Lady Vols fall to South Carolina in the SEC title game, 74-58

No. 1 South Carolina and No. 3 Tennessee met for the SEC Championship.
Lady Vol basketball
Lady Vol basketball(SEC)
Published: Mar. 5, 2023 at 4:08 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 5, 2023 at 5:02 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Multiple scoring droughts in the second half by Tennessee prevented it from forming any meaningful comeback against South Carolina in Sunday’s SEC Tournament championship game.

Until the final second, USC kept the pressure and went on to claim the title, 74-58.

For the first time since 2015, UT was back in the title game. However, they’ll have to wait another season to end their title drought, as the now 32-0 Gamecocks stay perfect on the year with a win Sunday against the Lady Vols.

Prior to tipoff, it was clear this neutral site game would feel like a home game for the Gamecocks. In an arena that seats nearly 16,000, there weren’t many open seats left for this game.

Tennessee kept pace with South Carolina through the first quarter, trading buckets in almost every possession. Jordan Horston was clutch with timely shots, sinking six in the first six minutes, then hitting a long-range jumper as time expired in the first period to pull within two, 21-19.

To start the second quarter, the Gamecocks went on a 10-2 run to go in front by 10. Tennessee went on a 3:59 mining scoring drought, going 0-6 from the field. Tennessee called a timeout.

A made jumper by Jordan Walker would keep it a 10-point game at 33-23, with 4:39 remaining.

With about three and a half minutes remaining, Jordan Horston came up with a steal and the Lady Vols converted on the other end with a Horston jumper to make it 35-27.

At the half, South Carolina lead Tennessee 37-31. Gamecocks were shooting 58% from the field, compared to Tennessee’s 48.

Late in the third frame, USC went on a 7-0 run in 60 seconds to give them their largest lead of the game, 55-40. At the same time, Tennessee was in another scoring drought. Four minutes would pass until their next bucket, a Rickea Jackson layup to make it 55-42 to close the quarter.

Tennessee only managed 11 points in the third, their fewest of the game. UT is 17-46 from the field.

A trio of fouls by Tennessee early put the Gamecocks up 59-45.

As the Lady Vols struggled from the field, only shooting 37 percent on the afternoon, South Carolina proved too much to overcome.