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Updated: Warriors run to victory on ESPN Hoops Marathon

Special to WarriorInsider.com

In the midnight hour, the crowd screamed “More! More! More!”

And the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team delivered in a big way, blitzing past Cal State Northridge, 86-67, for a rousing season-opening victory last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The victory came after an 11 p.m. start before a late-night party crowd of 5,216 and a national TV audience on ESPN’s “College Hoops Tip-off Marathon.”

“It’s a huge win, especially on national TV,” said senior guard Zane Johnson, who poured in a game-high 24 points – including six 3-pointers. “It’s about getting the Hawaii name out there, it helps with recruiting, it helps with everything.”

After taking a tenuous 37-34 lead into the locker room, the Warriors burst out of the gates with a stunning 18-6 run to open the second half and kept the Matadors (0-2) at bay the rest of the night.

Sophomore forward Trevor Wiseman had the first double-double of his Hawaii career with 19 points and 16 rebounds – both career highs. “Trevor Wiseman was the story of the game,” Johnson said. “Hat’s off to him.”

Wiseman said: “Just working hard – just working harder than the other team. I get a lot of rebounds in practice. I try to work on that because that’s how I’m going to get my points.”

Freshman point guard Shaquille Stokes finished an impressive debut with 14 points, five assists and two rebounds.

Stokes, a heralded recruit out of New York City, was 0-for-5 from the field and sank just 1 of 3 free throws in the first half but swished back-to-back 3-pointers from each wing two minutes after the break to spark UH to a 15-4 run that made it 55-40.

“I thought Shaq started a little fast early on, but then he found his groove in the second half,” Warriors coach Gib Arnold said. “You could see his quickness and his shooting ability.”

A nifty drive and layup by Stokes later pushed the lead to 65-45 midway through the second half, and Johnson’s 3-pointer followed by a Wiseman layup capped a 9-0 run that made it 70-45 with 8:28 remaining.

Northridge clawed back to close it to 78-65 after Thomas Jacobs’ layup with 2:10 left, but Johnson nailed the coffin with a 3-pointer at 1:23.

“I thought we did a good job in the first half, but we couldn’t break it open,” Arnold said. “In the second half, our defense caused some misses and that allowed us to run.”

The Warriors jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the opening tipoff, but the Matadors roared back and took a 20-13 lead after Stephan Hicks’ jumper capped a 9-0 spurt with 9:20 remaining.

But Johnson answered with seven straight points by sandwiching two layups around a 3-pointer, and Wiseman sank two free throws to put Hawaii back up, 24-22, with 6:10 left.

Bobby Miles’ layup later extended the lead to 32-23, but Northridge fought back and closed it to 37-34 on a jumper by Ari Feldman three seconds before halftime.

The Warriors spent almost the entire 15-minute break in the locker room, with an emphasis on defensive adjustments.

“We made adjustments on certain actions, and I challenged them to bear down,” Arnold said. “Our defense sets the tempo.”

Arnold said he was especially pleased with limiting the Matadors to 31 percent field goal shooting, including just 13 percent from beyond the arc.

“That’s the stat we always look at first,” Arnold said. “If we can keep their shooting percentage low, that allows us to get out on the break and run.”

Junior center Vander Joaquim contributed 12 points and eight rebounds. Miles added eight points and five assists.

Arnold started Stokes and Miles together in the backcourt to counter the Matadors’ pressure defense. Johnson started at small forward, with Wiseman at power forward and Joaquim at center.

Hicks led Northridge with 22 points and a game-high 17 rebounds, Vinnie McGhee added 11 points and Feldman chipped in with 10 points.

The Warriors will become more familiar with the Matadors in future years. Both teams will be members of the Big West Conference starting in the 2012-13 season.

Hawaii’s next game will be on the road. The Warriors will travel to Vancouver, Canada, to play nationally-ranked Gonzaga on Saturday, November 19. The Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 22, are 2-0 after an 89-81 victory over Washington State on Monday night. Saturday’s game is technically at a neutral site, but Gonzaga has three Canadian players on its roster.

