Originally created 01/24/02

Gamecocks rout Vols

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- South Carolina coach Dave Odom couldn't explain it. And neither could Tennessee coach Buzz Peterson.

After losing 60-51 at home over the weekend to Vanderbilt and having the least productive offense in the Southeastern Conference, the Gamecocks (12-6, 2-3) had their best game of the season so far in a 94-60 victory Wednesday over Tennessee.

"This convinced me I was right all along. I know nothing about basketball. Nothing!" Odom said. "You never know with this game how things are going to turn out. Anybody who could have predicted this need not worry about money."

Carlos Powell, starting for the first time since the season opener, scored a career-high 19 points and Jamel Bradley added 15 - all on 3-pointers.

The Gamecocks came into the game averaging 55.8 points in their first four league games and continued to rely on their defense, which leads the SEC in allowing just 60 points a game.

They didn't have much problem scoring on the Volunteers (8-10, 1-4), who dropped to the bottom of the SEC East. Tennessee had a season-high 26 turnovers while South Carolina hit 13-of-25 3-pointers.

"You would have thought we would have gotten their best shot tonight. It was not their night. It was a Gamecock night from beginning to end," Odom said. "I don't know if they could do anything to change it and I don't know we could have done anything to keep it from happening that way. It's just one of those things you'll see one time a year. It's inexplicable."

Rolando Howell and Chuck Eidson each had 14 points, and Chris Warren added 10 for the Gamecocks. Powell was 6-of-7 from the floor, 3-for-3 from beyond the arc and 4-for-4 in free throws.

Scoring and defense were big problems for Tennessee. In the past week, the Vols had beaten then-No. 8 Syracuse and Middle Tennessee.

The Vols continued to miss forward Ron Slay, who was lost for the season over the weekend because of a torn ligament in his knee.

"We have no excuses. They came in and took it to us. Why? I wish I had the answers," Peterson said. "This was our third game in five days, and we were never into it. We challenged everybody to get the team going, but it didn't happen."

South Carolina was hot from the tipoff, which the Gamecocks won and then immediately scored.

South Carolina led by as many as 22 points in the first half and used a 15-2 run in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second half to go up by 31 points. Powell's basket over two Tennessee players in the lane gave the Gamecocks a 63-32 lead.

The Vols couldn't make any headway en route to their worst game of the season. They beat South Carolina twice last season and had won seven straight regular-season games over the Gamecocks. South Carolina hadn't won in Knoxville since the 1997-96 season.

Vincent Yarbrough scored 20 points for Tennessee while Brandon Crump and Elgrace Wilborn had 10.

South Carolina made seven of its first eight shots to take a 17-2 lead. Tennessee held South Carolina scoreless for 4 1/2 minutes in the first half but only scored twice during the span.

The Gamecocks continued to stretch their lead with four 3-pointers. Powell's 3 with 8:44 to go gave South Carolina a 31-12 lead.


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