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Warriors press through to beat Central Arkansas

The Hawaii basketball team was both spectacular and sloppy in an 83-69 victory over Central Arkansas on Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Warriors shot 55.4 percent from the field, had four players score double-figure points, and all 12 active players saw action. But they also committed 23 turnovers and had a 23-point lead cut down to nine in the second half.

Most important, though, Hawaii improved to 4-0, with all four victories at home.

“As far as our play, there were a lot of good things that happened tonight, especially the middle 20 minutes of the game,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said. “I thought we rebounded really well, I thought we moved it around very well, we were unselfish today.”

The erratic pace of the game had much to do with Central Arkansas’ full-court defensive press.

“Turnovers were an issue, we turned it over too many times,” Arnold said. “That’s something we’ll definitely work on. But its good for us early to see that pressure and to be able to come through and still get a 14-point win, overall I’m definitely pleased.”

Senior forward Bill Amis and junior guard Zane Johnson each scored 15 points to lead the balanced Hawaii offense. Amis shot 6 of 10 from the field, while Johnson went 5 of 8, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.

“Once we got it past half court, we had open looks … our half-court offense was great,” Johnson said. “When we slowed it down, we scored.”

Freshman Bo Barnes scored 14 points off the bench, including 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. Sophomore forward Joston Thomas contributed 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and also grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Warriors to a 38-26 advantage on the boards.

Sophomore center Vander Joaquim finished with eight points and four rebounds, and freshman forward Trevor Wiseman had eight points, four rebounds.

“It was a team win, it was a team effort,” Arnold said. “There was a lot of solid team play tonight. We shared the ball and shared the victory.”

Also of note, freshman point guard Bobby Miles had four points and five assists in relief of senior Hiram Thompson.

“Coach just tells me to bring energy and lead the team when Hiram gets banged up or gets in foul trouble,” Miles said. “He tells me play with energy on defense and get the team on track.”

Thompson was limited to 14 minutes due to a bruised right knee. He played just three minutes in the second half. He entered the game leading the team in scoring with 18.0 points per game, but finished with two points and four assists.

“We made a decision to keep him out and finish with Bobby and we’ll find out more when he sees the doctor,” Arnold said.

All 12 players got in the game, including the first appearances of the season for freshman guard Jordan Coleman and sophomore forward Dominick Brumfield.

During one stage of the second half, all four of Hawaii’s freshmen were on the court together – Miles, Coleman, Barnes and Wiseman.

“I was like holy smokes, that’s a lot of babies out there,” Arnold said. “They played hard and they played well together. That was kind of exciting – saw a little bit of the future of these guys.”

Central Arkansas had a 20-18 lead midway through the first half before the Warriors broke ahead with a flurry of points late in the first half.

Anthony Salter ignited the rally with an inadvertent 3-pointer. He was attempting a pass, but the ball bounced off the backboard and into the hoop to give Hawaii a 21-20 lead. The Warriors then went on a 15-4 run to increase the lead to 36-24. Barnes drained three 3-pointers during the surge.

Hawaii eventually took a 46-30 lead at intermission and never looked back, although the Bears never backed down.

“I give Central Arkansas a lot of credit in that game; I thought they could have given up numerous times,” Arnold said. “They continued to keep plugging and keep pressing.”

The Warriors increased the lead to 60-37 early in the second half, but the Bears got as close as 78-69 in the closing minutes.

“I never thought it was really out of doubt, but we had to finish,” Arnold said.

Carlos Dos Santos, a 6-foot-8, 275-pound center, lead Central Arkansas with 17 points and six rebounds.

Hawaii’s next game is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 24, against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at the Sheriff Center.

2 Comments

  1. Not the most aesthetically pleasing of games, but it’s a win.. I’ll take it.. We’re 4-0.. When was the last time *that* happened in UH basketball..

  2. Good job, another win. They had some good runs, but too many turnovers. They cannot do that against the better teams. I like the videos. Keep it up.

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