Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Hurtful loss for Warriors at Pacific

STOCKTON, Calif. – Some losses hurt more than others. The Hawai’i basketball team experienced an especially hurtful one in the form of an 80-71 defeat at Pacific.

A crowd of 2,187 at the Alex G. Spanos Center watched the Tigers win the battle for second place in the Big West Conference while avenging a loss to the Warriors last month.

In addition to losing the game, the Warriors played the second half without starting guard Brandon Spearman, who suffered an ankle injury late in the first half. He left the arena on crutches, and will have his ankle examined by doctors when the team returns to Honolulu.

“It’s too early to tell; too swollen,” Arnold said of the severity of the injury. “It’s an ankle injury. Whether it’s torn or broken or sprained, we won’t know until we get it checked out by the doctors.”


The Warriors dropped to 15-11 overall and are now in fourth place in the Big West at 9-6. The Tigers improved to 15-10 and 9-4, including 7-0 at home against Big West opponents.

“It seemed like we had about a five, six-minute spurt there in the second half coming out of the locker room that we weren’t quite as bouncy as we were before,” Arnold said. “Outside of that small little stretch, I thought the guys competed all night. I told them be proud of this effort. We got beat by a good team that hasn’t lost at home.”

Christian Standhardinger returned to form with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting to lead the Hawai’i offense. He also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and had four assists, two nights after scoring a season-low six points in a loss at UC Davis.

“We were missing Brandon Spearman a lot,” Standhardinger said. “He gave us good defense and good hustle plays. He’s a very talented scorer and we had to adjust and we didn’t do that very good.”

Isaac Fotu added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, and Vander Joaquim finished with 10 points and five rebounds despite foul problems in both halves. Senior point guard Jace Tavita had nine points, eight assists and zero turnovers.

The Warriors committed just eight turnovers, and shot a respectable 44.6 percent from the field. However, Pacific shot 51.1 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Warriors, 34-29. A month ago, the Tigers went 3 for 27 from 3-point range in a 60-52 loss at Hawai’i. This time, Pacific shot an efficient 5 for 9 from beyond the arc.

“I think we did things to win the game,” Arnold said. “We kept our turnovers down to eight. We stayed together, we ran our stuff well. We had a spurt there where they scored, I think, eight straight times, which was the difference in the game. Honestly, I think that Brandon Spearman going down there late (in the first half) was kind of emotional.”

The Warriors had the lead at the end of the first half, and seemed to match the Tigers shot for shot … except for a six-minute stretch early in the second half when Pacific gained control with a 15-0 run. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Tigers’ decisive run came moments after Spearman’s injury.

“When you take a big blow like that, such a good player like Spearman, it has an emotional affect on us, and I think that’s what it did at halftime,” Fotu said.

A 3-pointer by Spearman put the Warriors ahead, 36-32, late in the first half. On the ensuing possession, Spearman went up to challenge a layup attempt by Pacific’s Lorenzo McCloud. Spearman landed awkwardly and screamed in pain as he fell to the court.

Moments later, every player in a Hawai’i uniform got up from the bench to help carry Spearman off the court. That play occurred with 1.8 seconds remaining in the first half.


“Normally, you come into the locker room up a few points on the road playing well, it’s kind of bouncy and lively,” Arnold said. “The locker room when we came in there after checking on Brandon, it was really quiet and solemn.”

Spearman emerged from the locker room early in the second half – with the aid of the crutches – and joined his teammates on the bench.

Hauns Brereton hit a jumper early in the second half to give the Warriors a 38-33 lead, but the Tigers then went on the 15-0 surge to take a 48-38 lead with 12:52 remaining.

Without Spearman, the Warriors started the second half with their big lineup, using 6-10 Joaquim, 6-8 Standhardinger and 6-8 Fotu together, alongside 6-6 Hauns Brereton and 6-4 Tavita.

