Feb. 25, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s basketball team suffered a 73-64 defeat to Tennessee on Saturday night at Colonial Life Arena.
Senior Malik Cooke earned his second double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds on the night that he was honored for surpassing 1,000 points in his career. South Carolina (10-18, 2-12 SEC) also tied a season high for steals with 12 on the night, while forcing the Vols into 21 turnovers in the contest. Sophomore guard Bruce Ellington led the Gamecock scorers with 19 points, while Tennessee (16-13, 8-6 SEC) sophomore Trae Golden led all scorers with 21.
Tennessee hit 52.2 percent (24-46) of its shots in the game, including 55.6 percent in the second half. South Carolina struggled offensively, however, hitting just 32.4 percent (22-68) in the game.
Tennessee held a 7-4 lead at the under-16 media timeout of the first half and would push their lead to nine with a little over ten minutes remaining before the break. The Gamecocks used quick transition baskets to keep the pace with the Volunteers for the next five minutes of play.
With four minutes to play in the half, Carolina crept to within four after a Brenton Williams 3 and Eric Smith steal-to-layup transition basket. The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the half, with Carolina cutting the lead to two on an Ellington 3-point jumper, and Tennessee took a 34-32 lead into the break. Ellington lead the Garnet and Black with 10 points in the first half with Williams adding eight off the bench.
The Vols started the second half on a quick 10-2 run into the first media timeout. Despite a flurry of Gamecock offensive spurts, the Tennessee lead would hold, and the Volunteers closed out the game by a final score of 73-64.
The Gamecocks are back in action on Wed., February 29 vs. Mississippi State in their final home game of the season. Senior forward Malik Cooke and senior manager Philip Deter will be honored prior to the game for Senior Night. Game time is set for 8 p.m. ET, with Senior Night festivities set to begin at 7:50 p.m.