Lamonte Turner matched his career high with 25 points, and No. 21 Tennessee pounded the ball inside to get past South Carolina 70-63 on Saturday night.
With the scored tied at 59, Turner made a short jumper and found Admiral Schofield in the corner for a 3-pointer on a fast break, and Tennessee (13-5, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) led the rest of the way.
Turner also made all 10 of his free throws, including four in the final 36 seconds as the Volunteers snapped a three-game losing streak to the Gamecocks (12-7, 3-4).
Tennessee outscored South Carolina 32-16 in the paint, getting both of the Gamecocks' main big men in foul trouble.
Chris Silva, who averaged a second-best 19.3 points in SEC games this season, scored just six on 1-of-5 shooting, playing 25 minutes because of foul trouble. The Gamecocks' other starting big man, Malik Kotsar, fouled out with eight points.
Grant Williams scored 14 points for Tennessee.
Justin Minaya and Wesley Myers each scored 16 points to lead the Gamecocks, who made 10 of 23 3-pointers as the inside game faded away.
Tennessee never trailed after the opening two minutes, but also never stretched its lead beyond double digits. South Carolina had a chance to cut the lead to one or tie in the final minute but missed a 3-pointer, a short jumper, a layup and a tip-in on one possession.
Tennessee: The Volunteers made 5 of 11 3-pointers, important shots to open up the inside after South Carolina had held its last two opponents to a combined 4 for 23 from behind the arc. Tennessee had four offensive rebounds all game but scored on each of them.
South Carolina: The loss stings, but after starting 1-3 in the SEC, the Gamecocks are back in the NCAA Tournament discussion after wins in the past week at Georgia and at home against No. 18 Kentucky. But free throws killed South Carolina's chances. Silva missed two free throws that would have tied it with 2:30 left and the Gamecocks made just 17 of 27 attempts. South Carolina is now 1-7 when it scores fewer than 70 points and 11-0 when it gets more than 70.
Tennessee: Hosts Vanderbilt on Tuesday.
South Carolina: Heads to Florida on Wednesday.