DIVISION II BASKETBALL
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Chris Reaves drove to the basket against Audrius Peciukas of Hawaii Pacific last night.
Chaminade gets ready for regional
The tournament-bound Silverswords close out the regular season with a win over the Sea Warriors
Never leave anything to chance.
Moving up to No. 4 in the West Region rankings yesterday likely guaranteed Chaminade a spot in next week's NCAA Division II regional basketball tournament. To that end, the Silverswords probably didn't need to win their final Pacific West Conference game last night against Hawaii Pacific.
But why tempt fate and give a committee an excuse not to extend the season?
Thanks to balance and depth, the Silverswords should be playing somewhere in Washington state next Thursday. Chaminade had four players in double figures, led by senior guard Chris Reaves' 37, to pull away from Hawaii Pacific 99-89 at Blaisdell Arena.
The Silverswords, who clinched the PacWest title by topping the Sea Warriors last week, finished the regular season 18-8 overall, 9-4 PacWest. HPU, which fell to 8-18 and 3-8, travels to Brigham Young-Hawaii tomorrow in the season-ender for both teams.
"We really needed this one," first-year Chaminade coach Matt Mahar said. "If we had lost, we would not be going anywhere. Chris Reaves and Zach Whiting were the keys tonight."
The Silverswords will find out Sunday about their regional travel.
Whiting finished with 20 points, hitting eight of 10 shots from the field, while Chris Powell had 14 and Chris Nelson 13.
Audrius Peciukas, one of five HPU seniors, had 25 points and 12 rebounds to finish with his 20th career double-double, the seventh this season. Donnell Dobbins added 18 and Rick Wilson 13.
Chaminade hit nine of its 3-point shots -- including three by Reaves -- in taking a 54-48 halftime lead.
HPU's only lead of the game came at 13-12 on a jumper by Peciukas. The Silverswords answered with an 8-0 run, using a basket by Powell and 3-pointers by Nelson and Whiting, to go ahead for good at 20-13.
Chaminade led by as many as 14 (74-60) midway through the second half, but HPU scored 10 unanswered points to pull to 74-70. A 3-pointer by Dobbins brought the Sea Warriors to within 78-75, only to have the Silverswords use an 11-4 run to pull away for good.
"They're the best team in the conference," HPU coach Kelly Wells said. "We need to have a team from Hawaii in there (the regional).
"If they had stayed sixth (in the regional poll), there might be some concern, but I think they'll be OK."
Note: The game was delayed for about 15 minutes before the start of the second half as officials corrected the number of fouls for two HPU players.