Hawai’i Pacific downs Westmont late to win PacWest opener, 78-74

Hawai’i Pacific downs Westmont late to win PacWest opener, 78-74

Hawai’i Pacific downs Westmont late to win PacWest opener, 78-74 


HONOLULU — The Hawai’i Pacific University Sharks (5-3, 1-0 PacWest) took down the Westmont College Warriors (4-3, 1-1 PacWest), 78-74, on Saturday afternoon at the Shark Tank, using Diggy Winbush’s game-high 27 points to down the former NAIA-turned-Division 2 program. 

The afternoon started with a bang when Warriors’ forward Jalen Townsell hammered home a poster dunk on the break for the game’s first points. The teams traded baskets in a fast-paced start to the contest, tied at nine after five minutes of play as HPU’s Diggy Winbush and Matthew Van Komen paced the Sharks. 

A Winbush 3-pointer following the first timeout of the day gave HPU their first lead of the afternoon, going up 12-11 with 14:28 left in the opening half of play. Westmont would respond in turn with a Drew Ramirez triple on the next possession, taking back the momentum with a 13-4 run to jump ahead by eight, 24-16, and force a Sharks’ timeout. 

Following the break, HPU would heat up from long distance, knocking down three straight from deep in 90 seconds to go back in front by one. The Sharks continued the run by establishing Van Komen deep in the post and Josh Niusulu finding the Midas touch from 3-point territory to make it a six-point advantage with 3:11 left in the 1st half. 

The HPU lead would grow to double-digits just before halftime as Charlie Weber, an ETSU transfer, made his debut for the Sharks and got his first basket in the sharkskin-grey uniforms for the home squad. Westmont leading scorer Anthony McIntyre drilled a three-pointer right before the halftime break to cut it to a seven-point deficit for the visitors going into the locker room. 

Westmont started the second 20-minute frame similar to the first, quickly scoring seven points to cut it down to a two-point advantage for the host Sharks just 95 seconds out of the halftime break. The Warriors continued their march, taking a 45-44 lead with 15:40 remaining in regulation following an Amir Davis coast-to-coast rebound and layup to force HPU head coach Jesse Nakanishi to call timeout.  

After the stoppage, Westmont’s Adrian McIntyre scored seven straight points from for the Warriors, increasing the visitors’ lead to four with 13 minutes left to play. They would continue the hot start out of the half, pushing the lead to as much as six before the tides turned in favor of the Sharks with under 10 minutes in regulation. 

Six straight HPU free throws helped the hosts re-take the lead with 9:19 left, but McIntyre responded with three makes from the charity stripe of his own – one coming on an and-one – to keep the Westmont advantage at four. A pair of layups by Winbush and Maj Dusanic kept the Sharks within a score as the teams hit the under-eight-minute media timeout with Westmont leading, 63-61. 

Winbush cashed in on a free throw following the break in the action to cut it to a one-point deficit for HPU and continued to backpack the Sharks’ offense back into the lead, drilling a left-wing triple with 4:05 left to play to give Hawai’i Pacific back the lead, 69-67. The Sharks would not trail again. 

HPU pushed the lead up to seven points with 2:43 remaining after Melo Sanchez drilled a left-wing three. Sanchez finished the night with just seven points on eight total shots from the floor as the Warriors worked to limit opportunities for the Sharks’ star. 

Westmont wouldn’t go quietly, quickly putting up seven points to tie it after Townsell hit a desperation three as the shot clock expired to tie the game at 74 with 15 seconds left in regulation. The Warriors would bump into Winbush following the inbound, sending the guard to the line for his 26th and 27th points of the day and reclaiming the lead for HPU. 

McIntyre tried but couldn’t get a jumper to go on the following possession, seeing the ball knocked out of bounds but remain with Westmont after the miss. On the ensuing inbounds, HPU’s ball denial forced the Warriors (who were out of timeouts) to try and throw the ball off of 7-foot-4 Matthew Van Komen with 3.2 seconds remaining but the carom from Van Komen’s leg redirected the ball into the body of the Westmont inbounded for a turnover. Josh Niusulu was fouled afterwards on inbounds and knocked down a couple free throws to ice the win for Hawai’i Pacific and put the game out of reach, 78-74, in the team’s PacWest opener. 

