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USC basketball: Trojans lead New Mexico State at halftime, 40-28

November 21, 2010 | 12:42 pm

Uschoops2_300 After USC's sluggish start Saturday in its eventual 64-63 loss to Bradley, the Trojans jumped out to a double-digit lead against New Mexico State on Sunday in Springfield, Mass., and lead 40-28 at halftime. 

USC (2-2) had a 17-8 advantage with 11 minutes, 48 seconds in the first half, but that lead was eventually whittled down to 24-21 with four minutes before halftime.

From there, though, the Trojans got out in transition, largely behind freshman point guard Maurice Jones, and closed the first half with a 16-7 run. 

Jones, who has played all 160 minutes of USC's first four games, has six points at halftime.

His roommate, fellow freshman guard Bryce Jones, who had 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals against Bradley, has seven points on three-of-four shooting.

Junior forward Nikola Vucevic also has seven points. Senior guards Marcus Simmons and Donte Smith each have six.  

All in all, it has been a pretty balanced effort for USC, which is shooting 50% (14 of 28). 

The game is being played at the MassMutual Center as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament. USC will return home to face Cal State Fullerton at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Galen Center.

-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: Trojans point guard Maurice Jones looks to pass around New Mexico State's Hernst Laroche in the first half Sunday. Credit: Nancy Palmieri / Associated Press