VIDEO: Chaminade puts scare into No. 2 Michigan State

November 23, 2010, 9:30 AM HST · Updated November 23, 12:21 PM
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By Fred Guzman

LAHAINA – For a while, Chaminade – the tournament host and designated doormat – made things interesting by threatening to register college basketball’s upset of the new century.

Chaminade owns the upset of last century, when it stunned then nationally top-ranked Virginia in 1982 to spark the creation of an event that eventually evolved into the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

  (VIDEO of After Game Press Conference from Game 4 of the EA SPORT Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament featuring the Virginia 63 v Washington 106).

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Since then however, the victories have been few and far between for Chaminade, which is 5-72 all-time in the tourney.

But the Silverswords put a scare into Michigan State before finally succumbing to the second-ranked Spartans 82-74 at the Lahaina Civic Center.

Behind 5-6 guard Steve Bennett, who finished with 20 points and 10 assists, and 7-foot transfer Mamadou Diarra, Chaminade led 53-50 about 5:30 into the second half.

But reality then set in as the Spartans went on a 15-0 run and secured a berth in today’s 2 p.m. semifinal against Connecticut, which advanced with an 83-79 win over Wichita State.

The 4:30 semifinal will feature a pair of ranked teams. No. 8 Kentucky is coming off a 76-64 win over Oklahoma while No. 13 Washington walloped Virginia 106-63.

In this morning’s consolation bracket games, Chaminade faces Wichita State at 9 a.m., followed by Oklahoma versus Virginia at 11:30.

Connecticut guard Kemba Walker put on a dazzling performance down the stretch, leading the Huskies victory over Wichita State in a battle between teams on the fringes of the latest AP rankings.

Walker scored 29 of his 31 points in the second half, making 14 of 15 free throws and hitting a pull-up jumper with 41 seconds left to put the Huskies up by three to ice the win.

Connecticut had a huge free throw advantage, making 32 of 44, while the Shockers shot just 13.

Kentucky rode a 29-point, 13-rebound performance by freshman forward Terry Jones to beat Oklahoma. Jones, made 12 of 17 shots to offset a 23-point outing by Oklahoma’s Cade Davis.

Washington put on the most impressive performance on the opening day of the tournament, sinking a near-record 17 of 26 three-point shots in a rout of Virginia. The MIT mark of 19 treys was set by Loyola Marymount when it erupted for 160 points in a rout of Chaminade in 1990.

Another little guy, 5-foot-9 Isaiah Thomas led the Huskies with 18 points in limited duty as five Washington players scored in double digits. Joe Harris scored 19 to lead the overwhelmed Cavaliers.

All 12 games of the tournament will be aired live on Maui’s ESPN 550 and espn550.com.

File Photo by Wendy Osher.

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