UPDATED: Hurricanes blow past Warriors in second half
The Hawai’i basketball team will have to rewrite its Christmas wish list as a result of a 73-58 loss to Miami (FL) on the opening night of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
The best the Warriors can do now in the eight-team tournament is to win the consolation title, which they have done each of the past two years.
Hawai’i will play East Tennessee State in a consolation game on Sunday at 4 p.m. (see full schedule below).
For one half, the Warriors looked like they could withstand the force of the Hurricanes, but the second half turned into a different story. Miami opened the second half with a 14-3 run to break open what was a close game in the first half.
“That was a team that may be the biggest team we’ll ever play this year,” Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said. “We did some nice things, I felt, with changing defenses and kind of caught them off guard, especially in that first half. I thought our guys played with a lot of heart, but those bodies kind of wore us down in that second half.”
A season-high crowd of 8,210 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Warriors drop to 5-4 with their biggest margin of loss this season. The Hurricanes improved to 8-1 with their seventh consecutive victory.
Several of the Hawai’i starters struggled, but the bench responded with 33 of the team’s 58 points. Redshirt freshman Brandon Jawato led the way with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.
“Honestly, I thought we came out playing kind of scared,” Jawato said. “We didn’t come out with the intensity on both sides, on offense and defense.”
Jawato, who did not score a single point in the team’s first seven games of this season, has scored 22 points off the bench in the last two games. He was the only Hawai’i player to reach double-figure points against the Hurricanes.
Fellow reserve Davis Rozitis contributed eight points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field, including three dunks.
“I think the first half when we couldn’t hit our shots, then second half we were a little scared that we would keep missing,” Rozitis said. “But we just have to keep shooting and keep screening to get our teammates open and anything can happen.”
Senior center Vander Joaquim finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Junior forward Christian Standhardinger, who entered the game averaging team-highs of 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, finished with seven points and five boards.
“The game plan going in was we wanted to try to get to their legs and try to rebound and run,” Arnold said. “When we can do that, we’re pretty good. They traditionally don’t play a lot of guys, so we figured that could be to our advantage if we could go to our bench … but they didn’t tire. Those guys were able to play big minutes, and it didn’t seem to affect them. Those guys are high-level athletes. It was pretty impressive to see those guys play that hard for that long.”
Durand Scott, a 6-foot-5 wing, scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half to lead Miami. He went 4 of 5 from 3-point range in the second half, including three 3s during a two-minute stretch early in the second half that broke the game open.
“I’ve watched every single one of their games this year and I’ve never seen him shoot it even close like that where he’s hitting it from 25 feet and out,” Arnold said. “Give him credit, I thought he stepped up and had a big game when they were struggling a little bit offensively and I thought our defensive schemes were pretty good.”
The Warriors actually had a 21-19 lead late in the first half, but the Hurricanes eventually took a 22-21 lead into the locker room at halftime. Miami then scored the first six points of the second half and quickly pulled away from the Warriors.
The Hurricanes’ 14-3 surge to open the second half gave them a 36-24 lead, and the Warriors never challenged after that. Miami led by as many as 25 points before the reserves for both teams finished the game.
Hawai’i shot just 28.6 percent from the field in the first half, and 40.0 percent for the game. Miami shot 48.2 percent from the field for the game – the best by a Hawaii opponent this year – including 63.0 percent in the decisive second half.
Miami played without starting center Reggie Johnson, who injured his thumb in practice during the week. His replacement in the starting lineup was 6-10 senior Julian Gamble, and he finished with the best game of his career with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Hawai’i senior point guard Jace Tavita did not start due to disciplinary reasons, but he played 24 minutes and contributed four assists.
(Photos courtesy Brandon Flores)
Indiana State 87, Mississippi 85 (OT)
No. 18 San Diego State 80, San Francisco 58
No. 4 Arizona 73, East Tennessee State 53
Miami 73, Hawaii 58
10 a.m. – Mississippi vs. San Francisco
Noon – Indiana State vs. No. 4 Arizona
4 p.m. – Hawai’i vs. East Tennessee State
6:30 p.m. – No. 4 Arizona vs. Miami
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Six of the eight teams for the 2013 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic have been named: Hawai’i, George Mason, Iowa State, Oregon State, Saint Mary’s and South Carolina. Two more teams are needed to complete the field.