HONOLULU, HI – NOVEMBER 21: UCLA Bruins forward Berke Buyuktuncel (9) grabs a rebound against the Chaminade Silverswords during the second round of the Allstate Maui Invitational on November 21, 2023, at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire)

UCLA’s size, paint presence overwhelms Chaminade in 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational


HONOLULU — Day 2 of the 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational brought a familiar fate as the opener for the host Chaminade Silverswords (1-4, 0-1 PacWest), giving another men’s college basketball blue blood in UCLA a challenge in the semifinal of the consolation bracket of the tournament before falling to the Bruins, 76-48. The Swords entered the locker rooms down 15 and cut the deficit as low as 10 with 14 minutes to play before a near-seven-minute scoring drought allowed UCLA to pull away for a larger final margin. 

Things did not start well for the Swords, struggling offensively to open the day’s second game while seeing UCLA push the pace and get to the rim at will as the Bruins took a lead as big as 24 in the first 10 minutes of play and forcing multiple early timeouts by Chaminade head coach Eric Bovaird. The timeouts proved to be a calming measure for the 13th-year head coach’s team, sparking an 11-2 CUH run to make it a 15-point game with just under eight minutes left in the first half. The teams traded turnovers and stops for most of the remainder of the opening 20 minutes, each mustering six more points before heading into the locker rooms with the same 15-point margin separating the two, 36-21. 

UCLA opened the 2nd half with a fury, jumping back up by 19 points before Chaminade cashed in on three straight threes to cut the Bruins’ lead back down to 10 with 14:24 left in regulation. The Pac-12 representatives flexed their athletic muscles once again and saw freshman guard Sebastian Mack continue his fantastic tournament to keep and extend the Bruins’ lead to 15 once again. UCLA would turn up the defensive pressure as the clock ticked under eight minutes, holding Chaminade without a field goal for the final 6:51 of the game on the way to an impressive 76-48 victory over the Division II program out of the Pacific West conference.  

Mack led the Bruins in scoring for the second consecutive day with 16 points, chipping in six rebounds for good measure. Three Bruins finished in double-digits and nine of 12 players that saw action for UCLA recorded points in the win as the team moves into the 5th place game versus #11 Gonzaga on Wednesday.  

Chaminade was led by 5-foot-10 guard Jamir Thomas’ 17 points (5 3PTM) as the Swords forced a blue-blood program to play its starters deep into the 2nd half for the second game in a row. Redshirt sophomore Ross Reeves stuffed the stat sheet as well, dropping 11 points, five boards and four dimes in the loss. Chaminade takes on Syracuse in the 7th place game with tip-off scheduled for 4:30 p.m. HT on Wednesday. Hawai’i Sports Radio Network is your home for all Chaminade Silverswords men’s basketball games throughout the 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational, broadcasting on 95.1 FM, AM 760 and streaming on hawaiisportsradio.com and available on demand where most podcasts can be found.