Westmont, who shot 46% from the floor in the loss, was led by Adrian McIntyre’s 24 points as the guard was a +1 in 36 minutes of action for the Warriors. Jalen Townsell finished with 14 points, a clutch three and a poster dunk for the visitors, who split the first two of three games in Hawai’i, as the Warriors head over to Hilo to take on the Vulcans to close out the Hawai’i trip. 

HPU was led by Winbush’s season-best 27 points (12/15 FT) as the guard continued his fantastic start to the season in his new home. Winbush drew eight fouls throughout the contest, making life difficult on the multitude of defenders that Westmont sent at him. Josh Niusulu finished with 13 points, drilling three of five attempts from long range to help power the Sharks to victory.  

Hawai’i Pacific University basketball is back in action on Monday, December 4 in the Shark Tank as they host Fresno Pacific University, trying to extend their win streak to five straight. The game will be broadcast on Hawai’i Sports Radio Network, along with the women’s basketball game prior, on 95.1 FM, AM 760, and streaming on hawaiisportsradio.com, with both games available on demand where most podcasts are found.

Hawai’i wins 6th straight Senior Night Game to spoil Colorado State’s bowl hopes

Hawai’i wins 6th straight Senior Night Game to spoil Colorado State’s bowl hopes

Hawai’i wins 6th straight Senior Night Game to spoil Colorado State’s bowl hopes


HONOLULU – The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (5-8, 3-5 MWC) played spoiler on Saturday night, denying Colorado State (5-7, 3-5 MWC) an automatic bowl selection and winning on Senior Night for the sixth consecutive year, using a career-long 51-yard Matthew Shipley field goal as time expired to stun the Rams. 

Below, you can find all the quick hitters of the action from Hawai’i’s thrilling 27-24 win over Colorado State on Senior Night. 


  • Hawai’i wins the coin toss and defers possession to the 2nd half, opening kickoff goes through the end zone for a touchback. Colorado State converts a pair of third downs in Hawai’i territory on the way to the game’s first points, a 21-yard TD run by freshman RB Justin Marshall. 
  • UH’s offense works quickly to pick up a few 1st downs before stalling out near the CSU 40, punting the ball away and bouncing past a Hawai’i gunner into the end zone for a touchback with 7:48 left in the 1st quarter. 
  • Elijah Palmer snags his 2nd INT of the season on a deep bomb from Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi to keep the UH deficit at seven with 4:38 left in the opening quarter. 
  • Hawai’i’s Brayden Schager connects with a streaking Steven McBride to get the ‘Bows out near midfield and Landon Sims dashes inside the CSU 35 on the next play to set up UH’s offense. The ‘Bows overcome an illegal man downfield penalty to score with eight seconds left in the 1st quarter on a 12-yard TD reception by Steven McBride, his 9th TD of the season. 
  • Hawai’i forces a punt, but a UH personal foul penalty on the play moves the sticks for a fresh set of downs for CSU instead. The drive continues after pass interference is called on Elijah Palmer for a free 3rd down conversion to set the Rams up at Hawai’i’s 25. UH’s Cam Stone comes up with a phenomenal PBU on 3rd & Goal to force CSU to settle for a 22-yd FG for a 10-7 Rams’ lead with just over 9 minutes left in the first half. 
  • The ‘Bows respond with a 5-play scoring drive, accented by a 26-yard TD reception for Devon Tauaefa on a double-pass from Schager to Chuuky Hines and into the end zone for the freshman TE’s 1st career touchdown. The ensuing PAT is good and Hawai’i takes a 14-10 lead. 
  • Colorado State drives to the Hawai’i 38-yard line with 1:31 left in the opening half and the ‘Bows defense produces the stop on 4th & 8 to give the offense a chance to double up on points with two straight possessions. 
  • Hawai’i makes it into CSU territory before Matthew Shipley’s 43-yard FG misses wide-right to end the 1st half, leaving the UH lead at 14-10. 


