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UPDATED: Warriors beat Hawks in season opener, 76-64

The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team officially opened its 2012-13 season at 7:09 p.m. Friday night with a myriad of questions.

Two hours later, many of those questions got answered in a positive way, to the delight of head coach Gib Arnold and 5,674 fans at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Christian Standhardinger poured in a game-high 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds in his official UH debut and Hauns Brereton scored 20 of his career-high 24 points in the first half as the Warriors defeated Maryland-Eastern Shore, 76-64, on the first day of the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic.

For openers, here is a quick Q & A:

Q: Who will fill the void left by the graduation of Zane Johnson, who holds the school’s career 3-point goal record (180)?

A: Brereton, a 6-foot-6 senior small forward, wasted no time answering that one, opening the night with three straight 3-pointers and scoring the team’s first 11 points to help Hawai’i lead from tipoff to final horn. He finished the first half a torrid 8 of 11 from the field (73 percent), including 4 of 7 (57 percent) from beyond the arc as the Warriors took a 39-29 lead into the locker room.

“The ball just went in,” said Brereton, who spent about half of last season coming off the bench. “I was surprised the ball kept coming my way. Jace (Tavita) was the one who fed me the ball, after the first one (54 seconds into the game) he knew I was hot, so the ball would be on the way when I turned and he was already telling me, ‘Shoot it!’ ”

Which leads to the next question …

Q: Who will fill the void left by point guard Miah Ostrowski, who completed his basketball eligibility after finishing last season ranked sixth in the nation in assists per game (7.0)?

A: Tavita, a 6-4 senior who started 23 career games at Utah before transferring in late 2010 and redshirting last season, finished with nine assists, including six in the first half.

“He didn’t score a single point, but he created well over 20, and that’s what he does,” Arnold said. “Our job is to play to Jace’s strength, and he’s a big, strong point guard with really good vision.”

The team finished with 19 assists, which leads to the next question …

Q: With so many new players, how will this team jell?

A: Arnold and the players have talked much about team chemistry, and it being a strength so far. That was evident in an overall smooth-running offense which featured several nifty passes not just from Tavita but from veterans Brereton and center Vander Joaquim and also newcomers Standhardinger, Brandon Spearman and Isaac Fotu.

“We feel real comfortable with each other,” Brereton said. “Give credit to the coaches for getting us into the right places, and it’s only going up from here. This was only Game 1.”

Standhardinger said the players have mutual respect and support.

“With some teams, there will be one turnover and they get angry with each other, but that’s not how our team is,” he said.

Arnold called this team “very unselfish,” and it was reflected in their play Friday.

“I do see that in this group, they do like playing with each other,” Arnold said. “And it will only get better as their roles evolve. As coaches, we need to give them confidence and play to their strengths.”

Speaking of strength …

Q: What is the status of All-Conference center Vander Joaquim, who tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee in late September and sat out last week’s exhibition vs. Hawai’i Pacific?

A: Joaquim, a 6-10 senior, entered the game with 13:26 remaining in the first half to appreciative applause and ended up scoring 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 19 minutes of work.

“That was really, really good to see,” Arnold said. “For him to play 19 minutes and almost get a double-double … I was really happy about that.”

In a related matter …

Q: What can fans expect from front-line newcomers Fotu and Standhardinger?

A: Fotu, a sturdy but smooth 6-8 true freshman forward from Auckland, New Zealand, made his college debut grabbing a game-high 15 rebounds, including 12 on the defensive glass. Standhardinger, a 6-8 junior who redshirted last season after transferring from Nebraska, scored 16 of his points in the second half, including 10 in the final 3:25.

Hawai’i led, 68-51, after Standhardinger’s putback with 3:25 remaining, but the Shore Hawks later closed it to 68-60 after Ishaq Pitt’s putback with 1:35 left. Standhardinger then made three of four free throws and sealed the victory with a three-point play to put the Warriors ahead, 74-61, with 43.7 seconds remaining.

He finished 10 of 15 from the field (66 percent) and 7 of 9 (78 percent) from the line.

“I’m happy Coach had faith in me and subbed me in (with five minutes left), and I knew we worked too hard for that lead, they (the Shore Hawks) were not going to take this game from us,” Standhardinger said. “I’m going to give those minutes and go as hard as I can.”

Arnold said Standhardinger’s non-stop motor is something fans can count on seeing on a regular basis.

“I don’t expect him to score 27 points every night, but I expect to see that same kind of effort every night and I expect him to be close to 10 rebounds every night because of that effort,” Arnold said.

Yet another question after the 75-67 exhibition victory over HPU was free throws — UH made just 23 of 39 attempts (59 percent) that night. But against Maryland-Eastern Shore, the Warriors were a healthy 18 of 25 (72 percent).

There are sure to be more questions as the season progresses, starting with Sunday’s 5 p.m. home game vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

But the Warriors seem eager to answer them.

“I’m really pleased with tonight’s effort, everybody contributed, and the by-product is a win,” Arnold said. “It was fun and good for this team … coming in and not really knowing what we have, I thought we did a lot of things pretty well. We took good shots on offense, and we got the ball out and were able to run, which is what we want to do this year.

“So overall, I’m pleased and happy. I really, really like this team, and with the effort they give, they deserve to have success.”

Standhardinger said the Warriors already know the formula for that success.

“Winning and playing as a team — that’s what college basketball is all about,” he said.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff is 0-1 after a 72-68 loss to Houston Baptist in the first game of the Rainbow Classic.

(Game photos courtesy Charles Simmons)

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14 Comments

  1. The team played unselfish ball and it certainly showed in the highlights. They’ll only get better and better as the season progresses. Credit to UMES for fighting all the way till the end — we had an 18 point lead with 3 minutes remaining, but they made a nice run.

  2. Some of us think Last Year’s Team would have struggled (most of the game) with UMES…
    OR Might not have withstood the Blitz

    Re-Watched the whole game (after seeing it Live)… a lot of the highlights were very good high-skill plays (just like all those open gym highlights we’ve been watching)… this Team is Very Watchable … even when UMES mounted their blitz/comeback (Nice, Shutdown Christian, Warriors!)… They ‘could’ lose one or two this way — Coach expected early season turnovers… BUT they will get better at passing and taking care of the ball, daggering free-throws…because they listen, learn, internalize and incorporate skills (good students, smart players)…

    …and definitely unselfish — a number of the assists were made after the shooter/passer had already begun their move/shot toward the basket.; also like the ‘humbleness’ and appreciation of teammates’ efforts With Confidence — Nice Combination without Arrogance — and it sounds pretty sincere — no one is celebrating/reveling in themselves ahead of TEAM… and they understand how to communicate — say it, get it across: “If you call for it you better shoot it” (don’t hesitate); then don’t get or stay ‘mad’ at your teammate…

    SO MUCH Better (than the two-hour version) to review these highlights…
    Thanks Dayton, Wes, Sponsors & Co.

  3. i like that they run after every defensive rebound or made basket but dislike jefferson at point and also tavita will struggle….would like to see ozren and clair get more minutes and we know we got shooters but you seen that being only a spot up shooter can hurt

  4. Jace’s 9/4, Nine Assists is pretty effective (esp. ‘cos several good passes weren’t converted), Four Turnovers Marginal;

    BUT Better than ‘Roop’s 0/2 and Jefferson’s 1/3…Spearman’s 3/2 is o.k., esp With Ten Points…

    KEEP Improving !

  5. I was impressed with the front line. Brereton and Spearman gave points from the wings.
    PGs weren’t pretty. No points from the field. Did you see Tavita’s 2 missed free throws. Dreadful, hardly touched the rim. 3 point attempt wasn’t even close either. Jefferson and Clair didn’t have meaningful minutes that we can really give an honest true assessment of their play. Overall, PG situatiion to me is still a big question. You have to get some point production. In tight games, the PGs will probably have the ball in their hands and get fouled a lot. You gotta knock down those shots. For sure, you will have these situations against better competition and in the Big West. Now is the time to experiment in the early going to see if Jefferson and Clair can do better with more minutes. Tavita is a senior, the others are the future so let see what they can do. That’s my take.

  6. Sunday’s Game Facts

    Hawai’i (1-0) vs. Arkansas Pine-Bluff (0-1)
    When: Sunday, Nov. 11, 5 p.m. start
    Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, HI
    Television: Live statewide on OCSports Pay Per View (channel 255)
    Streaming Video: Live video streaming available at ocsports.tv.
    Radio: ESPN 1420 AM will carry the game live. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona, and KTOH on Kaua’i.
    Audio Webcast: Live audio streaming on espn1420am.com
    Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com
    Ticket Information: $26 (lower); $18 (upper-adult); $16 (upper-sr. citizen); $5 (upper-youth, ages 4-HS); UH Manoa students free with validated ID. Parking $6.
    Promotions: Outrigger Hotels and Resorts will distribute 1,000 reusable tote bags and award up to $2,000 in the “Shoot for Loot” halftime promotion at each UH game. It’s also “Make A Sign Night” and fans are encouraged to make signs to support the team.

  7. Hello to all fans

    Eagle, please help..

    Josh

    1.Hey Warrior fans around the world. looks like Friday’s game will be streamed for FREE.
    https://secure.oceanic.com/Streaming/

    I open the link but I can not run, can someone tell me what the problem is…..

  8. Ozi Mum,

    Zdravo & aloha!

    I was able to watch Friday’s game via that UH Athletics link (thanks, Josh!) with no problem, but you won’t see anything today until the game (or the pre-game programming) has actually started.

    Between games, it will just appear blank.

    Good luck!

  9. I listened to the radio live (ESPN 1420 AM), and I knew that the game started
    but it was a black screen

    We woke up early in the morning excited to watch but nothing, maybe tonight we can

    Thank Dayton Morinaga
    for everything that you prepare so we can read and watch

  10. aloha again

    guys look great in highlights
    real team play……when you watch a match you can feel the chemistry…it’s so nice

    to me they were all perfect for the first match ,,,,,I’m sure everyone will become better and better

    good luck tonight!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. From one Aussie Mum to another Ozi Mum – welcome!

    I agree with all your comments – continuous improvement and team chemistry – I think we are seeing both and that can only be a good thing.

    Also agree that Dayton’s highlight videos are awesome – much better than the live streaming. I went through the UH Athletics site to view the game. But I am sure that all our Warrior Insider friends will help if you post something.

    GO WARRIORS!!!

  12. Ozi & Aussie Mums, Kepola, Josh,

    Link looks Live from here (for now)

    GLAD you had the Radio Streaming & Highlights in the meantime;
    Will monitor later (one hour before gametime)

    With so much help, we’ll get it all working…

    There is no Greater Gift than Mums!

    What a Good to Great Start and Better to Come!

  13. Welcome Ozi mum and G’Day Aussie mum and big Kiaora from the land of the LONG WHITE CLOUD, Atearoa, New Zealand. We watched the live stats and listen to Radio, and agreed with awesome highlight from Dayton, better than the ones on UH Athletic sites.
    Looking forward for the second game tonight and also ESPN game on Tuesday night (Auckland).

    GO THE MIGHTY WARRIORS!!!

  14. Play with lots of energy tonite, guys.

    GO WARRIORS!!!

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