An upset and two thrillers on Day 1
By Fred Guzman
One upset and two thrillers out of four games. Just your typical opening day in the EA Sports Maui Invitational on Monday at the Lahaina Civic Center.
First, the upset:
Vanderbilt broke into the Top 25 on Sunday and promptly risked its newly-gained No. 24 ranking by suffering a 67-58 loss to an inspired Cincinnati squad that played the cold-shooting Commodores in every phase of the game.
Yancy Gates had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bearcats, who improved to 3-0. Jermaine Beal’s 16 points led the Commodores, who made only 27.5 percent of their shots and were out-rebounded 53-32 by Cincinnati.
Vanderbilt dropped to 2-1 and was relegated to Tuesday’s 8:30 a.m. game against tournament host Chaminade.
Cincinnati advanced into the 2 p.m. semifinal game against Maryland, which cruised to a 78-59 victory against out-manned Chaminade. Sean Mosley led the Terrapins with 19 points and eight rebounds.
Next, the thrillers:
In the opening game of the tournament, Gonzaga – which gave second-ranked Michigan State all it could handle on the road just last week – rallied from a 15-point deficit to pull out a 76-72 win over stubborn Colorado.
Steven Gray had 27 points and Matt Bouldin added 21 to offset a 19-point effort by Cory Higgins, who also had six rebounds and four assists.
Colorado and Gonzaga are now both 3-1.
Gonzaga earned a spot in the 4:30 semifinal opposite Wisconsin, which survived a furious comeback bid by Arizona for a 65-61 win.
Point guard Trevon Hughes led the way for Wisconsin, which led by 14 points 6:26 into the game. Hughes finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and three assists as the Badgers improved to 3-0.
Arizona, which didn’t make its field goal until nine minutes into the contest, got a huge boost from freshman forward Derrick Williams, who had 25 points and eight rebounds. Williams forced his way to the free throw line 21 times, converting 13 of those attempts.
Arizona and Colorado will play in the 11 a.m. consolation game.