Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

49ers edge Warriors in Big West thriller


LONG BEACH, Calif. – James Caffey scored 18 points, including the game-winning driving layup with 1.7 seconds remaining to lead Long Beach State to a 76-72 victory over Hawaii in a thrilling Big West Conference game on Saturday afternoon.

The Warriors trailed throughout the second half, but managed to tie the game at 72 with 1:08 remaining.

Long Beach State had possession of the ball with 13.8 seconds remaining, and Caffey weaved through the Hawai’i defense and put in a floater from just inside the key.

Brandon Jawato led the Warriors with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Vander Joaquim added 13 points and six rebounds.

Hawai’i dropped to 9-7 overall and 3-2 in the conference with its second consecutive loss on this road trip. Long Beach State improved to 8-8 and is in first place at 4-1.

The Warriors jumped to an early 14-7 lead, but the 49ers went on a 12-1 run midway through the first half to take a 35-28 advantage.

Long Beach eventually took a 43-36 lead at intermission, thanks mostly to 8-of-16 shooting from 3-point range. Peter Pappageorge and Deng Deng both came off the bench in the first half and combined to go 5 for 7 from 3-point range.

Hawai’i also went to its bench early and often, with Davis Rozitis, Ozren Pavlovic, Garrett Jefferson, Hauns Brereton and Brandon Jawato all getting minutes.

The 49ers stayed in front for the first 17 minutes of the second half. The Warriors cut it to 67-64 after a steal and layup by Jawato with just under four minutes remaining. Then Jawato tied it moments later with a 3-pointer from just in front of the Hawai’i bench.

The 49ers regained the lead on the ensuing possession on an off-balance layup by James Ennis with just under three minutes remaining.

Jawato later tied the game again at 72 with another 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining. Long Beach State had a chance to go ahead on the next possession, but Dan Jennings air-balled two free throw attempts.

Hawai’i committed a turnover on its next possession, which allowed Caffey to make his game-winning drive.

After Caffey’s final basket, Hawai’i attempted a length-of-the-court pass, but Rozitis was called for a foul. Head coach Gib Arnold argued the call and was assessed a technical – his second of the game.

Long Beach State then hit two free throws for the final margin.

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


  1. What do you fellow fans think? One thing, Hawaii played the best athletic team and pre Big West champ, LBSU, blow for blow. Even Irvine, should have won. Both games on the Road. To me: UH can win Big West regular and Tourney championship.

    Negative: keep emotions in check. Technical fouls on Gib, cost momentum, and Hawaii possibly going into half leading. Jefferson, don’t know what the heck that was, Technical causes , momentum shift again.

    Jawato, is money 3 ball guy, at home and on the road!

    Gib keep emotions in check, team great effort, come home and sweep 2 at home!

  2. Or, Gib, in his defense, wants team, and UH guys too, wanted to win so badly. Great , great effort. Listen to post game radio show, LBSU, might have huge home advantage, yet Hawaii will get them at home.

    Pavlovic, interesting, could handle ball, running offense, good job.Still have to take care ball, can’t fault effort, 2 losses, however at LBSU not a 20 pt blow out.

    Come on UH, you guys can win the Big West.!

  3. DISAPPOINTING — Still TWO Losses
    Apparently CAN Play (even on ‘Marginal’ Days) with Most Teams in Big West
    BOTH Opponents on this Road Trip picked Ahead of Hawai’i (3 & 1) — Both ‘within range’ of winning
    (As LBSU Integrates their newly eligible players they “could” get significantly better;
    AS EGOS Flare they could also get Worse,,,)

    Managed to Contain/Limit other teams’ stars
    Running the System Versus Relying on 3, 4, 5 guys like LBSU or Most Teams
    ‘might’ (should?) pay off in consistency of team performance in the Long Run…
    “Close” to Even on Turnover Margin against one of Better Teams
    Continue Reversing that Stat/Factor (Win More Often)

    ‘BETTER’ Beat these guys @ Home…
    KEEP Improving
    IF SO, Could Rise to Best
    ‘Might Already Be’ One of the Best in Conference
    Got to “Prove” this (“Display This”) by Running a Series of Wins
    Home and Road

    Criticism/Questions: What was “The Second to the Last” Play (supposed to be)?

