Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors lose regular-season finale in heartbreaking fashion

The Hawai’i basketball team closed the regular season with a heartbreaking 61-60 loss to Utah State on Saturday night.

A “Whiteout” arena of 8,192 — the largest home crowd of the season — at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Warriors drop their fifth consecutive game to finish the regular season at 15-15 overall and 6-8 in the Western Athletic Conference.

Utah State improved to 17-14 and 8-6.

The Warriors will be the No. 6 seed for next week’s WAC Tournament at Las Vegas, and will face No. 3 seed Idaho in the quarterfinals.

Morgan Grim scored on a driving layup with seven seconds remaining to give the Aggies the victory, after Hawai’i held the lead for most of the second half. There was some controversy at the end, as the game clock appeared to stop for a few seconds before starting again. The game officials, however, did not review the game’s final seconds.

The Warriors took a 60-59 lead with 37 seconds left when Joston Thomas drained one of two free throws to break a 59-all tie.

Thomas led the Warriors with 19 points and five rebounds. Miah Ostrowski added 13 points and four assists, and Zane Johnson scored 10.

Senior guards Ostrowski and Johnson were honored after the game, although the ending of the contest turned it into somewhat of a somber celebration.

Leading scorer Vander Joaquim was held to season-lows for both points (two) and rebounds (four), and fouled out with 8:57 remaining. He entered the game averaging 14.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, but was limited to 20 minutes due to foul problems.

The Warriors fell behind, 15-7, early in the game, but rallied to take a 31-29 lead at intermission. Thomas scored 11 in the first half, including a driving dunk off an assist from Ostrowski that gave the Warriors the halftime advantage.

Hawai’i increased its lead to as many as nine early in the second half, but Utah State kept it close the rest of the way.

A layup by Utah State’s Morgan Grim cut the Hawai’i lead to 57-55 with 2:24 remaining. On the ensuing possession, Hauns Brereton hit one of two free throws to give the Warriors a 58-55 advantage.

Brockeith Pane then hit a short jumper to pull the Aggies within one at 58-57, then Johnson went one of two from the free-throw line to make it 59-57 with 1:25 left.

Utah State finally caught the Warriors at 59-59 with a minute remaining on a short jumper by Preston Medlin.

More details, including video highlights and interviews, will be posted later.

(WarriorInsider.com photos by Brandon Flores)


  1. Tough loss, and on Senior Night, too. Interesting comment by Coach Sellitto on the last play: that once Pane stood up with the ball it was a traveling violation. I did not know that, so I looked it up and he’s right. Here’s the rule: “A player who dives and catches a loose ball on the floor may legally slide as far as his momentum carries him. This is not a travel. However, once he stops he may not roll over or ATTEMPT TO STAND.” UH would have had possession with at least 2 seconds to play. That being said, the game wasn’t lost there. Officiating, though, was inconsistent and affected both teams. Oh, well, on to the tournament. Good to know Warrior Insider will be there. Keep up the good work, guys.

  2. Terrible way to end the regular season. I like gib but the late season collapse is unacceptable.

  3. Missing all those free throws in the second half was major cause of the loss tonight!!! Vander was a no show, the guy is a head case , nothing in between the ears!!

  4. Yep. This was a heartbreaker. A chance to pull it out with couple of seconds left was taken away by that blown ref no call makes it even more painful. Somehow that Trevor Wiseman incident disrupted the chemistry on this team. They haven’t been playing with intensity. I hope they play to their potential in the WAC Tourney. It’s only a game but, come on, you guys represent the school, the state and don’t forget your fans who still pull for you guys to win. Be proud! Surprise us!

  5. Tough loss. Sad way to end season. Great effort, officiating not the best, however, Hauns , Joston and Zane hit one more free throw in last few minutes, Hawaii wins..

    However, team still has the WAC tourney. Hopefully Zane is better. He had flu, and it looked like he was holding his ribs(is it that injury from UNLV game?). Miah played his heart out. Without Zane and Miah, season could have ended up not even at .500. Vander , officials will not let him play, other teams get physical with him, he is in foul trouble, limited fouls out. He is non factor. Got to have better , officiating crew, let teams play. Hawaii through last part of WAC , seems like officials called games really tight with Hawaii playing…But , team tonite played hard…heck Gib cannot shoot free throws for them or rebound box out…for them..Man it looked like Miah was fouled that last play, and Brokeith looked like he traveled. that is why officials high tailed it out of arena…

    WAC tourney, get hot. win 3 , NCAA tourney bid ., everyone very happy..make it at least to championship game, guaranteed winning record finish, don’t know if they get CIT bid..but at least get opening game win..if not, well …let’s see who is coming in for next season.

    Lot of us fans, we feel the pain of loss as much as the kids…however, yes, it is only a game..hope the kids do their school work and get their degrees at least, or wherever they move on to, if that is their desire.

    Palolo Warrior: Yes, hope the boys will suprise us…maybe we don’t tune in to game, and listen or check online after..and see Hawaii wins by 10 over Idaho, next opponent, on Friday that would make things a lot better. part of a great saturday nite crowd..huge support.

    Thanks for great work this season Dayton and look forward to hopefully you covering team into Championship game!

