Mens Basketball: Bows Slay Swords

Hawaii beats Chaminade to advance to the championship game of the Maui Invitational against Dayton.

LAHAINA, Maui - College basketball in Hawai'i took center stage at the 20th EA Sports Maui Invitational, Tuesday night, as the University of Hawaii defeated Chaminade, 68-54, in the featured semifinals at the Lahaina Civic Center. A nationally televised audience watched as the Rainbow Warriors advance to the championship game, where they will face Dayton. The two schools with rich basketball tradition in the Islands met for the first time since 1982, when the Silverswords defeated the 'Bows, 56-47, just six days before their infamous victory over No. 1 Virginia. Senior guard Michael Kuebler got hot in the second half and finished with a career-tying 29 points, including 19 in the second half. The Salem, Ore. native, finished 12-of-19 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 from 3-point range.

"We've been waiting for Michael to get out of bed," head coach Riley Wallace joked about Kuebler's lack of offense this season. "And he did tonight getting his career high in points."

Senior center Haim Shimonovich posted his eighth career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. For the second straight night, Shimonovich sparked the Hawaii defense, clogging the middle and forcing the Swords to 21 3-point attempts. For the game, Chaminade shot just 35.8 percent from the field.

Early on in the first half, it was the Kuebler/Shimonovich show as the duo each scored 10 points to lead UH to a 26-25 halftime lead.

In the second half, UH went on a 24-5 run during a five and a half minute stretch in the second half which turned a one-point game into a 55-35 lead. Kuebler scored 17 points in that stretch, including four 3-pointers.

"We knew if we came out and played our game and run our sets, we would get them," Kuebler said about the team's strategy in the second half. "I tried not to be too hesitant. Its when I think about it too much, its when I struggle."

Chaminade scored 10 unanswered to pull to within 59-48 with 5:36 remaining. But the 'Bows scored the next seven points to put the game away.

Tip-off for Wednesday's championship game is set for 4:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and can be heard over the internet on KKEA 1420AM and through the internet: uhathletics.hawaii.edu


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