  • Hawai’i receives the opening kickoff and calls for a fair catch, starting the drive at the HAW25. The ‘Bows offense goes three-and-out to begin the 3rd quarter, punting the ball away after just 90 seconds with possession. 
  • CSU’s first possession of the 2nd half comes from the Colorado State 35-yard line, responding with a three-and-out of their own without picking up a single yard during the possession for a single minute. Hawai’i takes over possession at the HAW15. 
  • UH overcomes a 2nd down holding penalty that backed them up deep with a laser from Schager to Pofele Ashlock to move the sticks. The two followed it up with a 41-yard catch-and-run to set the ‘Bows up at the CSU33 after a nice spin cycle by Ashlock left the Rams’ defender in the dust. 
  • Hawai’i finishes the drive with an 8-yard Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala touchdown run, the senior’s 1st career rushing TD, to extend the lead to 21-10 in favor of the ‘Bows with 8:24 left in the 3rd quarter.  
  • ‘Bows force a punt, drive inside the CSU5 before the 3rd quarter ends as Schager slices up the Rams’ defense with his arm and legs. When play resumes, an illegal blindside block penalty backs up the UH offense, forcing the ‘Bows to settle for a 35-yard field goal to make it 24-10 with 13:32 left in the game. 
  • Colorado State works quickly, stringing together 1st downs before Fowler-Nicolosi connects with Louis Brown IV on a 17-yard TD reception to cut it to 24-16 with 9:05 remaining in the 4th quarter. The 2-point conversion is NO GOOD, broken up by UH LB Noah Kema. 
  • Hawai’i goes three-and-out, punt the ball back to CSU’s 30-yard line. After being stopped on 3rd & 7 in Hawai’i territory, Colorado State attempted a 53-yard FG that came up way short and kept the UH lead at 24-16 with 4:25 left to play. 
  • After moving into CSU territory, Shipley’s 45-yard field goal try was blocked by the Rams with 2:30 remaining. Colorado State would capitalize by going to their best player, Tory Horton, for a 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 54 seconds left in regulation. Horton brought in the 2-point conversion to tie it at 24. 
  • Hawai’i goes 41 yards in 54 seconds, scrambling with eight seconds left and somehow getting off a 51-yard FG as time expired for the win, 27-24.

Hawai’i finishes year two of the Timmy Chang flying high, winning three of the team’s final four games after adopting the mantra of “push the sled” as the defense pulled itself up by the bootstraps to allow 24 points or less in three of the final four contests after holding opponents to 20 or less in two of the previous nine games. 

The ‘Bows finish the season above .500 at home, going 4-3 inside the friendly confines of T.C. Ching Athletics Complex during the 2023 season. The win pushes Hawai’i to 7-7 at home under Timmy Chang over the past two years. The victory over Colorado State saw season-highs for total offense and rushing yards with 497 yards and 151 yards, respectively. 

Brayden Schager finished 30-for-43 passing the ball for 320 yards and a TD, the 20th time in the last 21 games that the QB has tossed for a score and the sixth game over 300 yards passing this year. One of his favorite targets, Steven McBride, moved over 1,000 yards on the season in the middle of the third quarter with a 16-yard reception. McBride is the 24th UH WR all-time to reach the 1,000-yard plateau and first Rainbow Warrior since 2019 to topple over the mark. 

Andrew Choi recorded Hawai’i’s lone sack in his final game as a Rainbow Warrior on Colorado State’s final drive of the night. Shipley’s game-winner was his second of the season, the previous coming against New Mexico State back on September 23. 

In a year of ups-and-downs, ugly moments and rough road trips, the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors stuck together through the toughest times to win three of their final four games and catapult the program into the offseason flying high as one of the best recruiting classes in recent program memory entering Mānoa for Year Three of the #BRADDAHHOOD under Timmy Chang and company. 

