KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UTSports.com)-- Tennessee closed its 2014-15 regular-season schedule with a 60-49 loss to South Carolina on Saturday afternoon.
Tennessee (15-15, 7-11 SEC) is locked in as the #10 seed for the SEC Tournament and will play on Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT on SEC Network. The Vols will play the #7 seed Vanderbilt in Nashville at the Bridgestone Arena.
The Vols split two meetings with Vanderbilt with each team winning on the road.
Saturday was senior day for three Vols as Josh Richardson, Galen Campbell and Brandon Lopez were honored before the game. Richardson played his 134rd career game and final at Thompson-Boling Arena scoring 14 points, grabbing six rebounds, handing out six assists and coming away with four steals.
The Gamecocks (15-15, 6-12 SEC) ended a 15-game losing streak to the Vols. Their last win in the series came on Feb. 17, 2007, an 81-64 victory in Columbia. South Carolina last won in Knoxville on Jan. 23, 2002, 94-60. The Vols had won 11 consecutive in the series at home.
Michael Carrera led the way for the Gamecocks with 14 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Three other Gamecocks scored in double-figures: Duane Notice (12), Sindarius Thornwell (10) and Tyrone Johnson (10).
South Carolina's defense flummoxed the Vols all day as Tennessee shot 35.6 from the floor, making just seven 2-point field goals.
South Carolina used a 21-4 run midway through the first half to take a lead it would never relinquish.
The Gamecocks made 9-of-11 field goals over a seven-minute stretch to rally from a 10-5 deficit to take a 26-14 lead on a Carrera jumper with 8:04 left in the first half.
Tennessee crept back within five points on a Kevin Punter 3-pointer with four minutes left in the first half, but the Gamecocks ripped off 10 points in a row to build a 15-point bulge, 36-21, at halftime.
South Carolina's zone defense held the Vols to just seven made field goals in the first half as no Vol scored more than five points in the first 20 minutes.
The Vols cut what was an 18-point deficit early in the second half to nine points on a 3-point play by Hubbs with nine minutes to go, 47-38. Tennessee's 10-0 run brought them to within eight at 47-39 with less than eight minutes to go.
After the Vols' defense forced a shot-clock violation by South Carolina, Devon Baulkman hit a 3-pointer with 4:52 remaining to cut Tennessee deficit to eight again, 50-42.
That was as close as the Vols would get in suffering their first loss to the Gamecocks in more than eight years.