COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Tyler Smith had 22 points and J.P. Prince 20 as Tennessee won the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division with an 86-70 victory over South Carolina on Thursday night.
The Volunteers (19-10, 10-5) won their third straight. No matter what happens in their finale with Alabama on Sunday, they head into next week's SEC tournament with a first-round bye.
The Gamecocks (20-8, 9-6) hadn't lost a league game at home this season. However, they couldn't match Tennessee's inside power. The Volunteers held a 44-22 rebounding margin.
Devan Downey and Zam Fredrick had 16 points each to lead the Gamecocks, who were blown out for a second straight game after 96-83 defeat at Vanderbilt that wasn't that close.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.