Chaminade upsets Cal
LAHAINA — Chaminade’s Austin Pope was adamant his idea would work, so he asked coach Eric Bovaird for the dry erase board and proceeded to draw up a play.
It was that kind of day for the Silverswords — just about everything worked.
Dantley Walker scored 23 points, going 7-for-10 from 3-point range, and five other players also scored in double figures for Chaminade during a 96-72 win over California in the seventh-place game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Pope finished with 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
“This is not the first time I’ve done that,” Pope said of play design. “You could probably go back to high school and junior college. I did that a lot of times because I see it on the court and I know a lot of things that are happening.”
The Silverswords shot 35-for-63 (55.6 percent) from the floor, which included a 14-for-25 performance from behind the 3-point arc, in earning their eighth Maui win in their 100th game in the tournament and improving to 3-2 this season.
“I knew in the ball screens that they hadn’t played ball screens and man-to-man coverage a lot, so I knew if our bigs came out and set really good screens and I was able to come around everything was going to open up and you guys saw that tonight,” Pope said.
Walker shot 8-for-11 overall as the NCAA Division II tournament hosts ended a 16-game losing streak in the event. Chaminade’s most recent Maui win had been over Texas in a first-round game in 2012.
“When Coach first started recruiting me, and I decided to transfer from UNLV, this is what I envisioned happening — winning a game at Maui, and having this feeling,” Walker said. “It took a couple years to get it, but I tell you what, it was well worth it. It was well worth the last three years. It’s awesome.”
Erik Scheive scored 14 points for the Silverswords, and Brett Reed had 12. Grant Dressler and Justin Bridges each finished with 10.
Chaminade had lost by a combined 65 points to Notre Dame, No. 13 in The Associated Press poll, and Michigan in the first two rounds this year.
“How about those Silverswords, huh? Incredible performance,” Bovaird said. “We got our butts kicked the past two days. And for these guys to bounce back, get up at 6 in the morning, get a little bit of breakfast, watch film of a Cal team that we’ve never seen live before and to follow the game plan and to execute what we were trying to do, I give these guys all the credit. I didn’t make a basket.”
Chaminade broke the team record for margin of victory in a Maui game. The program’s previous mark for the event had been set in the inaugural contest — a 77-62 victory over Davidson in 1984 when the tournament had a four-team field and took place at War Memorial Gym in Wailuku.
“Five years ago we beat Texas and I thought, ‘Hey, we can hang with any of these guys,’ “ Bovaird said. “Then you go four years and lose a lot of games and you begin to question, ‘Man, can we really compete with these guys?’ Especially the elite teams.”
Walker hit two 3-pointers to start the scoring, and the Silverswords never trailed. Cal closed within 29-28 on a basket by Darius McNeill, but Chaminade responded with an 11-2 run to close the first half.
The Silverswords scored 13 unanswered points to take a 55-39 lead with 15:06 to go, and the margin did not dip below 10 the rest of the way.
Down the stretch, it was apparent the Silverswords knew the game was in hand.
Even after one of Walker’s rare misses, on a 3-point attempt with just under seven minutes left, he simply grinned all the way back down the court as he took to defense.
Pope wore a huge smile as he backpedaled to his defensive position after he fed Nick Anderson, who was fouled on a 3-point shot and made all three free throws.
Moments later, Pope was flexing to the sparse crowd after his 3-point play with 4:11 to go pushed the lead to 84-58.
Pope was also ready, though, to keep the win in perspective.
“We definitely have to settle down because, I mean, this Cal game has nothing to do with anything, to be honest,” he said. “It’s good for the media and everything, but for us in Division II ranks, it has nothing to do with us. We will definitely have a target on our back though — a lot of Division II schools are going to see that we just beat Cal by 30 points on TV.”
Justice Sueing had 23 points and seven rebounds for the Golden Bears (2-4).
First-year Cal coach Wyking Jones was blunt during his brief postgame news conference. The Bears shot 28-for-66 from the field, 5-for-18 from the 3-point line and 11-for-23 from the free-throw line.
“For me, in all the years that I’ve been coaching, I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life from the lack of effort from our guys,” Jones said. “So, for me, it’s about going back to the drawing board, myself and my staff, and figuring out what changes we need to make because there definitely needs to be some changes.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com.
Lee 1-5 2-4 4, Sueing 9-18 5-10 23, Okoroh 1-4 0-2 2, Coleman 3-13 4-5 11, McNeill 8-13 0-2 18, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Anticevich 3-6 0-0 7, Winston 2-3 0-0 5, Harris-Dyson 1-1 0-0 2, Hamilton 0-3 0-0 0, McCullough 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-66 11-23 72.
Koelliker 3-7 0-2 8, Reed 5-8 2-4 12, Dressler 4-11 0-0 10, Walker 8-11 0-0 23, Pope 4-10 4-8 12, Donley 0-0 0-0 0, Scheive 6-7 1-1 14, Southard 0-0 0-0 0, Pollard 0-0 0-0 0, Bridges 4-6 0-0 10, Swain 0-0 0-0 0, Anderson 1-3 5-5 7. Totals 35-63 12-20 96.
Halftime–Chaminade 40-30. 3-Point Goals–California 5-18 (McNeill 2-5, Winston 1-1, Anticevich 1-3, Coleman 1-4, Hamilton 0-2, Sueing 0-3), Chaminade 14-25 (Walker 7-10, Bridges 2-3, Dressler 2-4, Koelliker 2-5, Scheive 1-1, Reed 0-1, Pope 0-1). Fouled Out–Lee. Rebounds–California 34 (Sueing 7), Chaminade 35 (Koelliker 11). Assists–California 6 (Davis, Coleman, Harris-Dyson, McNeill, Okoroh, Sueing 1), Chaminade 22 (Pope 9). Total Fouls–California 20, Chaminade 17. A–2,400 (2,400).