Randolph Keys and John White scored all of Southern Mississippi's points during a 15-2 second-half spurt that broke open a close game and gave the Golden Eagles an 82-75 victory over Nebraska Tuesday night at New York in the semifinals of the 50th National Invitation Tournament.
Southern Mississippi (22-11) will face La Salle (20-12) in Thursday night's title game. Arkansas Little Rock (26-10), after losing to La Salle in Tuesday's other semifinal, meets Nebraska (20-12) for third place.
Nebraska led, 60-58, before White started the decisive spurt with a three-point goal that gave Southern Mississippi the lead for good with 7:17 remaining. Keys followed with a rebound basket and free throw with 6:06 left and went on to score seven points in the run that gave the Golden Eagles a 73-62 lead with 2:58 remaining.
Keys, a 6-foot 8-inch junior center, finished with 24 points. All of his 11 second-half points came in the final 6:06 of play. White added 19 points.
Derrick Vic paced Nebraska with 19 points.
LaSalle 92, Ark. Little Rock 73--La Salle used the three-point shooting of Tim Legler and Rich Tarr in the first half and the inside play of freshman Lionel Simmons in the second to defeat Arkansas Little Rock.