North Carolina routs Chaminade on Maui


By OSKAR GARCIA

Associated Press

LAHAINA, Maui — North Carolina rebounded from its first loss of the season by putting on an offensive clinic.

James Michael McAdoo scored 18 points to lead five North Carolina players in double figures and the ninth-ranked Tar Heels routed Division II Chaminade 112-70 on Wednesday night. The win shook off an upset Tuesday from unranked Butler, which beat the Tar Heels by 11 and led by more than that much of the game.

“We were trying to refocus. We still had an opportunity to go out and play better,” McAdoo said. “It was a blessing to get the victory.”

North Carolina coach Roy Williams said the win made his team feel better.

“I think last night’s game had a great effect on how we played today,” Williams said. “We were all extremely upset, extremely mad.”

Wednesday’s game was the first time this season that the Tar Heels (5-1) have topped the century mark. They put up 62 points in the first half after being held to 18 points in the first half in Tuesday’s loss.

Tournament host Chaminade (3-3) scored consecutive baskets just three times.

Chaminade coach Eric Bovaird said he knew his team was going to get Carolina’s best shot.

“It was a wake-up call for them against Butler and unfortunately we were sitting there waiting after a horrible game,” Bovaird said.

Williams said he felt bad for the opposing coach for catching the Tar Heels at the wrong time.

“We were sharing the basketball tonight,” Williams said.

McAdoo had 10 rebounds for a double-double. Reggie Bullock and Leslie McDonald scored 17 points each and Brice Johnson had 16.

UNC shot 62.3 percent, making nearly 69 percent of its shots in the first half including nine 3-pointers.

The Tar Heels overwhelmed Chaminade 62-33 at the break.

The Silverswords had a 7-4 lead in the game’s second minute, but Carolina scored 15 straight and Chaminade never came close after that. Chaminade had 12 turnovers in the half, leading to 21 UNC points, while the Tar Heels had three runs of six or more points each.

It was Carolina’s best scoring half since the Tar Heels put up 60 in in the second half in November 2011 against Mississippi Valley State. North Carolina had three players with at least 10 points each at halftime.

UNC reached 100 points when Jackson Simmons made an easy layup with 6:35 left.

The win loosened up North Carolina (5-1) and its fans before it flies home Thursday and faces top-ranked Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge next week.

Even Williams chuckled when some Carolina fans heckled reserve Wade Moody for airballing a 3-pointer in the game’s final minute.

Chaminade was hoping for a second upset after it beat Texas in the opening round of the tournament. It lost to Illinois on Tuesday.

North Carolina easily beat Mississippi State in the second round. It placed third in the tournament after winning the event in each of its last three appearances in 1999, 2004 and 2008.

“We didn’t get what we wanted out of the tournament because we wanted to win the tournament,” Williams said.

Marquette 72, USC 64

Jamil Wilson channeled his inner aloha spirit to lead Marquette to a strong finish Wednesday after a tough start to the Maui Invitational. But the Golden Eagles lost their leading scorer, Vander Blue, when he injured his knee late in the game.

Wilson turned in a colorful 19-point performance in Marquette’s 72-64 win over USC, making 7 of 9 field goals off the bench and throwing up Hawaii’s famous shaka sign each time he hit a 3-pointer.

Blue was injured late after scoring only six points despite taking the most shots on his team.

Marquette coach Buzz Williams said the team would try to figure out Blue’s injury in the hours after the game.

“The one doctor here said he didn’t tear his ACL — that it probably was twisted — but that’s not confirmed,” Williams said.

Blue averaged 19.5 points per game heading into the contest, scoring 21 against Butler in Marquette’s Maui opener and 18 against Mississippi State — both team highs. But he was just 3 for 11 from the floor against USC.

After being down 39-27 at halftime, J.T. Terrell made a 3-pointer to pull USC within one point with 14 minutes left. Wilson responded on Marquette’s next possession with a 3-pointer of his own from the top of the key, then stared into the crowd while skipping backward across the floor, waving his shaka sign in the air with his right hand. Wilson then rebounded USC’s next shot, starting a transition that led to a layup by Junior Cadougan and a 51-45 lead, sending Wilson and the traveling Marquette fans into screams.

The Trojans got no closer than six points after that.

“I think what was really working for us today was the penetrating and moving without the ball,” Wilson said.

Davante Gardner added 12 points for the Golden Eagles (4-1), Cadougan had 11 and Chris Otule scored 10.

J.T. Terrell had 21 points for USC (3-2). Byron Wesley added 12 points while Eric Wise had 11 points and nine rebounds.

