Georgia denies Chaminade with buzzer beater at Maui Invitational
Anthony Edwards wasn’t having it. The latest Chaminade upset in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational was within reach until Georgia’s star freshman snatched it away in the final second of an 80-77 win for the Bulldogs in Wednesday’s seventh-place game.
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LAHAINA >> Anthony Edwards wasn’t having it.
The latest Chaminade upset in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational was within reach until Georgia’s star freshman snatched it away in the final second of an 80-77 win for the Bulldogs in Wednesday’s seventh-place game.
Edwards, a top-three projected NBA Draft pick, dribbled just to the right of the top of the arc for the game-winning 25-footer with 0.6 seconds left to cap a 24-point performance. He’d generated national headlines the day before with a 33-point second half (37 points overall) in a loss to Michigan State.
“There’s no way we’re gonna lose to these guys,” Edwards said of his thoughts on the final play. “I mean, they’re a great group of guys. They play hard, scrappy. They never gave up.”
Chaminade (2-3) had tied it up moments before with Andre Arissol’s sixth 3-pointer of the game, an icy shot from the right corner with nine seconds left. The Silverswords had trailed by nine with 8:33 to play, but rallied furiously and got the Lahaina Civic Center denizens fired up.
If they could just get a stop on the Bulldogs (5-2) of the SEC coming out of a timeout, their ninth Maui win was in play. They could leave a winner, just as they did in 2017 in knocking off Cal on the final day.
But no. The 6-5 wing Edwards waved off Tom Crean’s designed play to have him drive, and maybe kick, and pulled up for the win himself with Kendall Small’s hand in his face. Splash.
“He’s wired to take and make that shot that he made,” Crean said.
Arissol, who scored a team-high 24, tipped his cap. “It’s a game of punches, and he hit a big one.”
Said Silverswords coach Eric Bovaird, “Everybody in the world knew the ball was going to go into No. 5’s hands (Edwards). … But our game plan was to try to make him make difficult shots, because you can’t prevent him from getting shots. He missed a bunch of them earlier (8-for-17). He made the one that counted, though.”
Chaminade had a final chance, if it could throw a Hail Mary, turn and shoot. After a pair of timeouts, it was unable to find a man downcourt and was called for a five-second inbounding violation.
Now it will have to wait until 2021 to author its next upset. That’s when it will be rotated back in the field; the current deal with tournament runner KemperLesnik calls for the Silverswords to play mainland games instead of going to Maui in even-numbered years.
“It’s not going to be as good a two years (as last time), I know that,” Bovaird said with a chuckle. “I could imagine sitting here next year thinking, ‘dang, I wish I would’ve won that last game.’ It’ll take a little while to get over.”