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UPDATED: Warriors hold off HPU for exhibition win

The Hawai’i basketball team took its first steps of the 2012-13 season, and as expected, they were baby steps.

The Warriors held off NCAA Division II neighbors Hawai’i Pacific, 75-67, in an exhibition game on Friday night. A crowd of nearly 5,000 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Warriors lead the game from start to finish, although the Sea Warriors made it interesting at the end.

“I liked how we stuck together, I liked how hard we played,” Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said. “We left too many points at the free throw line. When you miss 16 free throws in a game like that and we made some mistakes defensively, but we had effort.”

Junior forward Christian Standhardinger led the Warriors with 20 points and 15 rebounds. He went 3-of-4 from the free-throw line in the closing seconds to help secure the victory.

“I can just say that every night the fans can expect one thing from me, is that I give 100 percent and that I have all the hustle plays and I compete,” said Standhardinger, who sat out last season as a redshirt due to NCAA transfer rules.

Senior guard/forward Hauns Brereton added 15 points and five rebounds before fouling out with 3:11 remaining.

“I think we took a very important step today,” Brereton said. “I don’t think they took the lead at all this whole game. Of course we want to build upon that … but that’s the first step. The next step is to build leads.”

Junior guard Brandon Spearman added 11 points, and freshman forward Isaac Fotu contributed 10 points and seven rebounds. Fotu also had a crucial blocked shot in the final minute when the Warriors were protecting a 70-64 lead.

Junior guard Garrett Jefferson and freshman guard Brandon Jawato each chipped in eight points off the bench.

Hawai’i led by as many as 14 points but could never run away from the Sea Warriors. HPU got as close as four points several times in the closing minutes, including 68-64 with 1:10 remaining in the game.

Fotu’s blocked shot on a driving layup attempt by HPU guard Malte Ziegenhagen came with 33 seconds remaining. The Warriors then converted 5 of 6 free throws in the closing seconds to take the win.

“It’s probably nothing to write home about, but it’s something to definitely build from,” Arnold said. “For that, I’m pleased … I have to be happy with the effort.”

The Warriors utilized their height advantage to out-rebound HPU, 48-25. Hawai’i shot 43.9 percent from the field (while holding HPU to 37.5 percent), but shot just 2 for 12 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range and 23 of 39 (59 percent) from the free throw line.

Arnold used 11 players in the game, including five freshmen. He went with a starting lineup of Jace Tavita and Spearman at guards, Brereton and Standhardinger at forwards, and Fotu at center.

The Warriors opened the game with a 16-3 lead, but the Sea Warriors rallied to cut the deficit to 36-32 at intermission. HPU’s Michael Pierce drained a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer (although video replays indicate that the shot may have come after the horn).

Hawai’i started the second half with an 11-2 run to push the lead back up to 47-34, but the Sea Warriors kept chipping away.

Ziegenhagen led HPU with 19 points, while Marko Cukic added nine points and six rebounds. The result and statistics will not count for either team.

Hawai’i senior center Vander Joaquim – the team’s leading scorer and rebounder last season – sat out with a knee injury.

Hawai’i will open its regular season on November 9 with a home game against Maryland-Eastern Shore. It will be the first of three games in four nights in the season-opening Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic for the Warriors.

(Photos courtesy Charles Simmons)

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16 Comments

  1. Thank you. The team looked good on video. Although I was at the game, these highlights are great. I think they’ll be just fine once the team picks up the offense. HPU always seem to play us tough. It was close even last season, where we placed 5th in the WAC and had guys like Zane and Vander healthy early-on against our cross-town rival.

  2. Thanks, Dayton…

    I thought the drfense, even with five freshmen and No Vander already looked more consistent with all players trying to play defense all the time,noticeably fewer lapses…

    They’ll Make a lot of the shots they missed last night — a lot of five footers, free-thows and threes that

  3. they’ve shown they can/should hit — probably a better shooting team — fixable,,,
    ‘Roop may have earned his first “end-of-game offensive point guard credits” situationally substituted in ‘classic Gib fashion’ with ‘def

  4. defensive pg Garrett Jefferson … like Gib recently said, “…If we had a point guard with all the combined skills, we’d have an NBA point guard”…but they’re already displaying the willingness and ability to learn…GJ improving offensively and MC improving defensively…

    Good Start …hit the shots and sustain the spurts with improved defense and they’ve shown they can distance themselves … which wasn’t quite the feel/edge of last year’s game ….there’s probably “more in the tank” of this year’s team…

    [Dayton, IF can combine comments, please ..."another" new keyboard...]

  5. Jason Garrett? I guess coach Gib is concerned about the Cowgirls.

    Team looked pretty good. I am so excited for the 9th. Good luck gentlemen and everybody better make noise at the Sheriff!

  6. Jason Garrett… ha ha ha..

    One week away.. Sure beats looking ‘forward’ to watching how many points UH football gets beateb by each week..

  7. Point guard play:
    Tavita – 0-2 from the field. no points, 0-4 on the free throw line, 2 assists, 2 turnovers (a wash) 20+ minutes – assessment – not good considering he’s a senior.

    Jefferson – 8 points, 3-5 from the field, 2-5 free throw line, 1 assist, 3 turnovers, 18+ minutes – assessment – not too good because as a PG you cannot turn the ball over, and you have to hit your free throws.

