As the game turned: With 8:42 left to play, South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley called a timeout to try to get her team settled on defense and back into the game, but Meighan Simmons and company had other plans.
The lone senior highlighted a 6-0 run over the next two minutes, which she capped by sinking a shot from the top of the key to give the Lady Vols a 12-point lead at home.
From there on out, the Lady Vols defense continued to stifle the Gamecocks, who shot 38.5 percent in the contest on Saturday, not allowing UT's lead to fall below double digits.
The win for the Lady Vols, by a final score of 71-63, was their first over a top 10 team this season and pushes their win streak to four games, giving the Lady Vols momentum heading into the SEC Tournament.
"I think the win really helps us get back to where we need to be," junior center Isabelle Harrison said. "When we play hard we can beat anybody."
Hot topic: Throughout the course of the regular season, turnovers have hindered the Lady Vols offensively.
UT entered Sunday's contest averaging 17.2 turnovers per game, which ranks eleventh in the SEC.
Turning the ball over, however, was a non-issue against South Carolina as Tennessee committed just seven turnovers – a season-low – while dishing out 14 assists.
"It was a huge deal for us not to turn the ball over since everyone knows we've struggled with turnovers this season," redshirt freshman guard Andraya Carter said. "They (South Carolina) are known for their defense and it's no knock to them, but it is huge for us since we know we need to take care of the basketball in the postseason."
Spotlight: Carter was the spark plug for the Lady Vols' offense. She scored 10 of her 14 points in the opening period and started a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, including two 3-pointers.
She has now hit at least one shot from behind the arc in 17 contests this season and continues her solid play in the absence of Ariel Massengale.
"She is a competitor," Warlick said. "She continues to get better and better with each game. She and Jordan (Reynolds) have stepped up for us and they run their team out on the court and have been very vocal. They have both been big for us."
The other guys: Freshman Alaina Coates was the only South Carolina player to shoot 50 percent while receiving at least 20 minutes of game action. In 23 minutes, she scored 10 points (4-of-8 FG, 2-2 FT), gathered eight rebounds and blocked three shots.
Outside the box score: While South Carolina won the regular season SEC championship, the Lady Vols continued their dominance over the Gamecocks. With the 73-61 win, Tennessee is now 47-3 in the all-time series between the teams and 21-1 at home.
Say something: Warlick on the bench play from UT in the win: "Our bench was great. The game was fast and physical and we had to give some people a break. Jasmine Jones was incredible. They all came in and did their part."
By the numbers:
80: Tennessee and South Carolina combined for 80 points in the paint.
30: Cierra Burdick, Bashaara Graves and Harrison combined for 30 rebounds.
58.4: Harrison shot 58.4 percent (146-of-250) from the floor this season, which ranks eighth all-time in UT history (min. 250 attempts).
Up next: The Lady Vols receive a double bye in the SEC Tournament and will await the winner of Alabama and LSU for their third round matchup on March 7 at 6 p.m.