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USC Basketball: Trojans lead UNLV 39-25 at halftime

December 25, 2009 |  8:12 pm

Behind its suffocating defense, USC has a 39-25 halftime lead over UNLV in the finals of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.

Marcus Johnson scored the first six points of the game for USC and leads the Trojans with 12 first-half points on five of eight shooting. Also playing well is point guard Mike Gerrity, who has 10 first-half points on three of four shooting, including making two of two from three-point range.

USC jumped out to a big lead due to a defense that held UNLV to a season-low 25 first-half points. Leading 19-16, the Trojans used a 16-2 run to go up 35-18 at the 2:19 mark. During that run, the Running Rebels had four turnovers and had five team fouls.

Here are some notable first-half facts and stats:

- Playing in just his second game for USC this season after becoming academically eligible Wednesday, forward Leonard Washington is proving to be a mismatch in the post for the Running Rebels. He only has four points on two of two shooting, but the Trojans have been trying to isolate the 6-foot-7-inch forward on nearly every possession, and if he hasn't scored, he's made a good pass that led to an open shot.

- USC had just two turnovers in the first half, which is remarkable because A) the Trojans average 16.5 turnovers per game and B) the Running Rebels force their opponents into 18.4 turnovers per game. UNLV, meanwhile, has nine first-half turnovers, which have led to 15 points for USC.

- USC is three of five from three-point range while UNLV is three of 12.

-- Baxter Holmes