Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors top Portland, 76-64, advance in CIT

Special to WarriorInsider.com

Seizing a rare postseason opportunity, the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team earned another bonus home game Tuesday night by racing past Portland, 76-64, in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

An energized crowd of 4,431 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Warriors improve to 19-12 with their first postseason victory since 2004. They will play host to either San Francisco (17-14) or Air Force (16-15) at 7 p.m. Saturday, depending on whether USF defeats Idaho in its first-round game today.

UH athletic director Jim Donovan said tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m. Wednesday, both online at www.hawaiiathletics.com and at the SSC box office.

The Warriors gave fans plenty to look forward to on Tuesday night, breaking a 28-28 tie with an inspiring 18-4 run during a seven-minute span overlapping halftime. The Pilots (20-12) got as close as 71-64 after Derrick Rodgers’ layup with 1:20 remaining, but Trevor Wiseman hit one of two free throws 24 seconds later and effectively sealed the win with a steal and slam dunk with 41.6 ticks left.

“It feels really good,” said Hawaii senior Bill Amis, who finished with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds to go with five steals and three blocks. “I’ve never won a game in postseason, not even (the Western Athletic Conference) Tournament, so this feels amazing. Especially to do it at home.”

The Warriors had not played at home since Feb. 26, and it took a while to get comfortable as Portland jumped out to leads of 10-4 and 20-13 in the first eight minutes behind three 3-pointers by Jared Stohl and another from Tanner Riley. UH guard Zane Johnson then scored eight points to help the Warriors take their first lead at 23-22 with 8:21 remaining in the first half.

Bo Barnes followed with a 3-pointer to make it 26-22, but the Pilots eventually tied it at 28-28 on a short turnaround jumper by Ryan Nicholas with 5:33 left.

Amis then hit a short jumper 13 seconds later to start Hawaii on a 10-4 run to close out the half.

“They came out early and hit shots and we didn’t panic,” Warriors coach Gib Arnold said. “We kept on coming. Our defense locked in there and made every shot tough. Every shot was contested.”

UH maintained its momentum to start the second half, with Miah Ostrowski banking in a short floater, Amis hitting a baseline jumper and Ostrowski dropping in a dazzling layup over two defenders from the right side.

Two free throws by Amis stretched the lead to 46-32 with 17:44 remaining.

“We had a game plan and executed it well enough to get an early lead, but then we kind of backed off, and give them credit – they made adjustments,” Portland coach Eric Reveno said. “They’re very balanced, they have an inside threat and an outside threat, and Miah does a great job of making the other players better. He kind of settled into how we were playing.”

After the Pilots closed it to 51-41 on Nemanja Mitrovic’s 3-pointer with 16:11 left, Wiseman converted a three-point play, Vander Joaquim had a slam dunk and Ostrowski banked in a tough left-handed layup over Mitrovic to make it 58-41 with 11:38 remaining.

Mitrovic, a 6-foot-5 guard who led Portland in 3-point goals with 93 this season and entered the game averaging 13.7 points per game, fouled out on the play with just six points.

“We gambled and took a risk leaving him in, because we were behind by a lot and thought he could help close the gap,” Reveno said. “We wanted to get within reach before it was too late.”

That never happened, as the Warriors maintained a double-digit margin until the final 93 seconds.

Johnson finished with a team-high 19 points — including 15 in the first half – and Ostrowski added a career-high 17 points, with 12 after halftime, and six rebounds and four assists in 40 minutes. Joaquim contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Stohl scored a game-high 22 points and Nicholas added 12 points for the Pilots. Portland entered the game ranked second in the country in 3-point field goal percentage at .417, but the Pilots shot for a .308 percentage (8 for 26) from long-range against the Warriors.

Hawaii also held the Pilots to a .351 overall field goal percentage. Kentucky is the only other team to hold Portland to a lower percentage this season.

In another stunning statistic, Hawaii went 28 of 39 on free throws, while Portland went 4 of 8.

“Style of play has a lot to do with that,” Arnold said. “I don’t think we shot a 3 in the second half. We were pounding it inside. When you pound it inside and when you’re driving, you’re going to get more fouls. Their style of play, they shot 26 3s. You rarely foul a jump shooter that far out there. I felt that was one of our advantages, that we could go inside”

(WarriorInsider reporter Dayton Morinaga contributed to this report)


  1. I like to read comments on the game by the opposing coaches. It’s something I don’t usually get to read in the local newspaper. The comments sort of round out the perspective on the game. Thank you.

  2. amosilatus,

    Special thanks goes to Wes Nakama, who is assisting WarriorInsider.com during this postseason run.

    I admit, I normally don’t have time to track down opposing coaches when I am working alone as my main focus is on the Warriors. But with Wes’ assistance, we were able to track down views from both teams after this game.

    Thanks for visiting and contributing to the site.

  3. UPDATE:

    San Francisco defeated Idaho, 81-73, on Wednesday.

    As a result, Hawaii will host San Francisco on Saturday in the second round of the CIT.

    The Dons are 18-14 and were the third-place team in the West Coast Conference (Portland was the fifth place team).

    Should have more info posted on the matchup in the days to come.

  4. All of my qeustonis settled—thanks!

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