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March 6, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina concludes the regular season on Saturday when it travels to face Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena. The matchup is the second between the two schools this season. UT posted a 66-62 victory over the Gamecocks in Columbia early in the SEC season. South Carolina is looking for its first win in Knoxville since the 2002 campaign. FSN will broadcast Saturday’s finale with James Bates (pxp) and Matt Carroll (analyst) on the call.

Game Date: Saturday, March 7, 2015
Game Time: 4 p.m. ET
Arena: Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678)
Broadcast: FSN
Talent: James Bates (pxp), Matt Carroll (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Sirius: N/A; XM: N/A
Series: Tennessee leads 41-23
Last Meeting: 66-62 Tennessee win, Jan. 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C.

| Tickets | Game Notes | @GamecockMBB

– South Carolina is in its 107th season of varsity basketball in 2014-15.
– The Gamecocks are led by third-year head coach Frank Martin. His associate head coach is Matt Figger, his assistant coaches are Perry Clark and Lamont Evans, and his director of operations is Andy Assaley.
– South Carolina battled back from a 20-point deficit to take an 11-point lead in the final minutes, but 18th-ranked Arkansas finished Thursday’s game on an 8-1 run over the final two minutes and 30 seconds to close a 78-74 win over the Gamecocks. South Carolina shot an SEC season high 50.1 percent (25-49) in the contest.
– Senior guard Tyrone Johnson scored 18 points and matched an SEC season high with six assists to go along with three steals vs. the Razorbacks, but the senior floor general was sidelined for the final two minutes and 29 seconds of the game due to cramps in his legs.
– South Carolina has not won in Knoxville since the 2002 campaign, and aims to snap a 15-game Tennessee win streak in the series on Saturday.
– The Gamecocks average 57.2 points per game on the road this season. Sophomore guard Duane Notice scores a team best 13.1 points per road game.
– Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell led the Gamecocks with 17 points vs. Tennessee earlier this season. He hit 8-of-9 attempts from the free throw line, and pulled down seven rebounds as well.
– South Carolina snapped a two-game winless streak with a convincing 81-68 win over visiting Mississippi State on Feb. 28. The Gamecocks connected on 46.3 percent (25-54) of their attempts from the floor. Three were in double figures, but Johnson led the pack with a career high 28 points. He also had career numbers from the free throw line, hitting on 13-of-15 attempts. Junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius shined again, hitting his career high for the second-straight contest with 18 points, while adding nine rebounds.
– South Carolina currently sits in 11th place in the most updated SEC standings (March 6).
– Freshman guard Marcus Stroman returned for the Gamecocks at Alabama after missing the previous four games due to a throat infection. Stroman saw 14 minutes of action vs. the Crimson Tide. Stroman, however, was unavailable for the Mississippi State contest due to a recurrence of the throat infection. He returned again to the lineup vs. Arkansas, scoring five points and dishing two assists in 20 minutes off the bench.
– South Carolina has four victories this season over teams in the top 50 of the RPI (March 6) in Iowa State (14), Georgia (35, twice) and Oklahoma State (41).

Tennessee enters Saturday’s matchup with a 15-14 overall record, which includes a 7-10 mark in SEC games. The Vols are currently tied for ninth in the league standings, but would be the 10th seed at next week’s SEC Tournament, as they are tied with Alabama, and the Crimson Tide won the only head-to-head meeting between the two schools. Senior guard Josh Richardson leads the team and ranks sixth in the SEC with 15.7 points per game, while his 2.0 steals per outing lead the league. Junior forward Armani Moore also contributes double figures with 11.1 points and a team high 6.9 rebounds per outing. The Vols have a 9-6 record in home games, but have lost four-straight at Thompson-Boling Arena entering Saturday’s matchup vs. the Gamecocks, and UT holds just a 2-6 record in league games in Knoxville. UT most recently posted a 78-63 victory on the road at LSU. Richardson led the squad with 20 points, three assists and five steals in the win over the Tigers. Head coach Donnie Tyndall is in his first season at Tennessee.

UT leads the all-time series vs. South Carolina 41-23 after a 66-62 win in Columbia on Jan. 20, which marked Tennessee’s 15th-straight win in the series. The Vols hold a 24-7 advantage in games played in Knoxville and have won the last 11 meetings on their home court. The teams played twice last season, first in Knoxville, with UT posting a 72-53 win, and then in Atlanta at the SEC Tournament, with Tennessee claiming a 59-44 victory.

18 – Senior guard Tyrone Johnson shined on Senior Night, scoring a team high 18 points, while matching an SEC season best with six assists. His three steals were also an SEC season high. Johnson was instrumental in the Gamecock comeback, but had to leave the game with 2:29 remaining due to cramps in his legs.
19 – South Carolina dished an SEC season high 19 assists in the win vs. Mississippi State. Over the course of the last three games, South Carolina has collected an assist on 71.0% of its made baskets.
73.5% – South Carolina ranks second in the SEC (overall games), hitting 73.5% (435-592) from the free throw line this season. That number currently ranks third all-time in Carolina history. The 1971 squad holds the school record, as it hit 74.3% (635-855) from the charity stripe.
18 – Junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius posted a career high 18 points at Alabama on Feb. 24 and hit the same mark on Feb. 28 vs. Mississippi State. He hit 7-of-12 attempts from the floor and was a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line vs. the Crimson Tide, and connected on 8-of-13 attempts from the floor vs. the Bulldogs.
7.8 – Chatkevicius is averaging 7.8 rebounds per game over the course of the last four games. He collected five at Georgia, 11 vs. A&M, nine at Alabama and vs. Miss. State and five. vs. Arkansas on Thursday.
3.5 – Among freshmen in the SEC, Marcus Stroman ranks third in overall games with 3.5 assists per outing. In strictly league games, he ranks fifth with 2.6 per outing.
10-8 – The Gamecocks are 11-8 this season when out-rebounding their opponent. 4th – South Carolina ranks fourth in the SEC in average home attendance, as an average of 11,520 fans attend Carolina home games this season.
62.4 – South Carolina ranks fourth in scoring defense in the SEC (overall games), as opponents average just 62.4 points per game.
83.3% – Senior guard Tyrone Johnson ranks third in the SEC at the free throw line this season, as he has hit 85-of-102 attempts from the charity stripe for a mark of 83.3%.

South Carolina travels to the SEC Tournament next week in Nashville, Tenn. Look for the final bracket to be released late Saturday night following the conclusion of the day’s games.