  6. I said after the three road losses they weren’t going to win the remainder of the season. We’ve come back to the Bob Nash disaster teams. This team has no heart, no desire, it looks like they can’t wait for the season to end. Vander is retrogressing. Shaquille was “Mr. New York?” He looks like “Mr. Sand Island”. Gib is looking more like Frank Arnold. This looks like the teams Bob Nash was fired for.

  7. I think we are all dissapointed in how the regular season has ended for the team. In the previous four games before last nights loss there was definitely a lack of heart and desire. Last night, I saw our team play with heart and desire and lost a tough game. We held Utah State to 61

  8. We held Utah State to 61 points where at Utah State we gave up 77. To compare this team and coaching staff to the Nash years shows a lack of basketball acumen. Take a look at the stats: Nash’s record was 11-19, 13-17 and 10-20. The last two season’s 19-13 and currently 15-15. That’s 34 wins, it took Nash three years to get 34 wins. We have to remember that we are building a program and it isn’t done in 1 year or 2 years. The team has had a setback at the end of this season, but it isn’t the end of the world. The WAC is only getting one team in the NCAA tournament. It is a tough order for UH to get there, but it is a new season and if we can win Thursday against Idaho, which is very winable for this team, we will have made progress from last year.

  9. Palolo Warrior the Trevor Wiseman incident did not disrupt the chemistry on this team . . . there have been other unpublished incidents that you are NOT aware of and to blame it on him is unfair. The team has just collapsed and there are several reasons that the collapse can be contributed to including, fatigue, travel, disgruntled players, coaching decisions, incomplete classwork, etc.

    Missed foul shots, missed defensive assignments, missed rebounds, missed turnovers, missed calls, missed loose balls, missed, missed, missed! Get it – they just missed the opportunity! Best of luck in the WAC tournament and let’s pray they don’t miss that opportunity! Let’s go ‘Bows – we Believe in you!

  10. I agree with Manoa Baller that it makes little sense to compare the Nash years to Gib’s years, but to then go ahead and make the comparison based solely on the number of wins and losses to me shows less basketball acumen than what Manoa Baller attributes to others. Fans are looking more closely at Gib because this year’s team has regressed, when with good reason, most everyone thought the team should have improved over last season’s squad. Remember Gib returned 4 players who were starters at the end of last season, three of whom are without question among the 15 best players in the WAC. The team’s 6th man (Wiseman) also returned and a highly touted (by Gib) 7 foot redshirt became eligible. Given a terribly weakened WAC with two teams retooling with new coaches and the perennial champ practically rebuilding from scratch, this year’s Hawaii team was in as good a position as any, Nevada included, to win the WAC. This is especially true since Gib also had 6 scholarships to give in order to make the team even better. I’ll bet that at the end of last season and looking forward to this year, every coach in the WAC would have traded positions with Gib for this one season, including Nevada’s and New Mexico State’s.

    The record so far speaks for itself: 15 – 15; 13 – 15 against Division I teams; 6 – 8 and 6th place in the 8 team WAC; RPI in the 200s. Mediocre at best. Embarrassing when measured against legitimate expectations.

    Last night’s game also spoke volumes. Everybody is squawking about the refs. I was at the game and I also watched the replay at home. The officials did make a fair number of mistakes, but in no way was the officiating one-sided. For every questionable call that went USU’s way, there was another questionable call that went UH’s way. The big difference was in the coaching. Outside of Brockeith Pane, talent-wise, USU did not belong on the floor with Hawaii. Yet, as hard as Hawaii played, USU played harder, smarter and with more intelligence and poise. The played like a well coached team, and that’s why, despite being overmatched talent-wise and having a horrendous night at the free throw line, USU persevered and won the game.

    It DOES take time to rebuild a program, but it’s getting harder to keep the rose colored glasses on. Comparing Gib’s record to Nash’s record is certainly no help.

  11. Oahuan, you make some valid points and a different perspective. I didn’t state it, but my comments were pointed toward chiefgator, who decided to take some low jabs. If stats don’t matter, why list them in your post? It has been quite a while since Hawaii was a sub 100 RPI program. I agree there is still quite a ways to go for this program, and the last 5 games have been a tough pill to swallow. Maybe I am too positive, but I want to see this program succeed and from where this program was at (rock bottom) I still see improvement. If you follow the team you know that there are some redshirts that could have helped this year and Gib could have went after more JC transfers, but he instead is working on building continuity in the program with a mix of Freshman, Sophs, Juniors and Seniors. Good programs are buillt this way. I appreciate that you wanted to rebut my comment, you haven’t shown me much except a bunch of hot air.

  12. There needs to be respect between the coaches and players, and the players and the coaches. When thats established, chemestry will fall into place and the passion in the players games will jump tremendously. No passion to play= Losses. Its a matter of “want to”

  13. In 2010 Gib recruited the top 5 recruiting class in the country according to Hoop Scoop. Where are those players today?
    What has Coach Gib done to build championship program? He lost 4 out of 6 recruits to academics ineligibility and Salter, Coleman,Barnes and Brumfield left the program. I also question why the first coach he hired left the program. What has Coach Gib done to build a solid program. If Zane struggled, so does the Warriors. When Bill Amis was injured last season, the the Warriors struggled. With the Warriors talent this year, they should have won the very weak WAC.
    I don’t think Coach Gib has control of his players, Wiseman, Miles and Thomas were all suspended this season. UH is paying almost a half million dollars for an unproven coach.

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