Duke, Marquette gain Maui Invitational final
By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Peter Boylan
LAHAINA—Duke fell behind early before surging back to seize the lead for good in the first half and easily dispatched Illinois to setup a showdown with Marquette, the last team between the Blue Devils and their fourth EA Sports Maui Invitational title in the last 15 years.
The Blue Devils shot 56 percent from the field and never trailed after the 9:49 mark in the first half en route to a 79-66 victory over the Fighting Illini.
Despite facing zone defenses the last two days, the Illini couldn't solve the Blue Devils' 2-3 scheme and shot 32 percent from field. Illinois outrebounded the Blue Devils 41-31 and scored 31 second-chance points but it was all the Illini could do against the Duke zone.
The 10th-ranked Blue Devils (4-0) will meet 11th-ranked Marquette for the title at 5 p.m. today. Illinois will play Oklahoma State in the third-place game at 11:30 a.m.
The Blue Devils are 11-0 on Maui, having won the championship in 1992, 1997 and 2001.
No other program has more than two Maui titles since the tournament moved to Maui in 1983.
"That was a big-time game and I thought both teams played their hearts out," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "They're one of the top teams in the country, it was a really hard-fought game. We're proud of our win and it's an honor to play against Illinois."
Sophomore guard Gerald Henderson led the way for the Blue Devils with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 2 of 4 from behind the 3-point line.
Senior point guard Greg Paulus scored 10, handed out four assists and only turned the ball over twice while controlling the tempo of the game for Duke. Senior guard DeMarcus Nelson added 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
"It was a real physical game, they have a lot of athletes on their team," Henderson said. "We just had to go out there and make tough plays."
Illinois senior forward Brian Randle led the team with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting in the loss.
Illinois (3-1) came out playing aggressive defense and attacked the basket, surging to a quick 14-8 lead with 13:39 to play in the first half.
Senior center Shaun Pruitt scored four during the streak, including an emphatic dunk that capped the run. Pruitt finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
The Blue Devils responded with a 26-7 run to take the lead for good.
Illinois got into early foul trouble as Randle picked up his third personal with 4:15 left in the first and was forced to sit for a stretch.
Pruitt also sat after picking up his second foul at the 8:50 mark in the first half.
"We battled. Our kids came out with a great deal of intensity early, but we just got too far behind," said Illinois coach Bruce Weber. "They made too many shots, had too many weapons and we just didn't shoot the ball well."
Marquette 91, Oklahoma State 61: A day after a fortunate win over Division II Chaminade, the Marquette Golden Eagles came out quickly and flew by the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the the other semifinal.
Marquette shot 52 percent from the field, including 11-for-17 from behind the 3-point line.
"Yesterday proved to us that we could have done a lot of things better and today they challenged themselves and they stepped up and wanted to play better and I think they did," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "We needed to have a step-up-and-be-counted game and we had it. That was a great win."
The Golden Eagles will face Duke in the championship game at 5 p.m. today. Oklahoma State will face Arizona State at 9 a.m. today for fifth place.
Both teams turned over the ball 19 times, but the Golden Eagles capitalized by scoring 30 points off turnovers.
A day after Chaminade refused to go away down the stretch and outrebounded the Eagles, Marquette won the rebound battle with the Cowboys 43-28 and scored 22 second-chance points.
The Cowboys never led, shooting 39 percent from the field, including a dismal 17 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Oklahoma State junior guard Terrel Harris scored 17 points and freshman guard James Anderson added 14.
Marquette junior guard Dominic James, who applied for the 2007 NBA draft but later withdrew his name, finished with 18 points, five assists and two steals.
Guard Wesley Matthews contributed 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting and was 5 for 5 from the free-throw line.
LSU 78, Chaminade 72: The Chaminade Silverswords got as close as they could to beating a Division I opponent for the first time in four years yesterday but in the end, they couldn't tame the LSU Tigers.
Paced by senior Hayden Heiber's 25 points, including 7 of 10 from 3-point range, the Silverswords (1-2) hung with the Tigers (3-1) for much of the game before falling in the consolation round.
"The last two days we feel we could have won both games," Heiber said. "It's a little frustrating, but we've got one more game. We let two slip away, but they were both really good teams.
"We feel like we're in the game the entire time. Hopefully, we'll keep on going and get a win tomorrow."
Chaminade will play Arizona State in today's 2 p.m. game for seventh place.
Freshman forward Anthony Randolph rebounded from a five-point performance in LSU's opening-round loss to Oklahoma State by scoring 21 points, including two key free throws with 18 seconds left to secure the win.
Four Tiger starters scored in double figures.
Chaminade junior forward Rodrick Johnson also scored in double figures for the second straight day, notching 11 points. He also grabbed 13 rebounds and the height-heavy Silverswords outrebounded a Division I opponent for the second straight day.
"Our guys played really hard. We're happy, we've got one more day (and) we're going to try and forget about this one quick," Chaminade coach Matt Mahar said. "We're a lot bigger than we were in the past and it certainly showed here, outrebounding both teams over the past two days. Marko, in particular, has been playing really, really well."
Arizona State 61, Princeton 42: James Harden scored 22 points and fellow freshman Ty Abbott had 19 to lead the Sun Devils (1-1) past the Tigers (2-2) in a consolation game at Maui.
The Sun Devils will play LSU, which beat Chaminade. 78-72, for fifth place at 9 a.m. today.
No. 1 North Carolina 110, South Carolina State 64: Tyler Hansbrough scored 26 points and Wayne Ellington added 19 as the Tar Heels (3-0) routed the Bulldogs (0-4) for their second straight blowout win in the Las Vegas Invitational at Chapel Hill, N.C. North Carolina next faces Old Dominion in Las Vegas Friday.
NO. 2 UCLA 68, NO. 10 MICHIGAN STATE 63: Kevin Love had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Mbah a Moute hit a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left, helping the Bruins (5-0) rally from a 36-25 halftime deficit to beat the Spartans (3-1) in the championship game of the CBE Classic at Kansas City, Mo.
Saint Mary's 99, No. 12 Oregon 87: Freshman Patty Mills had 37 points, five assists and two steals, leading the Gaels (4-0) over the Ducks (4-1) at Moraga, Calif., for their first win over a ranked opponent in nearly three years.
Reach Peter Boylan at email@example.com.