Lady Vols Ice South Carolina

Winter weather kept the fans at home, but it didn't cool off the Lady Vols, who won their 27th straight over South Carolina and their 42nd straight against SEC opponents at Thompson-Boling Arena, with an impressive 97-78 triumph over the No. 15 Gamecocks.

The victory was No. 4 Tennessee's sixth straight since a narrow Jan. 4 setback at No. 2 UConn. The only streak that wasn't extended was the one for consecutive crowds of over 5,000 for Lady Vol home games. The run was halted at 169 straight games, dating back to 1991 when only 4,482 entered the turnstiles for a game that sold over 15,000 tickets. Snow and extreme cold forced UT to cancel classes on Thursday and has brought much of Knoxville's activities to a halt.

The Lady Vols, however, were immune to the mercury swoon, hitting a red hot 53.2 percent from the field (33-of-62), nailing 9-of-19 three-pointers and sinking 22-of-27 free throws. Tennessee never trailed in the game and took command early with a 13-0 run. The Lady Vols shot 57.6 percent in the second half and held their largest lead at 22.

Gwen Jackson paced Tennessee's high-octane offense with 18 points while Kara Lawson and Shanna Zolman added 13 each. Tasha Butts and Shyra Ely each scored 12 and Ashley Robinson had nine points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Jocelyn Penn, the nation's second leading scorer averaging 27.1 points per game, had a game-high 26 points, hitting 11-of-16 from the field. South Carolina (14-4, 2-3) was actually hotter than Tennessee from the field, connecting on 30-of-55 for 54.5 percent, but the Gamecocks negated their hot shooting with 24 turnovers and shot 12 fewer free throws than Tennessee (15-3, 4-0).

Tennessee hosts Mississippi State on Sunday before traveling to Fayetteville next Thursday to take on Arkansas.


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