Don’t go anywhere, you’re not going to want to miss what’s coming next. 

Kahuku gets revenge on Mililani in 2023 First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Open Division Football state title

Kahuku gets revenge on Mililani in 2023 First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Open Division Football state title

Kahuku gets revenge on Mililani in 2023 First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Open Division Football state title


HONOLULU — Every great title bout needs a rematch. 

Ali-Frazier in 1974 and again in ’75. The Celtics and Lakers in ’84 and ’85 with Bird and Magic. The Yankees and Dodgers repeating results in ’77 and ’78, too. 

Heck, even the Rocky movies have sequels. 

While it wasn’t a year in between matchups of the Kahuku Red Raiders and Mililani Trojans on the gridiron, it was an exciting matchup of the top two teams in the state of Hawai’i high school football that had hype building for it for three weeks after Millville ended the North Shore team’s win streak against Hawai’i opponents with a 28-21 win in the OIA Open Division championship on November 4 at Farrington High School. The win for the Trojans knocked Kahuku out of national top-10 Max Preps high school football rankings, plummeting the Red Raiders to 51st, one spot below Mililani.  

The matchup certainly lived up to the billing. 

Kahuku opened play with a surprise for all, drilling an onside kick into the ground and recovering at the Mililani 27 after a few precarious bounces saw the ball squirt away from multiple Trojans’ special teamers. The Red Raiders capitalized on the surprise a few plays later as Tuliele Tagovailoa-Amosa connected with Kache Kaio on 3rd & 16 for a 19-yard TD for the game’s opening score not even three minutes into the action. The ensuing PAT was bobbled on a bad snap and taken around the edge by Kaimana Carvalho for a two-point conversion to make it 8-0 in favor of the two-time defending state champions. 

Mililani’s Davyn Joesph returned the following kickoff out to the Trojans’ 41, seemingly swinging the momentum back in favor of the OIA Open Division champions, at least momentarily. Mililani QB Kini McMillan delivered a strike on 3rd & 13 to extend the drive before finding Kanoa Ferreira streaking down the seam. It looked like Mililani would find the end zone on the play, but Kahuku’s Carvalho tracked down the speeding Ferreira, stripping the Trojans’ receiver just before paydirt to save six for the Red Raiders.

Carvalho built on the forced fumble with a 30-yard catch-and-run to get Kahuku out of the shade of its own end zone before Mililani’s Elijah Nua popped the ball free on the next play for a Trojans’ takeaway inside the Red Raiders’ territory. It was Mililani’s turn to capitalize on great field position as McMillan took a QB keeper up the gut to get Millville on the board with 4:21 left in the 1st quarter. The two-point conversion was broken up by the Kahuku defense to keep the lead with the team in red, 8-6. 

The tides began to turn in the wrong direction for Mililani from there as senior linebacker Kamaehu Roman was ejected for targeting after laying a vicious hit on Kahuku’s Carvalho, knocking the stud two-way player for the Red Raiders out for the game along with himself. Kahuku converted a 4th & 9 later in the drive to work inside the Mililani 15 before being stonewalled on 4th & 1 from the Mililani 2 for a turnover-on-downs. Kahuku’s defense would stand strong in response, forcing a 4th & 25 for the Trojans and seeing the ensuing punt get shanked out of bounds without crossing midfield. 

The errors continued to stack up for Mililani as Aizik Mahuka joined his fellow senior linebacker Roman as a member of the “disqualified for targeting” club in the state title game, giving Kahuku the 1st down within the Trojans’ 10. It looked as though the Mililani defense had come up with a stop after Kahuku’s 22-yard field goal sailed wide, but a roughing the kicker penalty awarded a fresh set of downs to the North Shore representatives.  

The Red Raiders wouldn’t let that chance go by as Tagovailoa-Amosa took it in from a yard out to extend the lead to 15-6 with 93 seconds left before the halftime break and forced McMillan and company to go three-and-out to end the half with the same score and the kickoff coming Kahuku’s way to begin the third. 

