HONOLULU -- UNLV stymied Hawaii's offense in the first half and continued its pressure as it cruised to a 77-53 win in the semifinal of the Diamond Head Classic Wednesday night.
The Runnin' Rebels (12-1) advanced to the tournament's championship game on Friday against USC, which bested Saint Mary's 60-49 in the other semifinal game.
The Hawaii offense struggled against UNLV's suffocating man-to-man defense and aggressive full-court press, especially in the first half. The Rainbow Warriors (6-5) did not score for the first six minutes, needed 13 minutes to score double figures and managed more turnovers (11) than made field goals (5) en route to a deficit that ballooned to 25 points just before halftime.
UNLV scored a season-worst 53 points.