    More Improvement: GOT TO Start Playing from Ahead (Only IF You want to Win More)

  4. I agree playhoopsa, for not playing on the road much in the preseason we’ve grown fast and played both preseason #1 and #2 in Big West Long Beach State and UC Irvine on their floors with opportunity to win both games.

    Tonights game was frustrating, I posted in the previous blog:

    Regarding free throw attempts:

    Long Beach State shot 29

    Hawaii shot 15

    and we were playing just as aggresively offensively??????????????????

    Refs really shoved this one. It was the same ref who called a technical on Jefferson and 2 techs on coach. Both should not have been called, he was looking for something.

    Our boys played well and take away the technicals and major free throw disparities we should’ve won.

    Eagle: I was sitting close to behind the bench and I don’t know why the coaches wanted to stall there at the end with the game tied and about 14 seconds difference between play clock and shot clock???

    We should’ve tried to strike. But the game wasn’t lost on just that possession, too many foul shot opportunities given to Long Beach, that was the only real difference in this game, everything else was closely matched.

    I’m still liking where we are and once we gain more confidence on the road we will be even better. We will hold ground at Stan Sheriff.

    Go Warriors to the end!

  5. kimo kahanui and Eagle,

    I guess all of us young and old fans, live and die with the Team. However, easily, UH they take care of ball, shoot well, D , run offense well, they are going to have chance to win this league. The old WAC might have, been, no, I believe is tougher, with road travel, and the Fresno St, NMSU, and La Techs,. LBSU, man, kimo you are right, eagle

    too, could have been another play, I think , and kimo you were there, maybe Jace or Davis, and Jefferson and others were getting fouled and no calls on LBSU. Still , they were within 4 pts, , without T’s, UH wins by 6 at least.

    kimo and eagle, This team , they stick together, and you can tell they listen and practice hard, they stay united, they can sweep the tourney by March. At home, at Stanley, now, I believe they start running these other BW teams out of gym. Interesting Gib still playing 10 guys, a lot of minutes, UH is preparing for post season. In past, that was

    the weakness, remember? If UH made it to tourney and semi or finals, they did not have enough athletes or guys with experience, Now, basically 10-11 Gib can count on. Well eagle and kimo, sweep this weekend into the past. UH has to win next 2 at home, then they have that weird road swing, 4 road games over 2 weeks, UH improve, keep on improving, that next road trip, they have to go 2-2, I believe they will!

  6. All good comments and I do believe we will sneak into the tourney once we get this PG situation figured out. By this I mean, we do have capable players who can take care of the rock and Gibber will figure it out. But damn, Jace was so painful to watch on that last play. I do think we should have had a better set or double screen to free up our emerging money man “Jawato”. Next time, we just need to have Jawato or Spearman or even Ozi run the point at that situation as you must be able to make a play if no option frees up and Jace just doesn’t seem to have it in him.

    We had this game and it just really hurt to see us not even get a shot off.

    I really like this team and know we can become something. I don’t blame Gib for trying different combos at this point as I think he knows this is a team that has many question marks as far as guard play but realizes the potential once it falls together.

    Just as Jawato has risen to a baller for us, I hope and pray that Roop, Ozi, Jawato, or even Jefferson finds some PG leadership.

    Still believin in this squad….

  7. Maybe 3-1 to ‘make up’ for this trip (2-2 minimum)

    Would be Great to Lock in NIT Minimum by Surpising BW and Winning Regular Season…

    Interesting How Fast and How Much More they can improve…

    Hauns showing signs of a comeback…

    Jawato Not Showing Any Signs of backing off (like Bo Barnes or even Zane) –he’s getting More Aggressive, using his speed and quickness to harass even ‘name’ guards — he’s probably a better recruit than i gave him credit for…

    Ozi still improving in ways, places and roles that people cannot accept, believe or understand…

    Davis IS Becoming a Real Beast

    i think Spearman WILL Get better at finishing drives and lay-ups; he Must Be Hitting those threes in practice to have the green light to take so many

    Manroop WILL Get Tougher (he IS a fighter) to get back on the floor …

    i suspect Christian, Vander and Jace are ALSO Actually Improving but spectators might not be able to say how

    Fotu might not have any Limits in Four Years

    i wouldn’t be too surprised if (by next year) we’re saying some of these things about Michael Harper, Aaron Valdes, Michael Thomas, Caleb & Stefan


    i Think THIS YEAR We’re gonna See Accelerating WINs…

  8. Very disappointing loss this sucks. Point guard play not improved We have no point guard on this roster. Put spearman at point. Heck tried everyone else. Both games were very winnable. Tavita dribbled too much t the last minute of play not sure what he was trying to do Does not make good decisions when game us on the line. Back to Honolulu. Warriors really need the next two here. Lets pack the house for the Warriors. You guys better show up to play no cupcakes in this conference ! Come on Guys are you suck of losing ?lets go!

  9. Tough loss. Hawaii should have pulled out the win with the possession and the game tied. Yet, the team overall played well on the road minus the last few possessions on each game. Irvine and Long Beach were two of the better teams as far as post-play and size in the paint in the Big West.

    I think we found our go-to shooter down the stretch. Brandon Jawato is as good as advertised, and we’re finally getting a glimpse of why he was getting so much praise on the scout team last year. Now only if we can get the point guards to close out games. Maybe a shake-up should be in order. Especially down the stretch in a tight game.

  10. Right on playhoopsa and eagle!

    Warriors4life pretty critical. I’m down here in Long Beach now visited with some of the guys briefly before coach called a meeting. I don’t think we’ll get to visit with the guys tonight for dinner and such.

    The last play was actually only supposed to be a high screen from Vander. Coaches called out a delay and wanted to run the play clock to about 10 sec. Problem wasn’t Jace, almost all guys collapsed bringing other LB defenders,and a foul should’ve been called as hands were hacking everywhere. I made a point earlier that the foul disparity this game was terrible.

    Either way, last two games we’ve struggled with post point production. Inside-out time we need bigs to score more. Tavita is showing more consistency and stability. Tonight he had 1 turnover. The team had 17. He also put in 5 pts and 5 assists bringing solid defensive pressure most the game.
    WARRIORS4LIFE Gibber has figured out who can control the ball and he’s playing them. That’s why Pav has been added in the mix.

    Fotu scored 6 Christian scored 6. 2nd game in a row they’ve scored low. 2nd game in a row we’ve lost. Alot of guys have been very critical of PG play and though it hasn’t always been the greatest, it is showing it hasn’t always been the problem. In fact interesting fact tonight— between the 2 PG’s Oz and Tavita there was only 1 turnover. So there’s improvement. Fact of the matter, both this game and Irvine should never come to one possession. We have consistent scoring we are good enough to be running all Big West teams off. That’s not just a hope and prayer.

    Stay on ship, this will all be coming together. Hauns is coming back. We need Fotu and Christian to stay strong. We need Brandon more Illinois game like. Jawato stay hitting importan 3’s. He’s not much a driver slasher, but as long as he is spotting he’ll hit those 3’s. We need to get Vander more and more touches. Defensive blocks are important more attack defensively on opposing team dribble penetrators. I look Pav in the point mix, wish we could slide Clair in more a 2 guard role in and out with Jawato to hit some 3’s.

    Warriors still getting poised, balanced, and it will be ready. Remember too, the only games where outcomes will actually be important for overall championship goal is Big West tournament games. Now, we play for seeding and growth.

    Warriors to the end!

  11. Jefferson and Pavlovic should be running the pg position PERIOD

  12. I know I saw Pavlovic dribbling and putting moves on his defender to create something in the lane. He’s at least got that in his arsenal which the other contenders for the pg position don’t. Jefferson also try’s to attack the basket, like Spearman does. They are aggressive

  13. Clair didn’t play at all. Why? Did I miss something? A loss is a loss. You can’t be happy. I would rather win ugly compared to lose pretty.

