Trojans top Gamecocks in battle for ‘real USC’ title

Last summer, Southern Cal beat South Carolina in a court of law over trademark use of the initials “USC” on their jerseys.

On Saturday night, the Trojans got the best of the Gamecocks on the basketball court as well.

A single-handed run by Southern California point guard Maurice Jones nearly surpassed South Carolina’s entire output in the second half of the third-place game at the Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday. Jones scored 14 straight points as the Trojans posted a 61-58 victory.

Jones finished with 28 points, matching his career high. He made all seven 3-pointers he attempted, one of which put USC in front for good at 55-53 with 3:54 remaining in the ballgame. For once, Southern Cal (3-4) held a late lead. The Trojans had squandered a second-half advantage in all four of their losses.

A free throw by Aaron Fuller and a tip-in by Dewayne Dedmon helped the Trojans hold off South Carolina during the final minutes. Dedmon finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. Fuller pulled down 10 boards to go with six points.

The two schools, both of whom who call themselves “USC,” played a very close contest. There were nine lead changes and nine ties and the margin between them never got beyond two possessions.

South Carolina (2-4) lost despite shooting 55 percent from the field, but got outrebounded by a 27-15 margin. Damontre Harris’ 15 points led three Gamecocks in double figures. Brian Richardson added 12 points and Malik Cooke 10.

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