LAS VEGAS — For a brief moment Saturday, it was difficult to distinguish the University of South Florida from its opponent.
Both the Bulls and the University of San Francisco came out wearing green, and both wore the letters USF on their warmup jerseys.
But the similarities pretty much stopped there.
Dominique Jones once again controlled the tempo to lead USF to an easy 69-49 victory over the Dons before a handful of fans in the Holiday Hoops Classic at the South Point Arena.
The junior guard, who had 23 points and five 3-pointers, wasted no time in establishing the Bulls as the more physical, agile and accurate team.
"I've just been trying to get everybody fired up," said Jones, who had 27 points and five steals in Wednesday's win over Central Florida. "We want to get off to good starts and get out of the gate early. We're not looking for a dogfight. We're best when we jump out early."
For about four minutes Saturday, it looked as if the Bulls (9-2) might not do so as poor shooting limited their lead to 5-4.
But a pair of free throws by Jarrid Famous with 14:22 left started a 12-2 run that gave USF momentum. Jones made a 3-pointer from the right corner midway through the spurt for the first of his 19 first-half points. And it soon became apparent the Dons (3-8) didn't have the personnel to answer.
"I thought Dominique was terrific," said USF coach Stan Heath, who played Jones only 10 minutes in the second half.
"We're basically playing with six or seven guys, so this game was perfect for us. We were able to rest our starters as much as possible."
The Bulls took a 39-25 lead into halftime and led by double digits the rest of the way.
The Dons, meanwhile, continued to struggle in the second half, going scoreless over the first 5:25 to put to rest any doubts about the game's outcome.
"I thought we played pretty good defense," said Heath, whose team will close its Las Vegas road trip with a 5 p.m. game today against San Diego. "We had a few breakdowns. But for the most part, we rebounded the ball well, and we forced turnovers."
Chris Howard added 14 points and seven rebounds for USF, and Famous posted 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Dons got 12 points from Michael Williams.