ANCHORAGE, NOV. 25 -- Bryant Stith did it again Saturday night. And this time he was helped by John Crotty.
For the second day in a row Stith came through when Virginia needed him most, and he helped the 18th-ranked Cavaliers get past South Carolina, 65-59, in the semifinals of the Great Alaska Shootout.
He scored 17 of his 26 points in the second half and made five of six free throws in the final 2:40 to lead Virginia into Monday night's championship game against 11th-ranked UCLA, which defeated Alaska-Anchorage, 80-67.
Stith scored 23 of his 33 points in the second half and hit the game-winning free throws in Virginia's 80-77 first-round win over Siena Friday.
"Bryant's like a magnet," Crotty said. "All the rebounds seem to go to him, and all the passes. We can't complain. Bryant is our clutch player. We like the ball to go to him."
Crotty didn't provide much help Friday. But he was a major factor Saturday, scoring 17 points, handing out six assists and hitting two key jumpers down the stretch.
Virginia didn't take the lead for good until Crotty's three-pointer with 3:42 remaining made it 56-55. South Carolina was down 60-59 after Barry Manning made a 15-footer with 1:58 to go, but the Gamecocks didn't score again.
Virginia led most of the game but never by more than eight points. The lead changed six times in the final 10 minutes.
Joe Rhett, who had a pacemaker installed in his heart last season, made his return and led South Carolina with 15 points.