    Clair, 3 points, 3-4 for the free throw line, did not take any shots from the field, 1 assist, 0 turnovers in only 5 minutes; makes 2 clutch free throws down the strech in the second half – assessment – incomplete, but I would make the case that Clair gets more playing time to see what he can do. Put it this way, I think he earned more playing time the next time. But, it’s a long season and he can grow and improve every day.

  8. Derek,

    same feeling here concerning Manroop Clair. Only a Frosh and seeing him wanting to shoot the ft’s crunch time and being Kool as a KuKumber in doing so too. We’ve read his O accomplishments pre UH and with that said he’s a scorer at heart. He’s in the game as a pg, not looking to shoot the ball yet, The Gibper’s working him. He’s got to work his D, he’ll get moved around by the bigger/better guards in the league.

    I hope Roop is still shooting 1000 shots/day in the gym

  9. Roop also had the quickest hands (to go along with a long looking wingspan — His New Coach Has established Defense as a Priority — most of his previous coaches clearly had scoring in mind — there’s No Reason he cannot develop into a decent, serviceable, maybe even good, defender … we’ll see ‘how much’ he gets pushed around — i saw Shamburger Harassing and Bodying Up, but not able to force turnovers before he declared: “they’ll be (should be?) alright…”

    Agree — i had similar thoughts …unless Game Time Jace & Jefferson show they hit 2 of 3, 3 of 4 or better in Prime Time, ‘Roop is already the Game Closing Offensive Point Guard (similar to Shaq last year); and maybe with fewer turnovers …

    Whether he gets to stay in longer or earlier is likely to depend on his abulity to disrupt/slow down the other team’s offense
    and learn to run UH’s offenses (which are not all in yet)…

    i thought ‘Roop made at least two assist-worthy passes (but teammate didn’t finish)

  10. I think Roop is the man. Give him a few more weeks to learn the system and I will bet he is the starting point. His main job is to control the flow of the game and distribute the ball effectively. But he can also be called upon to hit from the outside and penetrate when need be. And I do believe he is a clutch player (free throws down the stretch)—something you either got or you don’t. If he gives 100% effort his defense will come around. You can learn to be a good defensive player if you want it. He ain’t a stopper like Jefferson but a point that can’t make free throws spells trouble. Hope he gets more playing time.

  11. Big Thank You! Nice to see the highlights and the team working well and so hard.
    Go Warriors!
    FYI UH, Some stores in Memphis carry University of Hawaii Gear. Sitting right next to University of Memphis gear! Crazy! Warriors you have fans here in Tennessee!

  12. Maybe I could start an outlet store in Australia.

    Hauns looked like he had a really great game and he spoke well at the end of game conference – Memphis should be proud!

  13. Sure team has to correct some things on offense and D, however, they secured the win in a tight one at the end! Besides Hauns getting his 15 pts. , Christian had 20 pts, 15 reb, Isaac had 10 pts and a huge block at the end, Brandon Spearman had 11, including timely 3 to get separation at end, Jawato had 8 , and Garrett had 8..So first time in UH MBB uniform for a game, Spearman, Christian, Fotu, Jawato, and throw in D specialists Jefferson, they had a combined 57 pts, and all of that without Vander..that fellow fans is something to build on..

    When Vander healthy, take your time Van, get healed up really well..team can have some solid offensive game..have to learn offensive sets, will take time, this group I think can do it..they sure get up and down the floor much more than the last 2 years’ teams..in my opinion..

    Hey Gib, would you try Brandon Spearman at the point, strong, pretty good handles, very tough and competitive, pretty good court vision..in case you need another PG by committee, would be worth a shot..then you have Jace, Manroop, Garrett and Brandon S. to run point on O and D…lot of flexibility..

    Go Warriors..think when they get all of their Offensive sets in, they will be a good team…!!

  14. Of course guys, practice, practice , practice free throws..from player 1 though 14 ,..everyone should aim to hit at least 70%, then these close games will not be close..Yes, practice before, during and on your own time , Free throws, and conditioning , focus will win you a BWC championship or an NCAA first round game!!

  15. And kudos to Manroop, calmly hitting free throws to seal victory at the end..reminds me of how Gib brought in Shaq last year to seal the deal.. Manroop, keep on getting stronger, play D, follow coach’s directions, work on weights, eat right and do well in class, I think you will have a potentially good year…!!

    Would like to see Dyrbe and Michael H. too, not sure when, up to Gib what they decide, those to young guys are greatly appreciated by whole team , in practice they make the others better, truly outstanding team players, great human beings..true warriors!! Mahalo to the Harpers and Enos Ohana, and Aaron Valdes’ family to! What great sacrifice!!

  16. Nice win. I like what I see from Standhardinger. He’s got game. Fotu looked pretty good also. Hopefully he gets stronger. He could be awesome if he adds lower body strength. The free throw shooting is worry-some. Hopefully, it was a one game funk, otherwise poor free throw shooting will cost UH some games this year.

    Hopefully Vander will be healthy and back in before the Illinois and UNLV games. Gib will eventually need to cut his rotation to 9-10 players, otherwise continuity becomes an issue. So it’s a nice thing to have a very soft early schedule to ease this young team into D1 basketball. Hopefully the eventual rotation gets set during the Rainbow Classic.

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