Feb. 2, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The #8 Lady Vols saw their 28-game home conference win streak come to an end as South Carolina handed Tennessee a 64-60 defeat. The Gamecocks finished the game on a run 9-0 run to claim their first-ever win in Knoxville after being 0-20 all-time. Markeshia Grant scored a career-high 27 points including seven 3-pointers for USC (18-5, 7-3 SEC).
All-time USC was 2-44 against the Lady Vols. The last time South Carolina beat Tennessee was on Jan. 23, 1980, a 56-52 USC win at home.
The last time Tennessee dropped a home SEC game was on Feb. 14, 2008, a 78-62 defeat at the hands of #7 LSU.
Ieasia Walker put home a lay-up with 2:15 left to take the lead for good, 61-60. Walker then knocked down one of two free throws with 1:00 left to make it a 62-60 game. The Gamecocks forced a jumpball and took possession with 45 seconds remaining. After Grant missed a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left La'Keisha Sutton grabbed an offensive rebound. Sutton then knocked down two free throws with 12 seconds left to seal the win. Those free throws were just the fourth and fifth made foul shots for South Carolina, which started 3-12 from the free-throw line in the game.
After being down by five, the Lady Vols rallied to tie the game at 46 all on a Shekinna Stricklen layup with 10:23 left in the second half. A Taber Spani 3-pointer -- Tennessee's first trey of the game -- with 9:57 left gave the Lady Vols a 49-46 wrapping an 8-0 run. A Kamiko Williams 3-point play extended the advantage to 52-48 with 8:48 left.
Tennessee took the first lead of more than five points in the game on a Williams' jumpshot with 5:00 left in the game. That put the Lady Vols up 57-50.
USC rallied back as Grant nailed her seven 3-pointer of the game with 3:41 left to cut the Gamecocks deficit to 57-55. That added to Grant's career-high, but was her first basket in 10 minutes.
South Carolina trimmed the lead to one at 60-59 after a steal by Ashley Bruner and a lay-in by Aleighsa Welch with 2:49 left.
The game was close throughout with neither team leading by seven points all night.
The Gamecocks went on an 8-0 run over a two-minute span to take a 43-38 lead with 14:28 left in the second half.
South Carolina held a narrow 29-28 lead at halftime thanks to 15 points from Grant, who tallied 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting. The remainder of the USC squad shot just 7-of-24 from the floor (29.1 percent). Massengale had nine points in the first stanza to lead all Lady Vols.
Tennessee did not have a steal in the game and made just one 3-pointer, that Spani trey in the second half.
The Lady Vols return to action on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m., as Tennessee hosts Auburn. The game will air on the SEC Network and can be heard on the Vol Network.