“We went big again, which took us out of the defenses that we were able to run earlier,” Arnold said. “Brandon is such a good defender, too, that obviously hurt us. More than that, I thought the emotional part of it kind of drained us a little bit.”

Pacific increased the lead to as many as 12, before the Warriors cut it to seven, 61-54, with 5:47 remaining. The Tigers maintained the advantage by going 13 for 14 on free throws in the final five minutes.

Pacific went 27 for 33 (81.8 percent) on free throws for the game, while the Warriors went 15 for 23 (65.2 percent).

Travis Fulton scored a career-high 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting for the Tigers, and McCloud added 20 points (including 12 of 14 free-throw shooting) and 12 rebounds.

A week ago, the Warriors were in second place in the Big West and on a five-game winning streak. They are scheduled to return to Honolulu on Sunday and will play their next three games in the Stan Sheriff Center, starting with a non-conference game against Northern Arizona on Saturday, February 23, at 5 p.m.

“it’s going to be good to get back to the Stan Sheriff for a couple of weeks,” Arnold said. “Our goal is to get on that winning streak again and ride it as long as we can. This is the time. We took a couple of bumps on the road. That’s not uncommon. Most teams do. We just can’t drop our heads. We just gotta keep going and getting better.”

(Game photos courtesy Bryan Davis/University of the Pacific)



  1. Tough loss for the Bows. Spearman will be a massive loss because he’s their most athletic player and best on ball defender. I think UH could absorb an injury to most guys without losing much but I think Spearman and Standhardinger are the two indispensable players.

    Jefferson will likely get more minutes because of his defense but having him and Tavita on the court really hurts UH ability to score.

    It’s a good thing UH is at home the next two weeks to regroup and try and stay in the top 4 in the Big West standings. Next game is the bracket busters matchup, which won’t mean a whole lot other than morale (won’t affect BW standings and UH has no shot for NCAA at-large). At least Gib will get a chance to tinker on adjusting for Spearman’s absence.

    UH must win its last two BW home games to avoid dropping below #4 in BW. UH sits at #4 right now but have the same number of losses as Irvine and Davis, but UH has played more games. Seeds 5 thru 8 have a severe disadvantage in the Big West tourney because of the format. After Rd 1, they re-shuffle the bracket so the highest remaining seed plays the lowest remaining seed.

  2. I hope Spearman is ok. His defensive presence and all-around steadiness was sorely missed in the second half last night.

    The Big West will be a tight race from #3 to #6 down the stretch. Hawaii, by far, has the easiest remaining schedule. However, we don’t have the tie-breaker in our pocket against Pacific and Cal Poly (both teams have a win against UC Davis and all other top teams in the conference). The best we can hope for is that we win out, and Cal Poly loses at least two games. Pacific will be difficult to catch, but not impossible as they have two remaining games against UCI and one against Long Beach & CSF.

  3. Yep, I think UH needs to win the two remaining conference games to avoid a bad seeding position in the tournament. They can do it but, they need to get their heads back in the game. They got the talent……they just gotta use it.

  4. Spearman’s injury and loss, was huge last night in the Pacific game. When he was still in there, UH was up by 3 at the half. When the 2nd half started, UH starting 5, with Spearman got the lead up to 5 points. When he went down, with ankle injury, Pacific went on that 15-0 run. Bascially game over, UH could not catch up. Though UH effort was much better against the Tigers.

    My heart goes out to Brandon S. Especially if they MRI his ankle, and it proves to be a serious injury, high ankle sprain, or possible fracture, he could be done for season. Hope MRI results are good, and Brandon will be ready for BWC tourney. Wish you well Spearman, great young guy and team player!

    Once again , the optimism on this board is contagious. UH has 3 home games remaining, 2 are BWC games, 1 more road game at Northridge. UH, just for overall record, and for Gib and program , consideration for Riley Tournament the C.I.T., if the 17 win season invite is still there(?), the bracket buster game is very important, can’t lose that one. Would move Gib and team record to 16-11, Gib will have matched last year’s total wins with at minimum 4 more(including opening round game in BWC tourney), awaiting. Of course, UH has to get minimum 2 out of last 3 regular season BWC games, if the go 3-0, better yet. A Must, have to win the first round BWC tourney game. so, record wise UH would stand after a first round win, a possible,19-12 or 20-11, going into semi finals of BWC tournament.

    In the next 3 1/2 weeks still a lot of Basketball to play. Hope the guys heal up, do well in school, Brandon Spearman is okay. And coaches, scout teams really well, for possible 3rd time head to head match ups in tournament. Other teams have caught up with UH in terms of execution and scouting what Hawaii does on O and D. Now with loss of Spearman, Gib has to go to work,..when given time team and coaches, have done well in preparing, this last road trip, it is forever gone, can learn from it. Davis and Pacific are much better teams at this point then a month ago, same with Irvine, Fullerton, etc. Going to be an exciting BWC tournament in Anaheim. For those that can, get your ticket package now, a lot of Hawaii people living on the Mainland will go, especially if UH is riding a 3 or 4 game winning streak entering the first round game!

  5. Sorry, correction, Spearman got injured right before the half, UH was ahead by 3. At the start of second half, Spearman was on crutches sitting on the bench. Hauns’ jumper in first few minutes of 2nd half made it a 5 point lead , before Pacific went on that 15-0 run that put the game out of reach.

    Agreed . Spearman’s injury, especially if he has to be carried off the court, the pain he was in, and how much he means to the team on O and D, had real effect on UH no question. they tried, however they didn’t have that extra firepower and energy to get it done. I was surprised they did not fold and lose by 20 or 25, they lost by a respectable 9 pts, without a key player!

    Now, I can’t wait for N. Arizona,, a team UH can’t take lightly, UH fine tune things, play well, get a good victory, and move on to a possible sweep of final BWC regular season games.
    Hey, This Team is still on board, no head cases, they are teammates and friends, and good students, they will be okay and possible BWC tournament champs, NCAA bound, or another minor post season tourney at the worst, either, way, kudos to Gib and the team, great job this year. having to deal , even if west coast is closer, with at least 6 road trips across 2500 mi of Pacific ocean this season, no other BWC team has to do it. That is the reality, so for UH to go 3-5 on road in BWC at this point is very good!

  6. Didn’t appreciate the refs taking Vander out of the game with those completely bogus calls. Then there’s the no-calls going Pacific’s way (i.e., travelling) along with Spearman’s emotional injury right before half-time proved too much to overcome. It is what it is, and UH still has a chance to end up in 2nd. Pacific has an upcoming 4 game road trip, which I anticipate them losing 2. UH will be favored in their last 3 home games, which I fully anticipate them winning. First 20 win season in…10 years, maybe? So yeah, still pretty optimistic about the rest of the year. Tough loss with Spearman rolling his ankle, here’s hoping for a quick and healthy return. His offensive and defensive efforts will be missed, so hopefully someone steps up. GO BOWS!!

  7. Were they ripe for a couple of losses on the road after winning 5 straight? Probably. As Laura Beeman said today, winning is easy. It’s sustaining the wins that is very difficult. This Warrior team is not good enough to go on long winning streaks, especailly against good shooting teams on the road. It’s hard to figure out what the trademark of this team is. The strength is obviously our front line. We seem to have a tough time against small quick teams with good shooters. So maybe the difference is speed and shooting. Maybe the best strategy for Arnold is to slow the game down and try to keep the game in the high 50s or 60s. We cannot expect to get a lot of breaks on the road.
    Even Duke couldn’t win at Maryland yesterday. Arnold, regroup, re-energize, and rebound the next game. That’s all the team can do at this point. No sense thinking about if, if, if, and could have, should have, would have. Look only to Northern Arizona right now. Get well, Brandon Spearman.

