Tigers beat Silverswords in final game in Maui, 74-60
LAHAINA, Hawaii — Namon Wright scored 21 points, Montaque Gill-Caesar added 18 and Missouri beat Chaminade 74-60 Wednesday in the seventh-place game of the Maui Invitational.
Missouri (3-3) had two disappointing losses to open the tournament, but jumped on Chaminade (2-3) early, building a 10-point halftime lead behind Wright.
The Silverswords made a run in the second half, but Gill-Caesar stuffed any hope of a comeback by scoring 16 points and hitting four 3-pointers in the second half.
Lee Bailey led Chaminade with 22 points and Kuany Kuany added 14.
The Tigers were hoping to salvage something from their trip to paradise.
Missouri kept up with No. 3 Arizona in its opener before fading down the stretch and never really had a chance against Purdue on the second day.
The Tigers lost those two games by a combined 40 points and losing to the Division II Silverswords would have made it a disastrous trip.
Chaminade had pulled off upsets in this position before.
The host Silverswords are regulars in the seventh-place game with such strong fields in the Maui Invitational and have occasionally caught teams down or off-guard on the final day. Their lists of conquests include Texas, Oklahoma and Villanova through the years.
Chaminade struggled to open this year’s tournament, buried on the glass in a loss to Pittsburgh and by Chase Fischer’s wave of 3-pointers (10 in all) in a loss to BYU.
Missouri tried to make sure the Silverswords never stood a chance at the upset.
Using their depth to overwhelm the smaller Silverswords, the Tigers scored the game’s first nine points and built a 38-28 halftime lead.
Chaminade had trouble with Missouri’s length and athleticism, hitting 9 of 31 shots in the first half. The Silverswords also had a hard time finding Wright, who made all three of his 3-point attempts while scoring 12 points in the first half.
Missouri extended the lead to 15 in the first six minutes of the second half, but Chaminade went on a 7-0 run to pull within 52-46.
The upset suddenly seemed a possibility and the small-but-vocal group of Chaminade fans inside the Lahaina Civic Center started screaming and stomping the bleachers.
Gill-Caesar put an end to those thoughts, hitting three 3-pointers to push Missouri’s lead to 63-51.
Chaminade: The Silverswords were good from the free-throw line, making 13 of 17, but not so good from the 3-point arc, going 9 for 28.
Missouri: The Tigers outscored Chaminade 38-9 in bench points.
Missouri hosts Southeast Missouri State on Dec. 2.
Chaminade opens its Pacific West Conference schedule at home against Hawaii-Hilo on Dec. 4.