  14. Warriors should be mad at themselves and coaches as well for letting these games get away.

  15. Pocho- absolutely Jeff and Pav are good slashers. They attack the hoop effectively. I love the size Pav brings to the postion too. Tavita can drive aggressively he just needs to do it more often but overall he runs the system the best in order to get bigs opportunities. Being a team where we need to run the offense heavily inside Tavita does it good for what the coaches want to accomplish. Basketball eyes will tell you the same. He’s not much fun for fans. Its much different thought at this level. There’s a leadership piece you would never see that is important. I observed that tonight out by the lockers.

    Derek- Yeah Clair didn’t break a sweat. I don’t know why we can’t use his shooting ability. I think he is out of place as a point because he would be so much better coming off screens and getting scoring opportunitites than having to run a system and the team.
    Losing definitely sucks. I don’t think anyone is happy. But you didn’t see the officiating up close either. We were robbed. Sure moral victories don’t mean much but when we win the Big West this games outcome won’t either.

    Don’t worry guys, I see these guys interact all the time. Close group. This is the first year they are playing together. Too bad they weren’t all together for another year. But the championship is coming. Trust the process. Its going to all work out.

  16. kimo k.

    You ARE the Warrior Insider! Man, following team on road. Talk to coaches, pre and post game. You have better perspective than probably all of us on this forum. If you can see it, that closely, your word is gold. Yes, true basketball people, know there is so much more that goes into who starts, who gets PT, why a guy did this or that on O and D. I believe, after seeing UH just from video, the parts are coming together. I personally think this team as Gib says, has a HIGH ceiling. The climb or learning curve might have been steep from beginning, however, now the real GAMERS are coming to the fore. Interesting observation, and it should keep my opinion in check as well as a lot of other posters to this forum. This game, Christian, and Isaac, if they had their standard output, game , UH wins handily. The officiating, reminded me of the old Hawaii Homer Officiating charge of the Fabulous Five , Tom Henderson days. I just hope, the officials in the Big West Tourney give ALL the teams a fair shake. I don’t think Gib, would be that ticked off for nothing, LBSU, must have been mugging UH guys all game. not everything called. You wait, UH when they get back home are going to blow these teams back to Cali .

    What I still like about team, good young guys, students and athletes. You can tell they stick together , the 1 through 12. They are going to get better, and I would not be surprised once again, if they sneak out a Regular Season, as Eagle alluded to, championship AND a Big West Tourney Championship. We fans, and coaches and team just stay together. It is going to be a hell of a Feb and early March BWC tourney time.

    kimo. Mahalo, to the INSIDER. Your comments really give great, great perspective, you sure YOU not Gib, just joking!!

  17. And one. Comments on how Jace and Ozren took care of the ball. Jawato lights out shooter, I think he has more promise( he being only RS freshman) then recent vintage 3 ball shooters. I think J. got a steal, or leaked out and got a couple of key runout layups. This team, does not give up. Key, we all agree, get better, win the most you can, and position selves for BWC tourney championship.

    This team is not losing the 2 games by 25 or 30 pts. , everyone of the games with the Top Echelon BW teams, are super competitive and Hawaii is right there. Hey guys, keep working it. Come home, protect home court, and when back out on road, the wins will come!

  18. Bad bad coaching… again
    I like the way the program is heading but Gib needs to calm tdown also he is making a huge mistake by picking the senior that makes freshmen mistakes over the freshmen that makes freshmen mistakes…

  19. 20-20 hindsight: 14 seconds left, LBSU Big man, misses air ball FT, UH out of bounds.
    Maybe should have let Gee Jefferson, go, and take his running floater, That guy won 2 games , in last seconds over past 2 years. Oh, well. UH just keep on keeping on! Get the W’s at home. And split or better the last 7 road games, 4-3 or 5-2 or at worse 3-4,, would put in good position for seeding.

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