#22 Purdue Slams Chaminade

Brian Cardinal is adding to his reputation as the nation's leader in floor burns and hustle plays.

The senior forward matched his career high with five 3-pointers and scored 29 points to lead No. 22 Purdue to a 96-78 victory over Chaminade on Monday in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.

"That was one of the better games of Brian's career," Purdue coach Gene Keady said of the stat line that had Cardinal grabbing nine rebounds and shooting 9-for-14 from the field, 5-of-6 from 3-point range. "He plays the game with head and his body. With the outside shooting, he's capable of doing that and he's confident."

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  • The 6-foot-8 Cardinal has always been known for his give-up-the body attitude, now he's a 3-point threat with five against Michigan in the Big Ten tournament last season, four against Miami in the NCAA tournament and the five against Chaminade.

    "To be honest, the first one felt good and I kept shooting," Cardinal said. "If I missed that first one I might have stopped. I haven't really thought about it. I just want to make plays and keep things going."

    The Boilermakers (1-0), who had all five starters score in double figures, will play No. 6 Florida , which beat Utah State 60-58, in Tuesday's semifinals.

    Chaminade, the Division II host school for the eight-team tournament, saw its record in the 16 years of the tournament fall to 3-41. The Silverswords did have Purdue, which reached the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament th last two seasons, concerned about their reputation as a giant-killer.

    Purdue used a 12-0 run to take a 22-7 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half and it seemed the rout was on. But the Silverswords (0-1) went on a 20-4 run to take a 27-26 lead with 6:45 left on a drive by Kenzie Weir.

    The sellout crowd of 2,500 at the Lahaina Civic Center started thinking about Chaminade's win over then-No. 1 Virginia and Ralph Sampson in 1982 and victories over Louisville and Southern Methodist the next season.

    But the Boilermakers, who led 44-38 at halftime, opened the second half with a 20-6 run to take a 64-44 lead with 14:54 left on two free throws by Jaraan Cornell.

    Chaminade never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way.

    "We got a little relaxed there but they did hit their shots," Purdue guard Carson Cunningham said. "We just stuck with it."

    Cardinal said the Boilermakers "got lackadaisacal the last 10 minutes of the first half."

    Chaminade coach Al Walker felt his team was at a disadvantage because of Purdue's height advantage. He was called for a technical foul for protesting that the Boilermakers should have been called for three-second violations.

    "If Purdue camps out against 6-5 in the lane, we don't have a chance," he said. "We played as well as we could play and we're very proud of our team."

    Cardinal's 29 points were four off his career high which came in the Big Ten tournament loss to Michigan last season.

    Mike Robinson and Cunningham each had 15 points for the Boilermakers, while Greg McQuay had 13 and Cornell 12.

    Cunningham finished with seven assists and no turnovers.

    Weir led Chaminade with 22 points, including two nice plays each of which brought the Silverswords, who had 24 turnovers, within 14 points in the second half.

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