Despite the efforts of Chris Silva and the Gamecocks, the Tennessee Volunteers (19-1, 7-0 SEC) brought down another conference foe for their 15th straight win.
Tennessee’s win against South Carolina (10-10, 5-2 SEC) came from the cooperation of Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield, who combined for 47 points in the 92-70 victory.
This victory also extends Tennessee’s win streak — the longest active streak in the NCAA — to 15, a program record that has gone unmatched for over a century.
The No. 1 Vols are on fire, due in large part to consistently stellar performances from Grant Williams and Lamonte Turner. Coming off a win against West Virginia in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, Tennessee sought to assert its dominance over the conference by getting a win over a contending opponent. With Schofield and Williams at the helm, Tennessee galvanized its spot atop the SEC standings.
From the tipoff, an all-star matchup unfurled between the SEC’s leading scorer, Grant Williams, and defensive-minded Chris Silva. While Williams had put up a combined 62 points in his previous two games, Silva, the 6-foot 9-inch forward powering the Gamecocks’ success in the SEC, tested the Volunteers on both sides of the ball, leading the game in points and rebounds.
However, Silva’s efforts proved to be no match for Williams and Schofield. With both playing at a high level on the interior and from deep, Silva’s highlight offensive performance proved ineffective at slowing down the Vols. Schofield’s 24 points and 9 rebounds signaled his return to the top of the stat sheet. Jordan Bone and Lamonte Turner also made significant scoring contributions, with each making three shots from behind the arc.
Mistakes plagued South Carolina throughout the night. The Volunteers scored 21 points off of 14 Gamecock turnovers, including four within a two-minute span. While Frank Martin’s halftime adjustments largely ameliorated this for South Carolina in the second half, Chris Silva struggled to get his teammates to match his level of play.
South Carolina head coach Frank Martin addressed his frustration in playing against this Tennessee team. “We tried. They’re just too physical for us. We made bad mistakes. Every time we made a mistake, they made us pay,” Martin said, echoing a sentiment felt by coaches across the conference and across the country.
Up next, Tennessee will face Texas A&M on Saturday in Reed Arena in College Station, Texas. The game will tip off at 8 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN.