Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Idaho races past Warriors, 82-63

Even in the usually friendly, Home-Sweet-Home confines of the Stan Sheriff Center, the Hawai’i men’s basketball team could not shake off its recent road blues Thursday night as Idaho blitzed the Warriors, 82-63, in Western Athletic Conference action.

A crowd of 5,600 at the SSC watched the Vandals’ Deremy Geiger score 20 points and Stephen Madison add 17 points to help hand Hawai’i its fourth straight loss and drop the Warriors to 15-14 overall, 6-7 in the WAC.

The Warriors could have moved into a tie for third with a victory, but instead dropped into a tie for fifth place. Idaho improved to 17-12 and 8-5, and avenged a loss to the Warriors in Moscow, Idaho, in January.

Hawai’i finishes the WAC regular season on Saturday with a “White Out” Senior Night game against defending league champion Utah State (16-14, 7-6). A victory would likely land the Warriors in fourth place and set up a rematch with Utah State in the first round of next week’s WAC Tournament in Las Vegas. A loss would put Hawai’i in sixth place, which would result in a first-round game against either Idaho or New Mexico State (22-9, 9-4).

Whatever the case, the Warriors hope to quickly snap out of a funk that started with a 94-79 “BracketBuster Saturday” loss at Montana on Feb. 18, followed by road losses at New Mexico State (115-73) and Louisiana Tech (84-67) last week.

“We gotta find it out, we gotta get back to who we are,” UH coach Gib Arnold said. “We have a lot of reasons to hold our head our heads low right now, but we’re not going to.”

Idaho promptly did its best to break the Warriors’ spirit, shooting a blistering 51 percent from the field (26 of 51), including 47.6 percent (10 of 21) from 3-point range. The Vandals also sank 20 of 25 free throws (80 percent). They shot 57.1 percent from the field (16 of 28) in the first half — including 55.6 percent (5 of 9) from beyond the arc — to take a 45-27 lead into the break boosted by a 15-4 run ending at the 7:53 mark which turned an 18-15 edge into a 33-19 advantage.

Idaho also dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Warriors 46-27 overall, including 25-11 in the first half and 36-18 on the defensive end and.

“Give Idaho credit,” Arnold said. “They came out real aggressive in the first half, and we didn’t match their aggressiveness. They shot the lights out, I think they shot 75 percent in the first eight minutes. Some weren’t contested, we had some defensive lapses. But they (the Vandals) came to play, they were playing like it meant something. We were playing for third place, and they wanted it more than we did — it showed in the first 20 minutes.”

Arnold offered the alarming difference in rebounds as evidence.

“Rebounding is not really a scheme thing, it’s mostly hustle,” he said. “It’s not size, because I thought we matched up with them; they might be a little bigger. But rebounding is always about heart: the teams that rebound well are going after every ball and really being aggressive.”

Hawai’i could only get as close as nine points in the second half, at 52-43 on Zane Johnson’s record-setting 179th career 3-pointer at the 15:34 mark. The Warriors trailed by ten, 65-55, after Vander Joaquim’s free throw with 6:48 remaining, but Landon Tatum answered with a 3-pointer to start a 13-2 run that ended on Madison’s three-point play to make it 78-57 with 2:27 left.

Johnson led the Warriors with 18 points and went 4-of-8 from 3-point range. He surpassed Predrag Savovic’s previous record of 178 3-pointers, and did it in just two seasons (Savovic played three).

Joston Thomas added 16 points. Joaquim, who entered the night as the Warriors’ leading scorer at 14.8 points per game, was held to a season-low four points to go with nine rebounds. Miah Ostrowski contributed seven points and nine assists, and freshman guard Shaquille Stokes added nine points off the bench. Reserve guard Bobby Miles missed a morning workout and did not play; Arnold said he should be available Saturday.

UH shot just 34.9 percent (22 of 63) from the field and only 57.1 percent (12 of 21) from the free throw line.

But the more glaring deficiency may be on defense, where the Warriors have allowed an average of 93.4 points in their past four losses, with each of the opponents scoring at least 82.

“After the road trip, we went back to basics, same as we did on Day 1,” Arnold said. “We went back to teaching and techniques … we’ve been a good defensive team, an outstanding defensive team at times. But now we seem to be a step slow, the help is not there, our hedge gets soft, (no) ball pressure. That usually is from fatigue, but this deep in the season, I hope that doesn’t happen.”

Thomas said the defensive problems are fixable.

“If we just did a little more talking on defense, I think this game would have turned out differently,” he said. “Sometimes you’re fatigued and you lose energy, but we gotta talk more, tell each other to ‘switch that,’ ‘hedge’ …”

Thomas said the Warriors can take the disappointing loss as an educational experience.

“Idaho came to play, and there’s gonna be nights like that where we gotta match people’s intensity,” he said. “These are good learning games for us going into the tournament, it’s a humbling stage for us. We’re not going to get down … We gotta get back to having fun. We’re gonna keep our hard hats on, and we’re going to keep working.”

(WarriorInsider.com game photos by Brandon Flores)


  1. Stick a fork in them, they are done. I don’t know what happened to this team but it’s disappointing to see the way they are playing right now. ( I hope I am wrong)
    But they look like they just want the season to be over already.

