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No. 19 Tennessee blows out South Carolina at home

South Carolina's Keyshawn Bryant (24) defends against Tennessee's Victor Bailey Jr. (12) during...
South Carolina's Keyshawn Bryant (24) defends against Tennessee's Victor Bailey Jr. (12) during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (Brianna Paciorka/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP, Pool)((Brianna Paciorka/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP, Pool) | (Brianna Paciorka/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP, Pool))
Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 11:44 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Victor Bailey drilled 7 of 10 3-pointers and scored a career-high 29 points to lead No. 19 Tennessee to a 93-73 victory over South Carolina on Wednesday night.

The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but what turned out to be a false positive COVID-19 test for a Tennessee player led to a one-day postponement.

John Fulkerson scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, Jaden Springer added 16 points and Yves Pons had 10 for the Volunteers (15-5, 8-5 Southeastern Conference).

AJ Lawson led the Gamecocks (5-10, 3-8) with 20 points. Keyshawn Bryant and TJ Moss each scored 15.

Tennessee expanded its 11-point halftime lead to 89-69 late in the second half thanks to a 17-7 run. Fulkerson had eight points in that burst.

Bailey hit 4 of 7 3-pointers and had 14 points to lead Tennessee to a 50-39 halftime advantage. Spring connected on a buzzer-beater jumper to score 10 in the opening half. The Vols were good on 6 of 13 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes.

FALSE POSITIVE

If the positive COVID-19 test result for a Tennessee player had not turned out to be false, the Volunteers would have been missing four players because of subsequent contact tracing. But all tests came back negative on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, meaning all four players were cleared to play under SEC rules, the university said.

Tennessee’s Josiah-Jordan James missed the game with a left wrist injury.

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: The Gamecocks dropped their fourth straight. After Saturday’s loss to Ole Miss, Bryant said: “Three losses in a row is just the outcome of us playing single basketball and not team basketball.”

Tennessee: Finding consistency is the Vols’ mission heading into the postseason. That starts with veteran big men Pons and Fulkerson playing up to the expectations they had at the start of the season.

UP NEXT

South Carolina: Hosts Missouri on Saturday. The Gamecocks have had eight games affected by the pandemic.

Tennessee: Hosts Kentucky on Saturday. Tennessee won 82-71 at Rupp Arena on Feb. 6.