LAHAINA, Maui, Hawai‘i – The Chaminade University men's basketball team concluded the 2014 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational with a 74-60 loss to Missouri in the seventh-place game Wednesday at the Lahaina Civic Center.
In his final EA SPORTS Maui Invitational game, senior guard Lee Bailey scored a game-high 22 points in defeat, finishing with 158 career points in Maui. Bailey also reached 1,228 career points, moving to within five points of ex-Silversword Rodney McCray for eighth-place in the school's all-time scoring list.
Kuany Kuany had 14 points in defeat, hitting 4-of-6 from 3-point range. He also pulled down five rebounds. Kevin Hu contributed with nine points while Kiran Shastri had six points and a career-high seven rebounds.
The Tigers (3-3) were led by Namon Wright, who was perfect from the field on the day, hitting all seven shots, including four from long distance, for 21 points. Montaque Gill-Caesar had 18.
Chaminade (2-3) had a rough start as Mizzou opened up a 9-0 with just under three minutes gone. The 'Swords finally got on the board on Harper's fast-break jam with 15:24 left, followed by a Bailey triple to cut it to 9-5.
A 25-11 Tigers run gave them a 34-16 lead with over 4:30 left, their largest of the half. Chaminade was able to chop the deficit down to 11 after Hu hit two technical foul shots and Shastri's 3-point play with a minute left. Kuany's then hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer reduced the deficit to 38-28 at the break.
Chaminade finally got the deficit to single digits on Bailey's 3-pointer with 17 minutes left to make it 41-33. But the Tigers went on a 7-0 run to push their lead back to 15.
But the 'Swords weren't going to go without a fight as Bailey put the team on his shoulders. The three-time all-Pacific West Conference honoree went on a tear as he scored 11 of the teams' 13 points to cut the Silverswords deficit to 54-48 with 8:29 left.
“I was just trying to take what the defense gave me,” Bailey said. “I was trying to drive and hit open shooters when they weren't, and when they were helping, just tried to hit the basket.”
But Gill-Caesar buried three triples to extend the lead back 63-51 with 4:35 left to play as Mizzou pulled away at the end.
“Well, coming into it, we knew it was going to be three grueling days against really good team,” Chaminade head coach Eric Bovaird said. “Our goal coming in, obviously we'd love to win a couple of games, stuff like that.
“But the thing I talked to these guys about is we have the best opportunity in Division II to play against good competition to make us better.”
“This tournament always helps energy-wise and battle test us before we hit conference play,” Bailey said. “I think that we come in with an aggressiveness and kind of toughness that no other Division II team has. They can't simulate these kinds of games we play in going against much taller, stronger, quicker, more athletic guys.
The 'Swords will open PacWest play next Thursday against Hawai‘i-Hilo.