Tennessee (13-5, 4-3) picked up a big conference road win on Saturday, defeating South Carolina (12-7, 3-4) 70-63.
The Vols were powered by a huge offensive night from Lamonte Turner, who scored a game-high 25 points. Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield also scored in double figures with 14 and 12, respectively.
The most surprising performance of the night, though, came from freshman forward Derrick Walker, who scored 10 points and added four rebounds which all seemed to come in big moments.
After trading baskets in the opening minutes, Tennessee used a 7-0 run to take a 16-7 lead early in the game.
Tennessee extended its lead to nine several times in the first half, but South Carolina continually answered to keep the deficit in single-digits. The Gamecocks got within one point late in the first half, but Tennessee took a 33-30 lead into halftime.
The second half began with much of the same. The Vols did just enough to remain in front when South Carolina looked like it was going to take over on its home floor. But with the game tied 59-59 and just over four minutes to play, Tennessee went on a huge 5-0 run to retake the lead for good.
Tennessee won the game on the offensive end of the floor, shooting 57.5% from the field to South Carolina’s 36.7%. The Vols also made 19 of 24 free throw attempts, a stat which is always critical on the road.
Tennessee finally showed an ability to close out a game on the road, something which has eluded it for the past two years.
The Volunteers return home Tuesday night to face in-state rival Vanderbilt for the second time this season.