The teams traded ugly possessions out of halftime as Kahuku punted on the opening drive, McMillan was picked off in the end zone on an excellent defensive effort by Manulele “Kingsley” Ah You for a touchback before the Red Raiders gave the ball right back with a botched hand-off between Tagovailoa-Amosa and Sheldon Kanoa hitting the turf for another Mililani takeaway. 

This time, the Trojans took advantage of Kahuku mental miscues to make it a one-score game once again as Nakoa Kahana-Travis took a direct snap from a yard out and dove across the plane for Mililani’s second TD of the night. The PAT was blocked by Kahuku, keeping the lead at three points for the Red Raiders through three quarters, 15-12. 

Kahuku’s next drive saw success until the Mililani 40, being forced to punt it back to McMillan and the Trojans’ offense with 10 and a half minutes left in the 2023 First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Open Division football championship. 

It took the junior QB and Mililani less than a minute to take their first lead of the night after the punt as McMillan delivered a perfect ball in stride to Joseph for an 89-yard catch-and-run score with 9:41 left in regulation.

It looked like it would be a Trojans’ triumph as well after Mililani’s defense forced a Kahuku punt after jumping in front and McMillan scrambled on 3rd & 10 for a 25-yard gain to continue draining the clock with a two-point lead, but Kahuku’s defense had different plans. 

The Red Raiders did not allow Mililani to go any further than midfield, forcing a punt with just over three minutes left and in need of a score without perhaps the team’s most dynamic playmaker in Carvalho. 

So, of course, Diezel Kamoku did it himself. 

The senior took the punt 86 yards to the house to reclaim the lead for the Kahuku, 21-19, with 2:59 left in the game. 

The Red Raiders’ impressive special teams unit had one last trick up their sleeves as well, recovering a squib kick after re-taking the lead inside Mililani territory to keep the dangerous McMillan, KHON2’s Marcus Mariota award winner, off the field and without a chance to reclaim the lead. 

Mililani had one last chance for a stop to get the offense back on the field before the clock hit triple-zeroes, but Tagovailoa-Amosa found Diezel Kamoku on 4th & 5 to ice the game and run out the clock, securing the state title and the first time in Kahuku football history that the Red Raiders have won back-to-back-to-back state championships on the gridiron. 

McMillan finished the night completing 16-of-27 passes for 264 yards, two total TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) and one interception, not getting a chance to get back on the field to re-take the lead after the punt return TD from Kamoku. McMillan also led the Trojans in rushing, collecting 75 yards on the ground across 13 carries in the loss. 

Kahuku’s Tagovailoa-Amosa did what he needed to do, completing 13-of-19 passes for 132 yards, one touchdown and no turnovers, adding an extra 26 yards rushing for good measure. Kamoku led the Red Raiders with 68 receiving yards across six catches along with his punt return touchdown to help play hero for the Big Red Monsters of the North Shore. 

Kahuku’s head coach Sterling Carvalho joins elite company as just the seventh coach in Hawai’i high school football history to secure three or more HHSAA state championships, joining Wendell Look of Iolani (9), Cal Lee of Saint Louis (5), Garrett Tihada and Robert Watson of Maui’s Lahainaluna (4) and Kahuku’s own Reggie Torres (3) and Siuaki Livai (4) as the only coaches to accomplish the feat. Mililani’s Rod York was also looking to join the club, sitting with two state titles on his resume. 

Purdue holds off Marquette to win 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational title

Purdue holds off Marquette to win 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational title

HONOLULU, HI – NOVEMBER 22: Purdue Boilermakers center Zach Edey (15) dunks against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the championship game of the Allstate Maui Invitational on November 22, 2023, at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire)

Purdue holds off Marquette to win 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational title


HONOLULU — Pegged as “the greatest [Maui Invitational] field” ever with five teams in the preseason AP top 25 rankings, a UCLA team that went to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament last year and an athletic Syracuse team that ended the Thanksgiving-week tournament with an event-high 105 points against Chaminade, expectations for the eventual championship matchup were high. 

