Davis leads No. 21 Tennessee over No. 2 South Carolina
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Rennia Davis scored all 24 of her points in the second half and No. 21 Tennessee beat second-ranked South Carolina 75-67 on Thursday night, ending the Gamecocks’ 31-game conference winning streak.
The Lady Vols (13-5, 7-3 Southeastern Conference) came back from a double-digit deficit at halftime to beat the Gamecocks (17-3, 12-1).
Rae Burrell scored 19 points for the Lady Vols and Jordan Horston had 11.
Aliyah Boston had 17 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Gamecocks. Zia Cooke and Destanni Henderson each scored 15.
Trailing by three a couple minutes into the fourth quarter, the Lady Vols reeled off nine straight points and went up 68-62. Tennessee never took its foot off the gas.
South Carolina’s 12-point halftime lead evaporated in the third quarter. Davis, who was held scoreless in the first half, had 13 points to get the Lady Vols going.
Tennessee took the lead with 2:05 left when Davis drained a 3-pointer.
Leading by two midway through the second quarter, South Carolina went on a 15-1 run and went into halftime on top, 37-25. Boston had four points in that spurt and grabbed 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Henderson scored 10 points in the first half.
Burrell scored Tennessee’s first eight points of the game and had 12 at the break.
South Carolina: Despite a recent non-conference loss to Connecticut, the Gamecocks are on track for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. With four players – Zia Cooke (15.8), Aliyah Boston (13.7), Destanni Henderson (11.6) and Victaria Saxton (10.0) – averaging in double figures, they have enough offensive weapons to cause teams trouble.
The Gamecocks entered the second half with a 12-point lead, but Tennessee chipped away at it through the third, taking a 51-50 briefly in the before taking the lead for good halfway through the fourth quarter behind improved shooting percentage.
South Carolina’s defense held Tennessee to 31.3 percent from the field in the first half, but the Lady Vols flipped the script in the second half and went 57.1 percent, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
- Sophomore Aliyah Boston notched her fourth straight double-double with a team-high 17 points and 16 rebounds. Boston ranks third all-time at Carolina with 15 double-doubles against SEC foes, with nine of those coming this season.
- Junior Destanni Henderson put up 10 of her 15 points in the first half. Henderson has cracked double figures in four straight games.
- Sophomore Zia Cooke scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half as Carolina tried to hold off the Tennessee rally. This is Cooke’s ninth straight game in double figures.
The No. 2/3 Gamecocks (17-3, 12-1 SEC) return to Columbia to start their final homestand of the season against No. 17/17 Kentucky (15-5, 8-4 SEC) on Sunday. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. on ESPN.