Chaminade 74, Princeton 70

11/21/2007 - Princeton Tigers

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) -- Marko Kolaric had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Chaminade had a great shooting night from the field and foul line to beat Princeton 74-70 on Wednesday in the seventh-place game at the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

The Silverswords (2-3), the Division II host of the eight-team tournament, led the entire game and sealed the win by going 7-for-8 from the free throw line over the final 33 seconds.

The win improves their record in the 24 years of the tournament to 5-65. The victories were over Davidson in 1984, Providence in 1991, Stanford in double overtime in 1992 and Villanova in 2003. The Stanford game was for seventh place, the others were all in the first round.

Chaminade, which lost to No. 11 Marquette 74-63 and LSU 78-72 in the first games, shot 55.1 percent from the field (27-for-49), including 6-for-12 from 3-point range. It was 14-for-18 from the free throw line.

"It's joy and relief," Chaminade coach Matt Mahar said. "You really get sick of people saying, `You played great and were so close.' These kids play to win just like everybody else and now they can hear people say, `You played great and you won."

Chaminade is best known for what many consider the biggest upset in the history of college basketball. Then an NAIA school, the Silverswords beat No. 1 Virginia and three-time national player of the year Ralph Sampson 77-72 on Dec. 23, 1982.

Chaminade got all but four of its points from four players.

Rodrick Johnson and Stewart Kussler both had 19 points and Hayden Heiber added 16, including five of the closing free throws.

Noah Savage scored 20 points and Zach Finley had 16 points and a tournament-record seven blocks in their first appearance in the event for Princeton.

Kolaric, a 6-foot-11 native of Serbia, had a double-double in each game of the tournament and finished with 44 points and 35 rebounds.

The Tigers closed within 58-56 with 4:12 left, but Chaminade scored on its next two possessions, the second a backdoor pass from LaMarr Hunt to Johnson, the play Princeton is so famous for.

"We run that cut play off our delay game and it's perfect for a guy like Rodrick," Mahar said. "We did everything well today. Our bigs did a great job on both ends. We could have folded there at the end but didn't. These kids were really focused for this."

The Tigers hit two 3-pointers around two free throws by Heiber to get within 70-68 with 11 seconds to go, but Heiber made two more foul shots to give the Silverswords a four-point lead.

Princeton, the first Ivy League school to play in the tournament, lost 83-61 to No. 13 Duke and 61-42 to Arizona State in its first two games.

"I congratulate Chaimade, their head coach, their program, their fans, not only for putting on a terrific tournament year in and year out but also for a terrific performance today," first-year Princeton coach Sydney Johnson said. "It was not only the way they played against LSU and Marquette, but my players certainly learned something about being gracious from the host."

Mahar had a big smile on his face and there was another reason for it. His father, Buddy, was the head at Columbia, anther Ivy League school.

"I remember being this high and riding the bus after losses to Princeton and feeling so bad about it," he said. "That's what made this a little more special for me."