Partly Cloudy
80FPartly CloudyFull Forecast

Illinois beats Chaminade in Maui

LAHAINA, Hawaii – Illinois got a rocky start on its trip to Hawaii. Now, it has a shot at the Maui Invitational title.

"Our guys have earned that right with the way that they played, with their effort," Illinois coach John Groce said. "Our execution, I think, continues to get better to make us a more complete team."

Joseph Bertrand had a season-high 14 points as Illinois beat Division II Chaminade 84-61 on Tuesday night to advance to the final of the eight-team tournament.

Illinois will play Butler on Wednesday night for the tournament title. Butler took down the field's only ranked team earlier Tuesday, beating No. 9 North Carolina 82-71.

Brandon Paul scored 13 points, D.J. Richardson had 11 and Tyler Griffey added 10 as the Illini denied the tournament's host school a chance at shocking the college hoops world on consecutive nights. Illinois (5-0) shot 49 percent from the field and never trailed.

Groce said his team's 38 bench points were especially huge for a team playing three games in three days.

"What an asset that is to have as our team continues to develop and get a little bit better every day," he said.

De'Andre Haskins had 19 points and Bennie Murray had 10 for the Silverswords.

Chaminade (3-2) will play UNC in the third-place game. The tiny Catholic school became a trending topic on Twitter after a rout of Texas on Monday night.

Unlike a night earlier, Chaminade didn't pose much of a battle for Illinois, which came into the game having beaten USC in the tournament's first round. That could be because Illinois didn't view Chaminade as an inferior opponent — Groce had said Monday that Chaminade would be a tough challenge.

"It was kind of a different game for us playing against kind of a smaller team," Bertrand added.

Chaminade missed 13 of its first 20 shots. Kevin Hu scored eight points after an electric 16-point performance against Texas.

"We just came across a very good team. They know how to play defense, too," Chaminade coach Eric Bovaird said. "We had a harder time than we ever had getting into the paint and creating."

Already up eight points nearly 15 minutes into the game, Illinois went on a 10-0 run to take a 37-19 lead with 1:23 remaining in the first half.

The teams traded baskets the first few minutes of the second half, but Illinois pulled away. The Illini took a 20-point lead on a 3-pointer from Paul with 8:13 left, and a 25-point lead in the last minute on a layup from reserve freshman Mike LaTulip.

___

Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia.

Previous Page|1|2|Next Page| Comments

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Northwest Herald.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments

Reader Poll

What part of fall are you looking forward to most?
Pumpkin-flavored items
Football
Changing leaves
Halloween
Other