KNOXVILLE, Tenn., — There wasn’t a Tennessee big crowd in Thompson-Boiling because of the 9 p.m. tip-off Tuesday night.
The third smallest crowd of the season – 13,126 – made their presence known the entire game, though. Not completely in favor of the Vols or against South Carolina. Instead, mainly to voice their collective displeasure of the referees.
There were 40 total fouls called in the game with multiple stops in play to review calls.
This didn’t hinder Tennessee too much as the Vols used a strong second half to put South Carolina away 70-67.
Forward Grant Williams scored on a spin move in the paint with 8.6 seconds left in the game to give the Vols a three-point lead and clinch the victory. He played like the best player on the floor, and it helped carry the Vols.
The Vols were coming off their worse loss of the season. This might be seen as an almost pallet cleanser, but coach Rick Barnes was visibly frustrated at times during the game.
Barnes rotated players pretty regularly and would typically pull someone out after a mistake. During a timeout with around the 12-minute mark in the second half, Barnes spent the entire time yelling at his team.
Obviously, the coach feels there is plenty to work on with March around the corner.
Here are three things from the game.
Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield turn in efficient games
Willaims and Admiral Schofield struggled with Alabama’s length and height down low on Saturday.
Those issues were gone against the South Carolina front line.
Williams led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting and an 8-of-9 free throw effort. Schofield added 13 points on 6-of-9 shots.
Tennessee is at its best with this duo scoring the ball and dictating how the game is played. They are a physical force down low and can exert their will on the game.
There seemed to be an effort to get both involved on the offensive line early in the game.
Tennessee has negative assist-turnover ratio
Tennessee can be one of the best passing teams in the country. The past three games the team has had a negative assist-turnover ratio.
The three opponents – Kentucky, Alabama and South Carolina – are good defensive teams that pressured the Vols into more turnovers than normal.
Tennesse had 15 turnovers to 12 assists. Three turnovers came in the final three minutes which kept the door open for South Carolina.
Williams the plus/minus darling
Not too surprising, but Williams had the best plus/minus of any Vol Tuesday night at 10.
Tennessee is simply better when he is on the court and it showed once again.
Center Kyle Alexander usually posts one of the best plus/minuses on the team but finished with a -7.
Alexander played only nine minutes as Barnes went with smaller lineups in the game. The junior had 3 personal fouls, so this was part of the reason for the lack of minutes.
Tennessee typically plays better defense with Alexander anchoring the team in the paint. An interesting subplot the next few games will be how much Barnes uses Alexander or more-offensively geared lineups.
The post 3 things from Tennessee’s 70-67 victory over South Carolina appeared first on SEC Country.
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