Welch’s 19 points lead No. 2 Gamecocks to 71-66 victory

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Aleighsa Welch had a season-high 19 points and 14 rebounds, Tiffany Mitchell hit two foul shots with 17 seconds left and No. 2 South Carolina outlasted No. 6 Tennessee to remain perfect in Southeastern Conference play, 71-66 Monday night.

The Gamecocks (26-1, 14-0 SEC) led 67-57 with five minutes left and a raucous crowd yelling to end a run of home losses to the Lady Vols that stretched to 1980.

But Tennessee (23-4, 13-1) rallied to score nine straight points and close within 67-66 on Bashaara Graves’ basket with 20.2 seconds left. That’s when Mitchell hit two foul shots to extend the lead.

After Tennessee’s Cierra Burdick turned the ball over on the next possession, Asia Dozier secured South Carolina’s victory with the final two foul shots.

Graves had 20 points to lead the Lady Vols.

Mitchell had 17 points for South Carolina.

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