Illinois 84, Chaminade 61By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Wed, Nov 21, 2012 1:10 AM EST
LAHAINA, Hawaii -- Host Chaminade failed to reach the championship game of its own tournament for the 29th consecutive year. Meanwhile, Illinois is still waiting to be tested in the EA Sports Maui Invitational. The Fighting Illini put a quick end to the Silverswords' upset chances, using a balanced offensive attack in an 84-61 victory in the second semifinal game Tuesday at the Lahaina Civic Center. Illinois (5-0) will try for its fourth win in Hawaii in six days when it faces Butler for tournament championship on Wednesday. The Bulldogs upset No. 9 North Carolina, 82-71, in the first semifinal, handing coach Roy Williams just his second loss in five trips to Maui. Illinois' Joseph Bertrand led four players in double figures with 14 points and six rebounds, and the Illini scored their second straight tourney win by more than 20 points. Illinois has outscored its first two opponents 178-125. Brandon Paul added 13 points and four assists for Illinois, and D.J. Richardson had 11 points and four boards. De'Andre Haskins scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half to lead the Silverswords, who shot just 37.1 percent (23-for-62) from the field. Chaminade found itself in the same position as against Texas, which it beat 86-73 on Monday, falling behind 8-0 right out of the gate. The Silverswords made a decent run as Dominique Cooks hit a 3-pointer to help pull Chaminade within three at 10-7. Chaminade stayed within shouting distance until the final seven minutes of the opening half, when the Illini turned it on defensively. The Swords turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions, and Richardson closed a 10-0 run with Illinois' sixth 3-pointer of the half to give the Illini a 37-21 lead at intermission. Chaminade was just 2-for-10 from behind the arc in the first half and 1-for-5 from the free-throw line after going 34-for-39 against the Longhorns. Both teams came out hot in the second half, and Chaminade made four of its five shots. After a shaky first half in which he shot 1-for-6, Chaminade's Bennie Murray got hot, drilling a 3-pointer from the wing and pulling up for a jumper to cut Illinois' lead to 41-28. Haskins cut the deficit to 12, and Chaminade got within 11 before a 10-2 Illinois run pushed the lead back up to 19. Richardson drove baseline for a contested layup to cap the Illini's surge. Chaminade will have its hands full trying to win two games in the same tournament for the first time ever. The Silverswords will face an angry Tar Heels squad that cut a 29-point deficit down to six in the second half Tuesday before losing for just the third time in 17 games at the Maui Invitational.
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