The UNLV Runnin' Rebels pulled away in the second half, beating the USC Trojans 66-55 in the semifinals of the 2011 Las Vegas Invitational at the Orleans Arena. UNLV remains undefeated on the season (6-0).
The Trojans were able to play the game at their pace, holding a UNLV squad that averaged 83 points per contest to 66 points on Friday night, and it worked for about 30 minutes. USC held UNLV to 42.0% shooting on the night (21 for 50). The Trojans trailed 47-46 midway through the second half, but UNLV ended the game on a 19-9 run.
Oscar Bellfield led a balanced UNLV scoring attack with 11 points, and was joined by 10 points apiece from Mike Moser and Justin Hawkins. Moser scored eight of his 10 points in the second half.
Aaron Fuller and Byron Wesley led the Trojans with 16 points each, with Wesley making eight of his 10 field goal attempts. Maurice Jones added 11 points for USC, who shot 49.0% on the night. However, the Trojans made just one of 10 from beyond the arc, and have made just 19 of 80 three-point shots (23.8%) on the season.
UNLV advances to play the winner of North Carolina vs. South Carolina in the tournament final on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. PST on ESPN2. USC will play the loser of North Carolina vs. South Carolina at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
For more USC basketball news and notes, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.