No. 5 UCLA brushes Chaminade out of way
The Bruins will take on Kentucky in the next round today
LAHAINA » The Lahaina Civic Center will be bathed in blue this afternoon for a matchup of two of college basketball's most storied programs.
Fifth-ranked UCLA (2-0) overwhelmed Division II host Chaminade 88-63 to cap yesterday's opening-round action in the 23rd annual EA Sports Maui Invitational and set up a semifinal matchup with No. 20 Kentucky.
And it didn't take long for Bruins coach Ben Howland to start the countdown to tipoff with the Wildcats, the winningest program in NCAA history.
"Overall, it was a good win for us and now we're getting ready for a very tough oppo
nent in 20 hours," Howland said, the minutes ticking away as he spoke, "19 hours and 55 minutes."
Form held on the opening day as all four teams ranked in the Associated Press poll advanced to this afternoon's semifinals. No. 12 Memphis and No. 19 Georgia Tech meet at 2 p.m. UCLA and Kentucky meet at 4:30.
Chaminade (0-1) drops into the consolation bracket and plays DePaul at 11 a.m.
UCLA's Arron Afflalo scored 11 points during a 17-2 Bruin run to open last night's game and finished with a game-high 25 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field. The junior, who decided to return to Westwood rather than jump to the NBA, went 5-for-7 from 3-point range.
Bruin guard Josh Shipp had 16 points and point guard Darren Collison finished with 15 points and seven assists.
"That's what this tournament is about," Afflalo said of the quick turnaround before facing Kentucky. "It shows what a team has."
While UCLA had the support of a sizable fan following last night, Kentucky rocked the Civic Center with the biggest and loudest contingent at the tournament, leading Howland to call today's contest, "a road game on a neutral site."
Chaminade point guard Zack Whiting posted a double-double against the Bruins, leading Chaminade with 14 points and 10 assists. Guard Darrell Birton hit four 3-pointers for his 12 points.
"I think Whiting's an exceptional player," Howland said. "You look at his numbers , he had 14 points and 10 assists against what I think is a pretty good team. You have to give him a lot of credit and you can see why he's a Cousy Award nominee."
UCLA and Chaminade tore up the nets from the perimeter. The Bruins made 11 of 24 attempts beyond the line, while Chaminade went 10-for-21 and nailed seven of 11 attempts in the second half.
"That's how we play," Whiting said. "That was the plan, run and gun ... and we shot the ball real well and we look to shoot the ball again well tomorrow."
After UCLA's opening run, Chaminade kept the lead in the teens for most of the first half until the Bruins scored the final seven points to lead 43-20 at the break.
UCLA continued to pull away and led by 30 with 16 minutes left in the game. The Silverswords then sank four 3-pointers over the next 3 minutes and closed to within 17, their smallest deficit of the second half.
"I thought Chaminade was a very feisty team," Howland said. "I was kind of comfortable there for a minute. We had a 30 point lead and all of a sudden, boom, they bounce right back and cut it to 18."
Chaminade fell to 4-61 all-time in the tournament and will be looking for their first win since beating Villanova in 2003.
"I thought the second half we played real good against a really good team," Whiting said. "We lost by two points (45-43) in the second half, we were proud of that. We were upset we lost, obviously, but we got some positives out of it."
At halftime, Chaminade unveiled banners commemorating the program's first Pacific West Conference championship and NCAA Division II tournament appearance last season. The school also retired the number of former Silversword Will Pounds, who wore No. 50 from 1975-79. Chaminade recently established an athletic scholarship fund in Pounds' name.
No. 20 Kentucky 87, DePaul 81
The Wildcats (3-0) couldn't quite deliver the knockout blow, but held off the Blue Demons' upset bid behind center Randolph Morris' 20 points, 15 coming in the second half.
After DePaul (1-3) led 50-49 with 15 minutes left in the game, Kentucky scored the next six points and didn't trail again.
Even when the Wildcats opened up an 11-point lead with 2:10 left, DePaul continued to stick around and closed to within five less than a minute later. But Kentucky, which shot 62 percent in the second half, kept the Blue Demons at arm's length the rest of the way.
"Tonight we really had our hands full," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said.
"They were very creative and we had a tough time defending them one-on-one. But I can't say enough about our kids. I thought they kept their composure after losing the lead."
Guard Sammy Mejia and forward Wilson Chandler led DePaul with 17 points each.
No. 19 Georgia Tech 79, Purdue 61
With Purdue hanging close in the second half, Yellow Jackets point guard Javaris Crittendon kept the ball in his hands and turned the tight contest into a blowout.
Crittendon, one of three freshman starters for Georgia Tech (4-0), scored 17 of his game-high 20 points in the second half, including 12 during a decisive 16-4 second-half run.
Crittendon, one of the nation's top-rated prep point guards last year, went 1-for-5 from the field in the first half. But with Georgia Tech protecting a 56-50 lead with 9:20 left in the game, he attacked the basket for short jumpers or drew fouls. He made 11 of 12 shots from the line.
"I told Javaris at halftime, just relax, at the end of the game we'll put the ball in your hands and you're going to win the game for us," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said.
Trailing 24-17 in the first half, Georgia Tech took the lead for good with an 11-0 run to close the period.
Georgia Tech's other two freshman starters, forwards Thaddeus Young and Zach Peacock, had 13 points each. Carl Landry led Purdue (2-1) with 14 points and nine rebounds.
No. 12 Memphis 77, Oklahoma 65
After a sluggish start to the tournament's opening game, the Tigers (2-0) pulled away from the Sooners (2-1) after halftime to advance to the semifinals.
Robert Dozier led four Tigers in double figures with 13 points and seven rebounds. Willie Kemp added 12 points for Memphis.
"That's just our style of play," guard Antonio Anderson said of Memphis' balance. "Coach doesn't put the game on just one of us."
Leading by seven at halftime, Anderson and Willie Kemp hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Tigers a cushion. Memphis shot 49 percent from the field to help make up for 18 turnovers.
"We were really sloppy, but played really aggressively and really got after it," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "Overall, I liked our effort."
Oklahoma guard Michael Neal came off the bench to lead al scorers with 18 points. Forward Taylor Griffin finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Oklahoma shot 8-for-28 in the first half and committed 21 turnovers in the game.
"Just too many turnovers," first-year Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said. "Give credit to them, their pressure took us out of a lot of things we like to do."
HOW TOP 25 FARED
4. Ohio State (5-0) beat San Francisco 82-60. Next: vs. Youngstown State, Friday.
5. UCLA (2-0) beat Chaminade 88-63. Next: vs. No. 20 Kentucky, Tuesday.
8. Alabama (4-0) beat Xavier 63-56. Next: vs. Texas Southern, Saturday.
9. Duke (4-0) beat Air Force 71-56. Next: vs. No. 13 Marquette, Tuesday.
12. Memphis (2-0) beat Oklahoma 77-65. Next: vs. No. 19 Georgia Tech, Tuesday.
13. Marquette (5-0) beat Texas Tech 87-72. Next: vs. No. 9 Duke, Tuesday.
19. Georgia Tech (4-0) beat Purdue 79-61. Next: vs. No. 12 Memphis, Tuesday.
20. Kentucky (3-0) beat DePaul 87-81. Next: vs. No. 5 UCLA, Tuesday.
25. Maryland (6-0) beat Winthrop 71-60. Next: vs. High Point, Friday.