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Montana runs away from Warriors

On a night when the opponent was so good it scored before the clock even started, the Hawai’i basketball team lost a non-conference game at Montana, 94-79.

A crowd of 5,009 at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Montana, watched the Grizzlies go over, around and through Hawai’i’s normally stringent defense from start to finish.

“They lit it up,” Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said of the Grizzlies. “Guys that normally don’t even hit shots were knocking down 3s at the end of the shot clock. They were really, really playing well together – 23 assists, that’s quite a night for them. They’re good. They’re better than us, I’ll tell you that.”

The Warriors dropped to 15-11 with the non-conference road loss. Montana improved to 20-6 with its ninth consecutive victory.

The 94 points was the most allowed by Hawai’i this season, and Montana’s Kareem Jamar finished with a triple-double – 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Vander Joaquim led the Warriors with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season, but it was hardly enough against a Montana offense that shot 57.9 percent from the field, including 11 of 23 (47.8 percent) from 3-point range. Prior to this game, no opposing team had shot better than 50 percent from the field against the Warriors this season.

“They had five guys out there knocking down 3s,” Arnold said. “It’s really hard to come back from that when you give up 11 3s. And on the other end, we couldn’t hit free throws. We were getting to the hole … I thought we were doing a good job of driving it, but it wasn’t paying off.”

Shaquille Stokes scored 13 – including 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range – and Hauns Brereton added 12 for the Warriors.

Joston Thomas finished with 11 points and five rebounds, before fouling out with 2:55 remaining. He was sent to the locker room after the hard foul, although a technical foul was not assessed.

There was a technical foul called on the Warriors before the game for dunking during warm-ups. Montana’s Will Cherry made one of two free throws to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead before the game started.

Hawai’i shot 49.1 percent from the field, but went just 19 of 34 (55.9 percent) from the free throw line.

“They were hitting shots and we weren’t,” Arnold said. “Sometimes that happens.”

Montana head coach Wayne Tinkle said: “It wasn’t a work of art because that’s an awfully talented team. It didn’t feel like we defended great at times, but overall, start to finish, one heck of an effort from our guys.”

The score was tied at 9, then the Grizzlies went on a 7-0 run to take a 16-9 lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way.

Montana led by as many as 14 points several times in the first half, and eventually took a 47-34 lead at intermission. Hawai’i got as close as 53-44 on a dunk by Joaquim with 16:49 remaining, but Montana responded with a 9-2 surge to push the lead up to 62-46 with 15:06 left. The Warriors did not get closer than 11 points the rest of the way.

“(Hawaii) did a great job of getting the ball to the rim and getting to the free throw line in the second half,” Montana coach Tinkle said. “But our guys didn’t wilt.”

Will Cherry scored a game-high 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting for the Grizzlies. Jamar, who completed his triple-double with a pair of assists late in the game – said “it was definitely a team effort.”

“They’re a good team, one of the top teams we played,” Jamar said of the Warriors. “That’s why we came out and played hard because we knew we couldn’t take them lightly.”

Trevor Wiseman contributed nine points and four rebounds, and Zane Johnson finished with eight points and four rebounds for Hawai’i.

The Warriors will stay on the road for another week for two Western Athletic Conference games – at New Mexico State on Thursday, then at Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

“We’ll go back and look at things we didn’t do well tonight and hopefully it will prepare us for New Mexico State,” Arnold said.

(WarriorInsider.com file photos courtesy Charles Simmons)

14 Comments

  1. I think we looked pretty bad, actually. Maybe they were that good, but we were out of rhythm and our defense was non-existent. Hopefully we will come back in the games that count…the WAC games. Heavy sigh.

  2. The team that wanted it more won tonite. Too bad it wasn’t UH. 🙁

  3. start Wiseman in place of Zane for now and see if we can get some point production from someone else,Zane is in a bigtime slump

  4. Yeah. Zane is in major slump. Even consider starting Shaq at shooting guard and sitting Zane. Let him observe from bench, then come in…Heck, we need one of the next two games on the road..

  5. start wiseman over zane? are you kidding me?

  6. UH is not scraping for a win, just throwing something against the wall and hoping it sticks. Our one star is Zane Johnson if we want to be our best and play with the best into and through the NCAA’s. One star with a number of very, very good players around him. In particular, Vander and Josten. These three guys can play with anyone, every night. Soothing egos is not the kind of organization that is gong to help us win. Bobby Miles can play really great defense, as well as Garrett Jefferson and Hauns Brereton. You can’t leave anyone out either in talking about this team, but we have got to be directed 100% of the time. If that means playing Josten and Vander 80 to 90% of every game, then at this point in the season, that is what it takes. We can play with Zane’s three point shot as the first option, and we should. Confidence, as we saw in the Montana Grizzlies team, then becomes infectious and draws in the whole team. The battle cry comes in as, “We are going to take the shot!”, not back peddling where if it is open then maybe just maybe why don’t we take the shot. The first option should be the three. If it feels right then squeeze the trigger, otherwise, then look for the second option knowing that those second options look really good.