Marquette finished fifth in the eight-team tournament, its only loss a buzzer-beater to Butler.

Williams said Marquette didn’t linger on that loss.

“We have a short memory. We celebrate victories until midnight and we mourn losses until midnight,” he said. “Then we have got to wake up when the sun comes up the next day and go to work. I have said that since I have been employed here.”

The Trojans made eight baskets in the first half. Marquette shot 48.4 percent (15 of 31) in the half, steadily building a 12-point margin mostly in the last 10 minutes.

Wilson, tied for fourth in scoring on his team heading into the game, clearly had fun.

In the game’s final minute, Wilson drove into the lane and tried to dish a behind-the-back pass to Gardner, smiling sheepishly when it went out of bounds and asking the referees if there had been a foul.

“Why didn’t you shoot?” Marquette coach Buzz Williams shouted from the bench at Wilson.

The win was Williams’ 100th at Marquette. He is in his fifth year at the school, a run that includes two Sweet 16 appearances and four NCAA tournaments.

Williams said he’s thankful that the coaches, players and their parents have trusted him to guide them on and off the court.

“I am very thankful for the administration for having enough guts to hire an unpolished, unproven assistant coach,” Williams said.

USC coach Kevin O’Neill coached Marquette from 1989 through 1994.

Both teams won second-round games on Tuesday. Marquette lost 72-71 to Butler on a buzzer-beater 3-pointer to open play on Monday, then beat Mississippi State on Tuesday. USC opened its tournament losing to Illinois by 30 points, then beating Texas in overtime.

Texas 69, Mississippi State 55

Texas coach Rick Barnes says his team is heading back to Austin from Hawaii with two tough losses in the Maui Invitational and plenty of lessons. It finally got a win in the tournament Wednesday morning, beating Mississippi State 69-55 to finish seventh in the eight-team field.

“If we figure it out, we’ve got a chance to be good. There is a lot of basketball left, and we’ve got a lot of room for improvement,” Barnes said. “But the first thing that we’ve got to get is a consistent effort.”

Guard Sheldon McClellan came off the bench and scored 19 points in a game in which the Longhorns (3-2) went up by 18 points in the first half and coasted in the last 20 minutes, shooting 50 percent for the game.

Barnes said he liked the first half, but not his team’s 15 turnovers in the second half. The Bulldogs outscored Texas by 4 points in the second half.

“I thought early, defensively, we really did some good things,” he said. “I thought our offense would feed off that, but again, we don’t understand the value of taking care of the ball in the second half.”

Mississippi State (1-4) made one-third of its shots (17 of 51), improving in the second half after making only five field goals in the first.

Julien Lewis scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half. Cameron Ridley had eight points and 12 rebounds.

Roquez Johnson led the Bulldogs with 18 points, starting after limping off the court with help in the second half of Tuesday’s loss to Marquette.

Mississippi State coach Rick Ray said his team had the same problems as it did in its first two games in Maui — too many turnovers, not enough assists.

“Just the same old story for us,” he said.

Texas took a 10-point lead midway through the first half, scoring eight straight points starting with a dunk from Cameron Ridley and finishing with a 3-pointer from Ioannis Papapetrou. Less than two minutes later, Prince Ibeh blocked a layup attempt from Trivante Bloodman, leading to a transition dunk for Lewis. The Longhorns took a 17-point lead with just under five minutes in the half on a 3-pointer from Demarcus Holland.

Mississippi State made no field goals in the half after Gavin Ware hit a jumper with 9:38 left. Its best run all game was seven straight points from free throws.

The Texas players took turns on personal scoring runs in the second half. McClellan scored eight straight for his team during a roughly two minute span, then Ridley scored six points during an 11-2 run in the middle of the half.

The matchup was the first time the teams had met since 2002, when sixth-seeded Texas upset third-seeded MSU in the NCAA tournament to reach the Sweet 16.

Each team lost its first two games in the eight-team tournament to set up the game for seventh place. Texas lost in a surprising 13-point blowout Monday night to Division II Chaminade, then lost Tuesday in overtime to USC.

“The first night we came out and I don’t think we could have beaten any team in the country,” Barnes said. “We walked out, and I’m not sure, maybe it was a little bit of an entitlement type attitude because of what I think our program has stood for and what guys have done before us.

“We’re not there yet. I thought today we got closer to it, because this game is a tough game to get ready for,” he said.

Mississippi State wasn’t close in either of its first two games in Hawaii against No. 9 North Carolina and Marquette. It lost by a combined 73 points.

 

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