The #2 Purdue Boilermakers and #4 Marquette Golden Eagles did not disappoint, as the top-5 matchup to close out an exciting three days of the 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational came down to the wire, seeing the Boilermakers hold off a spirited Golden Eagles’ comeback try to secure the program’s first title in the Hawai’i-based event, 78-75. 

The two squads traded buckets and the lead to begin the championship action, knotted at 12 just under six minutes into the game. Marquette star forward Oso Ighodaro would pick up his second personal foul with 14:37 left in the 1st half, opening the paint and driving lanes for Purdue and defending national player of the year Zach Edey to take a double-digit lead deep into the half. 

Ighodaro’s return at the 4:30 mark of the 1st half with the Golden Eagles trailing by eight helped Marquette keep the deficit around 10, cutting it as low as six, before Purdue’s Lance Jones’ three-quarter court heave went down to give the Boilermakers a 12-point advantage heading into the halftime break, 45-33. 

“I think the foul trouble in the first half really took away from our violence of action,” Marquette head coach Shaka Smart said after the game. “That’s how we play. It’s a great lesson for us to learn early in the year, November 22, that regardless of circumstances, we have to play our way.” 

The fourth-ranked Golden Eagles came out of the locker rooms with their metaphorical hair on fire, cutting a 15-point Purdue lead down to seven just over four minutes into the 2nd half with three triples and forcing a Boilermakers’ timeout. 

Following the timeout for Purdue, Edey put down a pair of buckets to settle things for the 2nd-ranked Boilermakers and put the lead back over 10. Still, Marquette would not go away with a boost from Ighodaro not being glued to the bench with foul trouble. The Golden Eagles cut it down to three with 10:37 left in regulation after Ben Gold hammered home a fast-break dunk, but Purdue continued to answer in big moments, this time Fletcher Loyer with a short jumper to push the lead back to five. 

While Marquette continued to fight, never letting the game get away, Edey silenced each MU-run with timely baskets and offensive rebounds. In the game’s biggest moment with the outcome in question, the 7-foot-4 Canadian snagged a missed Purdue 3-pointer and put it back up and in with 16 seconds left to give a three-point lead to the Boilermakers. 

Marquette had a couple of opportunities to tie it after the Edey bucket with Tyler Kolek’s 3-point attempt with 10 seconds left and two missed free throws on the front end of 1-and-1’s for Purdue keeping the margin separating the two at one long-distance make. MU’s Kam Jones had a look, albeit difficult, at the horn to tie it that didn’t go down as the #4 Golden Eagles fell to #2 Purdue, 78-75. 

Edey and Lance Jones joked in the postgame press conference about who had hit the bigger shot for Purdue, who secured its first Maui Invitational title in four tries, as Edey had the later bucket, but Jones’ three-quarter court heave was the final margin (three points) between the teams. 

“His was,” Zach Edey said of Jones’ buzzer-beater right before halftime with a smile. “I mean, he shot it from, what, a hundred feet away? So, I don’t know, it’s hard to compete with that.” 

Jones, who transferred to Purdue this past offseason from Southern Illinois for a graduate-transfer year, quickly deferred the praise back to the tournament MVP in Edey. 

“I would say his was the winning-shot, his is the winning put-back, so I would say his,” said the fifth-year transfer. 

Edey led the way for the Boilermakers with 28 points and 15 rebounds in the win, playing 36 of 40 minutes in the title game. Guard Braden Smith added 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting for Purdue, who now returns home to host Texas Southern after defeating three ranked opponents in three days. 

Marquette was led by guard Tyler Kolek, whose 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists paced all Golden Eagles for the day in those categories. Oso Ighodaro, who dealt with foul woes throughout the game, had 16 points and posted a +10 for Marquette in his 26 minutes on the floor. The fourth-ranked Golden Eagles head back to the mainland and Wisconsin to host Southern University, looking to get back on track after a loss to finish an otherwise phenomenal tournament for Shaka Smart’s squad. 

