KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- Tennessee beat South Carolina for the 13th consecutive time with a dominating 72-53 victory on Saturday before 17,215 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Vols notched their eighth wire-to-wire win of the season and fourth in SEC in moving to 15-8 overall and 6-4 in league play. South Carolina is now 8-15 and 1-9 in the the SEC.
Playing his 100th career game, senior Jordan McRae tallied 24 points for his 57th career game in double-figures.
Junior Jarnell Stokes posted 17 points and eight rebounds as his streak of four double-doubles came to an end. Senior Jeronne Maymon added 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Vols opened the game on a 16-2 run and never looked back. South Carolina made just one of its first 11 shots while the Vols connected on seven of its first 11 attempts.
Sindarius Thornwell (team-high 15 points) finally got the Gamecocks on the board -- he scored their first nine points. South Carolina cut their early deficit to eight points, but Tennessee ripped off seven points in a row including a pair of 3-pointers from McRae to take a 28-13 lead with a little more than eight minutes left in the first half.
Stokes emphatically slammed home a pair of dunks to wrap up an 11-2 run for a 32-15 lead.
Tennessee led 45-22 at halftime as McRae (20) and Stokes (13) combined for 33 points. The Vols scored their points in a first half vs. an SEC team since leading 50-26 over Kentucky last February.
South Carolina cut their deficit to 13 points thanks to a 10-0 spurt midway through the second as Cuonzo Martin inserted several reserves for the Vols. Armani Moore's 3-pointer stopped the run for the Vols as Tennessee took a 57-41 lead with 8:30 left in the game.
After McRae, Maymon, Stokes and Darius Thompson returned to the line-up the lead returned to a 20-point margin. Tennessee cruised for the remainder of the game.
Tennessee has not lost to the Gamecocks in nearly six years since South Carolina posted an 81-64 win on Feb. 17, 2007.
The Vols continue their two-game homestand on Tuesday night as No. 3 Florida comes to Thompson-Boling Arena for a 7 p.m., tip-of. That game will air on ESPN and can be heard on the Vol Network.
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