LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Shortly after Chaminade hit a tying 3-pointer, Georgia coach Tom Crean called a timeout and set up a play for Anthony Edwards to drive to the basket. It called for Edwards to take the ball all the way to the rim or find a shooter in the opposite corner.
Georgia’s star freshman had other ideas.
Yoking his dribble back and forth as he eyed the clock, Edwards rose up for a 3-pointer and drained it with 0.6 seconds left.
Never a doubt.
“He’s wired to take that shot and make that shot,” Crean said after the Bulldogs beat Chaminade 80-77 win in the Maui Invitational seventh-place game Wednesday night.
A night after an all-time Maui performance, Edwards had to work a little harder against the scrappy Silverswords.
Chaminade (2-3) trimmed a nine-point deficit to 71-70 and kept hanging around until Andre Arissol tied it on a 3-pointer with 9 seconds left.
That left too much time for Edwards, who worked the clock down and pulled up for a 3 with a hand in his face.
“I got the ball across half court, I looked at the clock, it was like five seconds,” Edwards said. “I said, well, I know they're going to pack it in, so I'm just going to pull up for the three.”
Edwards finished with 24 points and eight rebounds, allowing Georgia (4-2) to escape Maui with one win in three games.
Arissol had 24 and Tyler Cartaino 23 to lead the Silverswords, who were called for a 5-second inbound violation and never got a tying attempt off.
“The guys really stepped up the third day, and we don't have the depth that a lot of teams have,” Chaminade coach Eric Bovaird said. “I'm really proud that they battled right down to the very end.”
Edwards had one of the greatest performances in Maui Invitational history in the second half against No. 3 Michigan State on Tuesday.
Confidently firing in stepback and pull-up 3-pointers, the projected NBA lottery pick looked the part, rallying the Bulldogs from a 28-point deficit. Edwards hit seven 3-pointers and scored 33 of his 37 in the half, but Michigan State made the biggest plays down the stretch to pull out the 93-85 win.
Edwards had a harder time getting going against Chaminade, scoring nine points on 4-of-7 shooting in the first half.
The Silverswords were making their shots after struggling in a lopsided loss to UCLA, making 7 of 11 from the 3-point arc to lead Georgia 37-36 at halftime.
Chaminade kept hitting shots in the second half and played a little defense, too, holding Georgia without a field goal for four minutes to go up five.
Georgia started attacking more and went on a 12-2 run to go up 64-58, only to see the Silverswords shoot their way back.
“We definitely have confidence,” Cartaino said. “At the end of the day, we realize these are big-name schools and really good players and really big players, but they're just people like us and we’ve got to play the same game they do.”
Georgia clearly has some work to do, but at least pulled out one win in Maui.
Chaminade lost three games in Maui, but the experience against bigger, more athletic teams should help when the Silverswords return to Oahu.
Georgia hosts North Carolina Central next Wednesday.
Chaminade hosts Azusa Pacific next Wednesday.
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