The top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks took 3rd place in the tournament after defeating #7 Tennessee earlier in the day, 69-60, and #11 Gonzaga defeated UCLA in the 5th place game, 69-65. Syracuse finished the tournament with a win over host Chaminade, 105-56, to finish in 7th place. 

Sweet-shooting Syracuse takes down Chaminade in Allstate Maui Invitational

Sweet-shooting Syracuse takes down Chaminade in Allstate Maui Invitational

Photo Credit: Andrew Lee/Chaminade Athletics

Sweet-shooting Syracuse takes down Chaminade in Allstate Maui Invitational


HONOLULU — The Chaminade Silverswords (1-5, 0-1 PacWest) started slow once again and saw the Syracuse Orange shoot 56% from the floor and drill 12 3-pointers as the hosts fell, 105-56, in the final outing in the event until 2025 for the Division II Silverswords. Seven different SU players finished in double-figures as the ‘Cuse put up over 50 points in both halves and shot a scorching 50% from 3-point land in the 2nd half to head back to the mainland with a win. 

The Silverswords lost the tip and gave up the game’s first points, a soft hook shot from 7-foot-4 center Nadeem McLeod, before taking their first (and only) lead of the evening ten seconds later with a Wyatt Lowell triple to make it 3-2 in favor of the hosts. The lead lasted just over a minute before Syracuse’s Chris Bell drilled his first 3-pointer of the game at the 18:20 mark of the 1st half to give the lead to SU, 5-3. The Orange turned up the defensive pressure from there, suffocating the Swords’ offense while the margin separating the teams reached double-digits by the 14-minute mark of the 1st half. 

Chaminade saw the offensive struggles of the previous two days continue, shooting 17% from the floor (6/36 FG) in the first 20 minutes of action while the Orange ran in transition and continued to get into the paint at will. While shooting struggles plagued the PacWest representatives, Syracuse continued to give the ball to the mountain in the middle in McLeod. The junior transfer from Florida State recorded a game-high 11 points through one half and chipped in seven rebounds as the Orange took a 52-18 lead into the locker rooms. 

Like the games against #1 Kansas and UCLA, Chaminade started the 2nd half with a fury by ripping off a 6-0 run and continuing to trade baskets with the Orange through the first five minutes out of the locker rooms. Swords’ guards Ross Reeves and Jamir Thomas started to get into rhythm after the turn of halves, getting penetration against SU’s defense and finding the touch from long range. After 1-for-10 and 2-for-7 shooting performances for Thomas and Reeves respectively in the first 20 minutes, the guards combined for 17 of Chaminade’s 38 2nd half points on 50% shooting from the floor. CUH leading scorer Isaac Amaral-Arthare continued his rough shooting tournament, going 1-for-12 from the floor and finishing in single digits (7 points) for the third consecutive game. 

Despite the strong start to the 2nd half for Chaminade, Syracuse’s athleticism and size continued to prove unstoppable for the Silverswords as the Orange put up another 53 points in the final 20 minutes to cruise to a 105-56 victory over the tournament hosts. 

Syracuse was led by Chris Bell’s 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting and four 3-pointers while sophomore wing Justin Taylor recorded his first double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win. The Orange returns home to host LSU in the ACC/SEC Challenge inside the JMA Wireless Dome on Tuesday, November 28. 

Chaminade was paced by Reeves’ 13 points as the guard chipped in five boards and three dimes in the loss. JUCO transfer Jamir Thomas capped off his strong Allstate Maui Invitational showing with 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds as the 5-foot-10 guard saw 30 minutes of action. The Silverswords return to McCabe Gymnasium on Monday, November 27 to host Slippery Rock at 5 p.m. HT, looking to get back on track and snap the team’s four-game losing streak against a step down in competition from the Thanksgiving-week classic. 

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

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

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.