Sweet-shooting Syracuse takes down Chaminade in Allstate Maui Invitational

The Silverswords fell to 0-3 in the 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational after the more-athletic Syracuse Orange put up first 100-point game in event in over five years.

HONOLULU — The Chaminade Silverswords (1-5, 0-1 PacWest) started slow once again and saw the Syracuse Orange shoot 56% from the floor and drill 12 3-pointers as the hosts fell, 105-56, in the final outing in the event until 2025 for the Division II Silverswords. Seven different SU players finished in double-figures as the ‘Cuse put up over 50 points in both halves and shot a scorching 50% from 3-point land in the 2nd half to head back to the mainland with a win. 

The Silverswords lost the tip and gave up the game’s first points, a soft hook shot from 7-foot-4 center Nadeem McLeod, before taking their first (and only) lead of the evening ten seconds later with a Wyatt Lowell triple to make it 3-2 in favor of the hosts. The lead lasted just over a minute before Syracuse’s Chris Bell drilled his first 3-pointer of the game at the 18:20 mark of the 1st half to give the lead to SU, 5-3. The Orange turned up the defensive pressure from there, suffocating the Swords’ offense while the margin separating the teams reached double-digits by the 14-minute mark of the 1st half. 

Chaminade saw the offensive struggles of the previous two days continue, shooting 17% from the floor (6/36 FG) in the first 20 minutes of action while the Orange ran in transition and continued to get into the paint at will. While shooting struggles plagued the PacWest representatives, Syracuse continued to give the ball to the mountain in the middle in McLeod. The junior transfer from Florida State recorded a game-high 11 points through one half and chipped in seven rebounds as the Orange took a 52-18 lead into the locker rooms. 

Like the games against #1 Kansas and UCLA, Chaminade started the 2nd half with a fury by ripping off a 6-0 run and continuing to trade baskets with the Orange through the first five minutes out of the locker rooms. Swords’ guards Ross Reeves and Jamir Thomas started to get into rhythm after the turn of halves, getting penetration against SU’s defense and finding the touch from long range. After 1-for-10 and 2-for-7 shooting performances for Thomas and Reeves respectively in the first 20 minutes, the guards combined for 17 of Chaminade’s 38 2nd half points on 50% shooting from the floor. CUH leading scorer Isaac Amaral-Arthare continued his rough shooting tournament, going 1-for-12 from the floor and finishing in single digits (7 points) for the third consecutive game. 

Despite the strong start to the 2nd half for Chaminade, Syracuse’s athleticism and size continued to prove unstoppable for the Silverswords as the Orange put up another 53 points in the final 20 minutes to cruise to a 105-56 victory over the tournament hosts. 

Syracuse was led by Chris Bell’s 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting and four 3-pointers while sophomore wing Justin Taylor recorded his first double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win. The Orange returns home to host LSU in the ACC/SEC Challenge inside the JMA Wireless Dome on Tuesday, November 28. 

Chaminade was paced by Reeves’ 13 points as the guard chipped in five boards and three dimes in the loss. JUCO transfer Jamir Thomas capped off his strong Allstate Maui Invitational showing with 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds as the 5-foot-10 guard saw 30 minutes of action. The Silverswords return to McCabe Gymnasium on Monday, November 27 to host Slippery Rock at 5 p.m. HT, looking to get back on track and snap the team’s four-game losing streak against a step down in competition from the Thanksgiving-week classic.