Mens Basketball: Bows fall on Maui

Dayton rallies in the second half to beat Hawaii for the Maui Invitational title.

LAHAINA, Maui - Dayton used a 57-point second half to claim the championship of the 20th EA Sports Maui Invitational over Hawaii, 82-72, Wednesday, at the Lahaina Civic Center. The Rainbow Warriors (2-2) let an eight-point halftime lead slip away by giving up 41 points in the final 11:18 of the game. The Flyers switched to a zone defense and the 'Bows struggled to find their shot, being outscored 41-24 the rest of the way. "In the second half we got a little tired," head coach Riley Wallace said. "They switched to a zone and I thought that was the difference in the game."

Guard Michael Kuebler led the way for the 'Bows with a team-high 23 points on 6-of-13 shooting. His 67 combined points in the tournament earned him all-tourney honors. Senior forward Phil Martin got out of his recent scoring slump by posting 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Senior center Haim Shimonovich once again put together a strong performance, scoring 13 points and grabbing four rebounds.

Dayton guard Ramod Marshall gave the UH defense fits scoring 27 points either by slashing to the basket or nailing one of his game-high three treys. Forward Keith Waleskowski, the tournament's Most Valuable Player, was one rebound shy of recording his third consecutive double-double, and finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. He and center Sean Finn (18 points) scored at will and combined for 25 second half points.

In the first half, UH used a balanced scoring attack as seven players scored, including 10 by Kuebler. The 'Bows took its largest lead at 29-21 after Shimonovich completed a three-point play with 1:25 remaining.

"We played as good of a defense that we can play in the first half," Wallace said. "We couldn't play any better. They're a very good team with their big men and 3-point shooters."

In the second half, the Flyers used their size inside to re-take the lead. Martin's bucket at the 11:40 mark, pushed the Hawai'i lead to 46-41. But after a pair of Blackett free throws, the Flyers went on a 14-2 run, capped by a Finn alley-oop to take a 55-50 lead. Dayton kept pounding the ball inside with consecutive buckets by Finn to give them a 68-59 lead with 3:57 remaining.

The 'Bows are off the next 10 days before taking the court, Dec. 7, in an exhibition game against the EA Sports All-Stars.


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