carolina (18-3, 6-2 SEC) remains on the road at Georgia (14-6, 4-3 SEC) on Saturday (Feb. 3) for a 1 p.m. (ET) tipoff at Stegeman Coliseum. Courtney Lyle (pxp) and Carolyn Peck (analyst) will be on the call for the SEC Network broadcast.