ATLANTA (AP) -- Jarnell Stokes scored 22 points, matching his season high, and Tennessee beat South Carolina 59-44 on Friday in the SEC tournament quarterfinals, adding a strong defensive effort to the Vols' NCAA tournament hopes.
The Vols (21-11) will carry a five-game winning streak into Saturday's semifinal against No. 1 Florida. Tennessee has not trailed in the winning streak and kept its lead over the Gamecocks in double digits for most of the second half.
Tennessee is No. 44 in the NCAA RPI and may have needed at least one SEC tournament win to bolster its NCAA hopes.
South Carolina (14-20) didn't score in the first six minutes, setting the mold for their offensive struggles. No South Carolina player scored in double figures.
Brenton Williams led South Carolina with nine points but made only 3 of 13 shots.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.