(Photos courtesy Brandon Flores)

26 Comments

  1. Dayton,

    Please tell everyone how/where they can buy their “Year of the Warrior” W.I. shirt.

  2. Some thoughts:

    Wiseman was impressive. He just has a nose for the ball. He was playing like Lamar Odom out there; point-forward tendencies, keeping offensive boards alive, running the break, etc.

    Miles has improved greatly. Solid point play.

    Zane has the complete offensive package. His J is wet.

    Stokes finished the game strong, which is what matters. He has all the talent and skill to be great.

    Looking to see more of Jefferson and his defense. To me, he’s the x-factor of the team.

  3. Is the Gonzaga game going to be on espn?

  4. Trevor Wiseman had a breakout game. He was not a scorer last year but this year he is looking to score as I believe he has the green light from coach. I don’t think anyone except Wiseman thought that he could have a game like he had last night. Dude was everywhere. His offensive game has really improved from last year. Just goes to show what hard work and discipline can do. And it all started on defense which is what coach wanted him to focus on last year. Small or power forward? Take your pick. After tonight and depending on the opposing team I think he can do well in either. Hope the second half is the real warrior team we will see this year. Awesome. And what can I say about Stokes? He has the inside outside game that opens up the shooters and Joaquim. We haven’t had that type of quality all purpose point since maybe Reggie Carter. And that’s a long time ago. Hard to defend against. We got a team bro.

  5. it’ll probably take a few games … but there Will be a Night when Brereton, Stokes and Always-On Zane All Light it Up … 30-40 point victory … The Flood …

    Skills top to bottom that we had heard talk about or seen in flashes are getting more consistent; returning players are starting to weave their games into the system and play together … 3-12 after 2-10 (Exhibition) for Shaq and 1-3 for Brereton — both flash a lot of basketball skills and smarts, this team looks to be dangerous when their flow and consistency kicks in along with Jefferson …

    USC with two 7-0’s struggled with Northridge down to last four minutes, seven point loss for CSUN who lead by four with under five minutes left …

    The Zags struggled to three point win over WSU …can expect them to play hard … you don’t win that many games, that consistently without knowing what it takes to win and how to work all 40 minutes ….

    Back to Back “high-visibility games” would be a very good new trend …

    ——————

    —Just a Thought — Hopefully Faster but Joston reminds me of of Troy Bowe who came in as a sophomore and took ’til his senior season to “get it”, fighting the coach the whole time … Both Great Guys … stubborn in their styles and beliefs … unstoppable talent … only they could stop themselves … Note to Joston: Your Team Really Needs You to Get to “that Next Higher Level” …

  6. Fun game last night. Rough in some areas, but you’ve got to like the direction that the team is heading — running the court makes scoring so much easier. Watching Trevor go coast to coast was great.

    Wiseman was a beast, keep it up. If Shaq and Bobby keep improving, they’re going to be solid contributors. Zane was as good as expected. Vander needs to step it up, which I think he will. Hans looked like he is starting to get comfortable and should be a solid role player. Davis and Joston need to step it up for us to have a chance at winning the WAC.

    All in all, a good start to the season.

  7. Aloha, royal fans,
    enjoyed your comments!

  8. wiseman do those plyometrics man and go up strong and dunk that crap..don’t be gentle, rock da rim!!..you’re almost in that baby davis category of getting blocked the most lol

  9. I agree Miles looked much-improved from last year, appeared more confident and quicker, physically and mentally more matured.

    Also credit Coach Arnold for starting two point guards in anticipation of Northridge’s press and traps — lot of coaches don’t like to tinker with traditional lineups, but this was a smart move that paid dividends as the press and traps never really became a factor.

    Wiseman was a beast on the boards, great energy.

    And Stokes looked very confident for someone playing his first NCAA Division I game. Made some freshman mistakes, yes, but I imagine he will only get better with experience.

  10. Couch Coach,

    Thanks for the support!

    Yes, the first batch of “Year of the Warrior” shirts have arrived. A lucky few got to wear it at the arena during the game.

    We’ll be selling them for $15 each. The next opportunity to purchase a shirt will be at the next home game on November 22.