  2. Hey, there are still many fans who support team win or lose…however, if team is exhausted/ frustrated fans are too.
    Joston gave excellent post game comments, very positive…team very tired.

    Team has to come out defend, rebound, make free throws, hustle, hustle and hustle..play hard , smart , and together…they will win against Utah St. and has a shot at beating anyone at WAC tourney.

    Other teams playing their best ball right now..that Idaho team very good, Much better then in January.

    I am eternal optimist…Gib can’t play for team, however he wishes he could..they have to Rebound, defend and make free throws, they can win..

    Hope they can win at least 2 more this season, or more…..

  3. Concur — Great, Consistently Good Comments and Attitude, Even Leadership “Voiced” by Joston with Gary D. Clearly, ONE of Next Year’s (maybe) Senior-Heavy Team’s Leaders … Maybe he was also being introspective, BUT / AND HE also needed to be rebounding and covering His Man or his teammates’ man and Finishing Lay-ups … Here’s to Joston, Vander, Hauns and “The Bench” ALL Having significantly Better Games starting this weekend … AND Zane & Shaq lighting Up even More …

    ONE Good (esp. Winning) Game …
    (The ONLY Thing they can do now to turn AND TAKE the Corner)

    One Good Week …

    One Really Good Month …

    According to Artie, Idaho flat out gave themselves a Full Day (or two) OFF This Week — To Relax, Re-Charge, Save Some Legs — FOOD For Thought/Action ?

    Except for Higher Regular Season Standing(s):

    ! ALL THEIR GOALS — ARE Still Available Ahead of Them …!

    BUT (I Think) They Must RE-Start Now …

    Re-Born, Rejuvenation, One Minute At a Time BUT i think it Will Take 40+, Not Five or Ten they’ve been giving ….

  4. Now that Zane has made the records with 3 pointers(congrats Zane) maybe they can try a different game plan. The last games of feed it in to the bigs or to Zane only hasn’t seemed to work. They need to unleash the other players so that everyone is in – 5 on the floor. Miah needs to push and at least try to make a fast break happen before just dribble in – not pass and pulling it back out. Everyone seems to be playing scared. Players shouldn’t be punished for trying to make things happen. Vander ought to kick it back out to Zane, Hauns or a cutter at least once in a while. Defense on Vander is easy. If he gets it collapse and cover because he is going to shoot. Same for Josten – Got to remember it is team ball. If it is mismatch and one has advantage then use it but if not one needs to kick it back out and open up the game. This would help on rebounds also, not everyone on the other team inside with position. Another item is swing Passes to the shooters ought to be timely and on the mark. Passing it to the shooters should be on the mark. If they catch overhead or have to scrap for it the shooters can’t get a good shot. This is D1 bball and the majority of passes should be good this time of year. Players need to talk on D and not get flustered if one person makes a break or a point. Learn the move and cover it. Coaches need to let players stay with the flow to make it happen. Rebounds – 4 players need to crash the boards and one play back(D). When rebounding – get BIG and the inside step – make them go over or around. Standing tall and skinny allows the other team in. If the have to go around being boxed out they are boxing out the lane for someone else trying to get in from the other team – it is a 2 for 1 advantage. Get Big and Position. This team has the best players in the WAC for every position. Should be able to win the WAC championship. Get Big, Play Hard and Take it! Go Warriors – Your Greatest Fan

  5. Ace: Right on with all your points, Wish (maybe they do)team would read our online posts. Lot of the things you mentioned, rebounding, defense, add to it free throw shooting, desire, playing as a team, BBall coaches are teaching their players from elementary schoo on up.

    Good observation, maybe team, should rest a day or two before going up for WAC tourney, they must be practicing so intense and hard, and knowing what is on the line, they seemed burned out. Hopefully, Gib , and I think he has /is thinking of every option….You are correct to, Miah or others have to finish, or get fouled and make free throws. Offense can be tweaked, as Gib says…You could see in last nights game, it should not be one player, whether Miah, Zane or JT on his one man drives to hoop, which was good, however when it was prime time, all the guys came up short, and Idaho finished on other end.

    Still, one thing they can do, even if offense not clicking…play defense, from down low to 3 point line..Bigs gotta instill fear into guys coming into paint, these past 4 games, whether inside or outside, opposition scoring at will, guards to bigs…high shooting percentages, very high 3 point shooting rate, Hopefully team is not folding..Have to feel team has pride and will beat Utah St….at least get that last one at home, get a day or two break from intense practice, maybe shooting only, outside, especially free throws…and go all out to make it to that WAC championship game..and you know what…a lot of fans will be smiling again…just at this point , great disappointment…

    Been a fan of UH hoops for nearly 50 years, I ain’t giving up yet…see you all at White Out night!

  6. Way to call it Ace! Need to make it a team game again.

  7. If anybody wants to try and guess the All-WAC team, visit the Insider Forum section (click on the top right of this page). Need to sign in again if you don’t already have a name/password for that section.

    Free WarriorInsider t-shirt to the person who guesses closest to the actual All-WAC team.

    If anybody has a problem signing in but still want to play, send me an e-mail at dayton@warriorinsider.com

  8. Good pointers Ace. These coaches need to learn a thing or to on how to make some plays and not to only feed one person on the court. Take notes.

Leave a Response

Login or fill in the fields below to comment. (New user? Register)