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Chaminade’s upset bid denied by Minnesota at Maui basketball tournament

    Chaminade guard Lee Bailey (5) attempts to get around Minnesota guard Deandre Mathieu, left, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Maui Invitational today in Lahaina.

LAHAINA >> Chaminade’s bid for its eighth all-time win in the EA Sports Maui Invitational was turned back by Minnesota, 83-68, in the tournament’s seventh-place game this morning at the Lahaina Civic Center. 

Chaminade took a five-point halftime lead and went up by as many as nine points early in the second half, but ran out of gas late. The Silverswords were outscored 25-4 to end the game.

“One bad stretch really killed us. One bad four-minute stretch,” Chaminade coach Eric Bovaird said. “They turned up the pressure, we had trouble getting into our set plays and we wanted to run. They were really getting after it.”

The ‘Swords (2-3) attacked Minnesota’s game-long fullcourt pressure effectively for a while behind ballhandlers Lee Bailey and Christophe Varidel. But they finished with 20 turnovers to Minnesota’s seven.

“It’s tough. It’s just like having little gnats around you all day,” Bailey said.

Varidel, who was one point shy of tying the tournament scoring record with 42 points in a loss to No. 18 Baylor on Monday, was held to seven points on 3-for-13 shooting for Chaminade. Bailey led the ‘Swords with 18 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

Meanwhile, the Golden Gophers (6-2) of the Big Ten Conference couldn’t buy a 3-point basket, making just three of their first 20 from beyond the arc (15 percent). But they made three game-changers from deep in the last 10 minutes.

CU forward Tyree Harrison got a big putback with under 10 minutes left for an eight-point lead, but Minnesota took control from there.

Minnesota used a 13-0 run on Chaminade turnovers and bad shots to go up 71-64 with 5:47 to play.

Silverswords forward Kevin Hu hit two free throws to cut it to five with under four minutes left, but Andre Hollins answered with a 3-pointer for Minnesota. Hu made a layup to get it to 74-68 with two minutes remaining — the closest it got late.

Chaminade shot 51.7 percent in the first half and took a 42-37 lead at the break, overcoming an early 11-point deficit.

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