Maui Invitational opens: Tennessee, Purdue, Kansas, Marquette advance to semis

Associated Press Purdue center Zach Edey (15) grabs a rebound over Gonzaga forward Ben Gregg during the second half of a game on Monday.

Associated Press Syracuse forward Maliq Brown (1) and Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht (3) go for a rebound during the second half of their teams' bout on Monday in Honolulu.

HONOLULU — The first rounds of the annual Maui Invitational began Monday at Stan Sheriff Center’s SimpliFi Arena.

In August, it was announced that the tournament — which is usually held in Lahaina — would be moved due to the devastating wildfires.


Tennessee vs. Syracuse

Dalton Knecht scored 17 points and Josiah-Jordan James and Jonas Aidoo each recorded a double-double to lead No. 7 Tennessee to a 73-56 win over Syracuse on Monday in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.

The Volunteers (4-0) shot 50% (13 of 26) from the field in the second half to pull away from the Orange (3-1), who shot 35% (21 of 60) for the game.

Knecht, one of three fifth-year players for Tennessee, had 15 points by halftime. He left the game at the 10:20 mark of the second half with an apparent left leg injury, but returned to the contest in the closing minutes.

James had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Aidoo had 14 points with 11 boards.

“It was a really tough, hard fought game,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “I thought our older guys — guys that have been in a lot of big games — were locked in and really good for us.”

Tennessee out-rebounded Syracuse, 48 to 33.

“Coach preaches rebounding the ball and that’s the main thing. If we rebound the ball, we win the game,” Aidoo said.

The Volunteers shot 20 of 27 from the free-throw line, while the Orange were just 8 of 17.

Chris Bell scored 16 points and Judah Mintz had 15 to lead Syracuse.

Syracuse held a 24-21 lead after a Bell 3-pointer from the left wing with about six minutes remaining in the first half, but missed its last six shots from the field before the intermission.

Tennessee went on a 9-1 run over that stretch and took a 30-25 lead at the break.

The Orange were held to 8-of-28 shooting from the field in the first half.

Purdue vs. Gonzaga

Zach Edey scored 15 of his game-high 25 points in the first half and No. 2 Purdue rallied to a beat No. 11 Gonzaga 73-63 in a Maui Invitational quarterfinal game on Monday.

The Boilermakers (4-0) trailed by as many as nine points late in the first half, but outscored the Bulldogs (2-1) 43-28 in the second half to remain unbeaten.

Edey, a 7-foot-4 senior center, shot 8 for 16 from the field and made 9 of 10 shots from the free throw line. He also grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked three shots in 33 minutes.

Lance Jones and Braden Smith added 13 points apiece for Purdue, which shot 54.5% from the field (18 of 33) in the second half.

Graham Ike led Gonzaga with 14 points and seven rebounds. Ryan Nembhard had 11 points, six assists and three steals, and Nolan Hickman added 11 points and three steals.

The Bulldogs were 26-for-69 shooting (37.7%) from the field.

Purdue dominated Gonzaga in points in the paint, 44-30.

The Boilermakers jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, but the Bulldogs answered with a 14-0 run that was capped by a Hickman pull-up jumper at the 14:28 mark.

Purdue took the lead for good with 14:53 left to play on a Edey putback dunk that gave the Boilermakers a 43-42 advantage. Purdue led by as many as 14.

Gonzaga held a 35-30 lead at halftime.

Purdue: Will meet No. 7 Tennessee in a semifinal today.

Kansas vs. Chaminade

HONOLULU (AP) — Hunter Dickinson had 31 points and 11 rebounds and No. 1 Kansas beat Chaminade 83-56 in a first-round game of the Maui Invitational on Monday.

The Jayhawks (4-0) led throughout and shot a blistering 60% from the field. They held the Silverswords (1-3) to 33.9% shooting.

Chaminade, a Division II school in Honolulu with an enrollment of 2,342 students, was unable to muster an upset against the nation’s top-ranked team, as it did nearly 41 years ago against Ralph Sampson-led Virginia.

Dickinson, a 7-foot-2 Michigan transfer and AP Preseason All-American, made 15 of his 18 shots from the field. Kevin McCullar Jr. had 22 points and 11 rebounds with 10 assists, three steals and two blocks. Dajuan Harris Jr. added seven points, eight assists and four rebounds.

Dickinson, the preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, was coming off of a 27-point, 21-rebound game in a 89-84 win over No. 17 Kentucky a week ago.

It was McCullar’s second triple-double in as many games. The graduate senior guard had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against the Wildcats.

“It’s a blessing. Super fun out there today. Credit to my teammates for helping me out and getting assists and boxing out and things like that, so it’s a collective unit effort,” McCullar said.

Kansas scored 58 points in the paint compared to 22 for Chaminade, and also had the edge in fast-break points, 27-6.

Kansas led at the half, 39-27.

Marquette vs. UCLA

The Marquette Golden Eagles defeated the UCLA Bruins 71-69 Monday night. Full game story was unavailable by press time.

Marquette: Will face off against No. 1 Kansas tonight in the semifinals.

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