LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Trevon Bluiett scored 16 points and No. 23 Xavier beat Southern California 87-77 on Friday to reach AdvoCare Invitational title game.
Bluiett had 11 points as Xavier (6-0) took control early on en route to a 54-27 halftime lead.
Xavier also got 13 points from Edmond Sumner.
Nikola Jovanovic and Julian Jacobs had 15 points each for USC (5-1). The season-opening five-game run was the Trojans’ best since starting 2000-01 with an 8-0 record.
The Musketeers were 6 of 13 from 3-point range, including Bluiett converting 3 of 4 during the opening half.
Bluiett had a pair of 3s and Jalen Reynolds added two slams during a 17-0 run that put Xavier ahead 19-3 5 minutes into the game.
USC shot 9 for 26 and was outrebounded 25-10 in the opening half.
Jovanovic’s 3-point play and a slam by Jacobs got USC to 70-55 with 6 1/2 minutes to play. The deficit was trimmed to 72-59 on Malik Marquetti’s rebound basket.
USC guard Jordan McLaughlin had six points over 17 minutes during the first half, but didn’t play in the second due to a nose injury.
Xavier: Coach Chris Mack has 140 victories at the school. He’s eight away from tying Skip Prosser (1994-2001) for second place. … The Musketeers opened the tournament Thursday by beating Alabama 64-45.
USC: The Trojans were looking to win two games in the same season against Top 25 teams for the first time since 2010-11. … USC, behind 22 points from Boatwright, beat No. 20 Wichita State 72-69 on Thursday.
Xavier: Plays the Monmouth-Dayton winner Sunday.
USC: Plays the Monmouth-Dayton loser for third place Sunday.