    For any questions or inquiries, please e-mail me at dayton@warriorinsider.com

  11. It’s only one game, and against a team that was physically smaller, but I think it’s time those who have been so critical of Wiseman admit that he brings a lot to the table through sheer hustle.How many times did he grab a defensive rebound, turn and lead the break, once going coast-to-coast for a layup. He’s a tireless worker, unselfish player and as Wes says, has great energy. (Wish that would rub off on one of his teammates). You could tell from the summer league that Wiseman and Miles had improved; you have to remember they were freshmen forced into the fray last year. The smaller lineup helped against Northridge; against bigger teams Arnold might have to tweak it a bit but that’s why he’s worked with several lineups in preseason and practice.Like how they responded early in the second half to seize control; didn’t like how they squandered the momentum with defensive lapses, turnovers and missed free throws. But the team has a lot of promise, and the coaching staff is solid, so it’ll be interesting to watch as the season progresses how they develop. Good start!

  12. I see a lot of potential in this team. Good talent and well coached. I wonder how many points this team is able to score against an opponent who don’t press as much. Go Warriors!

  13. we’ll see where we at against the zags

  14. can’t base anything against horrible teams

  15. Hope Trevor keeps it up!! Keeps that confidence in his shot up.

    And Hauns needs to wake up. he’s a lot better than he’s been the past two games.

  16. Looks like Mr Thomas is in the dog house again, for how long , who knows …wake up Thomas youre already a junior, time is running out.

  17. That “horrible team” led USC (at USC) with under four minutes left just three nights before.

    But it is true, Gonzaga will be a much truer test.

  18. Just gotta say great starting sentence for this post!

  19. Great start to the season. I hope all of the players’ families enjoyed watching the game on ESPN. Thank you families for allowing your sons to be part of the Warrior ohana!

  20. too late for joston..he won’t change

  21. Dayton will you post a picture of the shirts you created?

  22. Joston — The ‘joke’ (it’s accurate and what the team really needs), is to get Joston to spend more effort being a “Power Forward”

    Coach Gib on Bobby’s show this morning talked about a visit by Dwight Howard (DH) ; hopefully inspirational and full of good lessons; “Dwight really works hard and made a lot of himself” (with whatever gifts/talents he had) …
    Joston asked a question about the game and DH asked, “…what position do you play ?
    Joston said “i play forward…”
    DH said, well in my league (NBA) you’re a shooting guard, so you got to work on your outside shot …”
    Gib says, “i knew that comment could set us back a year…”

    Discussion: Dwight is Right IF & When he gets to the NBA; Most who believe they will (Carl English, WAC Prospective MOP?) don’t even get drafted. I think Joston has improved his outside shot; his three looked much more consistent with better form, balance and repeatability. during the summer league (game performance); his shot appeared more consistent — he appeared to be hitting more of ’em, but without pressure and D-1 defense — only time will tell. Last Year he hit only 16% of his Threes taken, pretty much One out of Six.

    Work Inside… The Team Needs High Quality Help At Power Forward, which as you all know, Joston has the body & skills to do; his high percentage shots include using the backboard from inside and mid-range, and he has the ability, body strength & balance to draw contact and still get off a good shot (free if he misses while getting fouled); hopefully he can draw his focus a little tighter, too to hit a higher percentage of free throws (LY 59%). As for seeking glory and praise, he’ll get more with alley-oops and dunks …

    Too Late? A Lot of Players have super senior seasons once they “get it”, whatever that is for them … i’m thinking and coach knows he can “get it” “Now” as a junior (sophomore in the system) … Upon signing Joston last year, coach evaluated him as the recruit most ready to play D-1 ball now, even make an impact …

  23. too bad dwight can’t stay here and help vander..hopefully he really likes what gib is doing and sends some preps down here for school

  24. I agree with hawaiifan09. Josten doesn’t appear to take the game seriously. He shouldn’t stare at the crowd for five seconds and then run down the floor to play defense. Don’t think “you’re all that” until you can back it up in the game.

    Look for Hauns Brereton to show up one of these days. He’s the man to fill the void of Bo Barnes 🙂

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