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Gamecocks Defeated By No. 8/9 Vols Saturday
Men's Basketball  . 

Gamecocks Defeated By No. 8/9 Vols Saturday

South Carolina Athletics

Meechie Johnson scored 19 points to lead the Gamecocks

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Olivier Nkamhoua scored a season-high 21 points on 10-of-10 shooting and No. 8 Tennessee dominated from the start for an 85-42 victory over South Carolina on Saturday.

The Vols (13-2) started 3-0 in the Southeastern Conference for the first time in four seasons and showed the depth and talent to think that streak in the rugged league could continue.

Nkamhoua, a 6-foot-9 senior forward, led Tennessee with 10 rebounds for his second double-double this season.

Nkamhoua, who went 5 for 5 for 10 points in an 83-57 win over Mississippi State on Tuesday, continued his run of perfection against the Gamecocks.

He was a major part in the Vols’ quick start, scoring seven points the first 10 minutes as Tennessee built a 24-7 lead on the way to its ninth victory in the past 10 games with South Carolina (7-8, 0-2).

The Vols broke out to a 15-3 lead and never looked back.

South Carolina missed 10 of 11 shots during one stretch and settled for outside shots, which the Gamecocks struggled to connect on as they were 1 of 13 on 3s the first 20 minutes.

Tennessee took advantage of South Carolina’s defensive lapses to build a 43-21 lead at the break.

Nkamhoua hit all five of his shots and the Vols shot 60.7% (17 of 28) in the opening half.

Tennessee was in such command that coach Rick Barnes called a timeout — the Vols led 40-21 — with 15.5 seconds before halftime to practice a late-game situation. It worked perfectly as the Vols worked the ball around to Santiago Vescovi, who drained an uncontested 3-pointer as the clock ran out.

Jonas Aidoo had 15 points, while Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James added 12 apiece for the Vols, who shot better than 50% for the third time in the past four games.

Meechie Johnson had 19 points for South Carolina.


  • Tennessee capitalized on 20 second chance points to just two for the Gamecocks. The Volunteers outrebounded South Carolina 48-21 including 18-7 on the offensive glass.


  • Meechie Johnson finished with a team-high 19 points. Johnson has now scored in double figures in each of the team’s last eight games dating back to an overtime victory against Georgetown (Dec. 3).
  • South Carolina as a team shot 93.3 percent (14-for-15) from the free throw line against the Volunteers, their highest percentage in a game this season.
  • Josh Gray led the Gamecocks with five rebounds. It marks the fifth game this season that he has led the team in rebounds.
  • Gregory “GG” Jackson II did not score and was 0-for-8 from the field. He entered the game the only freshman in the country to score in double figures in every game this season.


South Carolina (7-8, 0-2 SEC) travels to Rupp Arena to face Kentucky (10-5, 1-2 SEC) on Tuesday, Jan. 10. The game will tip at 7 p.m. (ET) and be nationally televised on ESPN2 with Karl Ravech (pxp) and Jimmy Dykes (analyst) on the call for the broadcast.