After taking No. 4 Marquette to the wire in an opening-round loss at the Maui Invitational, UCLA will look to rebound against Chaminade in consolation-bracket action on Tuesday in Honolulu.
The Bruins (3-1) went back-and-forth with Marquette on Monday, leading by as many as 12 points in the second half before trailing by as many as seven in the 71-69 loss.
Adem Bona, who scored 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor, gave UCLA a lead in the final minute. However, the Golden Eagles’ Sean Jones sank a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to give his team a two-point lead.
UCLA’s Sebastian Mack, who scored 25 points and shot 13 of 13 at the foul line, had his would-be overtime-forcing put-back attempt at the buzzer fall off the rim.
“We showed what we’re about, but it’s irrelevant. It goes down as (a loss),” Bruins coach Mick Cronin said. “Games like this are good for you early. They tell you the truth.”
UCLA worked Berke Buyuktuncel into the lineup in his first game of the season. He went 0-of-7 from the floor, committed four fouls and finished scoreless.
Chaminade (1-3) dropped its opening-round matchup with top-ranked Kansas on Monday, 83-56. The Maui Invitational’s traditional host Silverswords could not contain the Jayhawks tandem of Hunter Dickinson, who went for 31 points and 11 rebounds; and Kevin McCullar Jr., who posted a 22-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist triple-double.
Chaminade coach Eric Bovaird noted positives from his Division II team in the contest against “high Division I-level” opponent Kansas, including an 8-7 advantage in offensive rebounds and coming away with 10 steals to the Jayhawks’ nine.
The Silverswords look to build off the positives in their second matchup with a premier Division I opponent in as many days.
“They’ll respond well,” Boivard said of his players. “They understand the magnitude of this tournament and they understand that they’re going to play a Top 25(-caliber) team in the country. And what I told them in the locker room is, ‘You’re going to play an angry Top 25 team in the country. One of these guys is going to lose and they’re not going to be happy.'”
Isaac Amaral-Artharee (18 points per game), Jamir Thomas (15.3) and Ross Reeves (10.5) are averaging double-digit scoring for Chaminade through the first four games. Reeves, Thomas and Wyatt Lowell each had 12 points vs. the Jayhawks.