  7. Congrats to the Grizzlies! They played amazing team ball even the bench played team ball by supporting their brothers on the court, and more importantly every player that made a shot was supported by their team mates. Who ever was hot that is the one that got the ball. No worries about who is getting how many points. Their coach should be proud it really showed each of the players have respect for each other and that comes from having respect from the top.
    This game is one to learn from to make the Warriors better. Learn and move forward.
    Just be ready for the next encounter.
    “Without virtue and without integrity, the finest talents and the most brilliant accomplishments can never gain the respect or conciliate the esteem of the truly valuable part of mankind” George Washington
    Go Warriors!

  8. Zane has fallen off a cliff. He needs to sit and they need to go with a hotter hand give Hauns more looks and Miah and Stokes. Forcing the ball to the teams “Star” who has not had a good game in a long time at the expense of the team will just lead to more losses. If Zane can get out of his slump great, but until then feed the hot hand and get better defense in the game and win some of these last games.

  9. Live and die with Zane. Can’t come out of a slump when sitting on the bench. Since Zane is our one star player gotta play him and hope that he comes out of it at tournament time. He has been the man for the last two seasons. There is still time for him to turn it around. He is explosive when he is on and we can’t win without him. Kentucky would have lost if they played with Montana last night.

  10. Let’s give credit to Montana guards – once again, we were torched by better, stronger, more athletic guards. Yeah, our defense stunk because we didn’t contest their 3’s; but like Coach said – they were hitting shots and we weren’t. They lit it up. Plain and simple.

    At this point, we need to live or die by Zane – let’s just get him to relax, let the game come to him and his shot will fall again. We should be starting Trevor over Hauns for more defensive strength, rebounding and another ball-handler that is willing to pass the ball. We need someone to work harder to get Zane open looks – not someone looking for their shot!

    Watch the silly fouls and cut-down on the unforced turnovers. Bend our knees on the free-throws – fifteen missed free throws (19 – 34 = 55.9%) is poor mechanics. Get back to basics! Rest up Warriors and let’s focus on New Mexico; and what we need to do to beat them at home – we can do it! Go ‘Bows!

  11. True. Hawaii ran into a Montana team that is playing well. They shot lights out.
    Zane is the leader. He can get it done, with defense, boxing out and rebounding, good passes and wise decisions…if he does go down low, or shoot those mid range jumpers first, he should be alright.

    Free throws: Mechanics, focus, totally correctable to go from 50% shooter to 70% shooter or better. Concentrate. Maybe have 1 hour of just shooting, free throws, threes, mid range jumpers…don’t know who is the best shooting coach, ..Once again , this team has been there before, coming off of hard loss, and they bounce back..Come on guys and Gib, a lot of fans still along for the ride.

    Hey…win 3 in WAC tourney and your all in!

    Best to the team…Who in the whole United States travels like an NBA team? Very hard on young guys who are not professionals, but give them credit…would not doubt if they win one , if not two of remaining Wac road games…hopefully so!

    Go Warriors/Bows!!

  12. I was able to watch the game online yesterday and I think the main issues was travel to Missoula (I travel there and it is not easy), poor free throw shooting (make those 15 we missed plus the back end of the 1 and 1’s and we actually win the game) and a great shooting game by Montana. The Montana announcers said over and over they were shocked at the score and how well Montana was shooting. We lost to a good team, it isn’t the end of the world. Let’s get a win Thursday and Saturday and finish up strong at home and get a good seeding for the WAC Tournament. In regards to Zane, he needs to relax and not worry about the record. He is going to come out of this slump big.

  13. credit montana…they shot lights out. we shot decently from the floor 49% and 43% from three. again, our achilles heel hampers us, that being from the charity stripe.

    perhaps we need to have zane come off the bench as our sixth man.

    start either hauns or shaq at the 2.
    with hauns at the 2 roll wiseman down low or put shaq at the 2 with hauns at the 3. the latter , probably makes more sense. with shaq and miah in at the same time flip them at the point with each other on occassion to confuse the opponent a bit and have miah takes shots as the 2 guard.

  14. That’s why your not a coach servante. Your an idiot. You can’t worry about who’s the star. There is no star when your losing games. Just play the ones playin good and that have good chemistry. And ever since hauns has gotten more pt, he’s been performing. He’s got the green light right now.

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