  8. Actually, to finish out the regular season, with one game this Sat. Feb 23 2013 at SSC 500pm HST at SSC. It is a good thing, Guys get back to class, get good food, sleep well, relax, rehab, work on turning weaknesses into strengths. Truly , as we knew from beginning of season, this team would have to win by committee, no outstanding super quick athletic guys, with super hops, and anticipation, or physical monster players, from 1 through 12. What I personally appreciate about these 12 guys on the active roster? They are STILL a TEAM. They are going to battle to the end, they are not jumping off ship, or not going into game, because of some gripe with coach, or other players. They have solidarity.

    This scehdule of one game this week.
    Two BWC games next week Thursday and Friday.at home SSC.
    And Finally one final road game against Northridge, whom they started the season against at home.

    In a span of about 3 weeks, 4 games, time to rest, rehab, hit the books, maintain GPA, weight room, stretches, go to counselors, coaches start to mentor and be listening ear for freshman to seniors, during this stretch, the most important of the season. Guys, can refresh, reboot, regroup, re energize, and rebound. Hope that Brandon is okay, if he has high ankle sprain or broken foot, tough break. If he has season ending injury, Jawato, Clair, Harper, Ozi, Jefferson have to step up big time on O and D. One of those guys, have to get the 10 pt., 2 assist, 1 steal, 3 rebounds and countless huslte plays that Spearman brings. At this point, from beginning of season till his injury, I marked Brandon Spearman as impact newcomer for UH hoops., nothing spectacular, just very steady!

    The past 26 games are under your belts, the freshman are no longer freshman, almost pre sophs, they are not new to DI ball, so when a Michael Harper gets called in , he will be ready , same with Ozi, Manroop, Jawato.

    Derek: interesting, slow ball, we know that UH can run some, and finish, quite exciting stuff, however, wonder if Gib has some version of Rick Majerus’ Flex Motion, the old Wallace Offense, they run that offense, creates, elbow jumpers for bigs, bigs top of key, can hit cutters on back door plays, able to see right over defense, the wing, ala Hauns, or Jawato, would start the plays, pass the ball, crisp good passes at least 3 or 4 times before, getting the open shot. hard for smaller teams to guard, if a big team, with good passers, and ball and man movement, running offense for 20 seconds then shoot. Yes, scores would be in the fifties, UH could get a lot of offensive rebounds, Vander and Christian could get a lot of short jumpers, and lanes to drive, also give and go. Sort of an offense, if you don’t have superior quick high jumping athletes, an equalizer offense, keeps you in ball games, you run it to perfection, it is a thing of beauty, and all 5 guys, including Jace or Jefferson at the PG have open looks. They can also, run when have opportunity, not all the time. That is the key to playing in Conference tournament, it becomes a half court game. Lower scores and DEFENSE.

    Or probably, Gib runs same Offense and empasizes Defense. Their turnover margin (with exception of second half of LBSU home game at SSC) has really gone down). Take a breath guys, the fans on this forum, got your backs, get rested and ready, you can have a great finish to 2012-13 season. Anaheim is a nice place to have a Conference tournament, watch UH win the tourney and go to NCAA’s then go to Disneyland or up to Universal Studios.

    March Madness, you guys can be a part of it. Keep your heads up high, don’t ever give up. Your coach Gib and staff really loves you guys. Good kids, students and citizens, nobody accused of property damage or illicit acts. good people you all!

  9. Spearman will be out for a period of time ,this is when you separate Men from mice, step it up Vander, Jefferson, Jawato, this is the time to do it. You need to come through for the team, if you want to progress in the playoffs ,this is the time to step it up Guys!

  10. The Northern Arizona game is obviously not as important as a conference game. Maybe Arnold should start the FF. No, not the Fab Five, the Five Freshman (Fotu, Pavlovic, Jawato, Harper, and Clair) the first 3 minutes. Crowd should be excited and buzzing. Just a little change up and I think team spirit will be raised. Just thinking out of the box, but of course Arnold probably has other more important things to worry about. Priority one is to win the game.

  11. Outstanding Defense,Control Rebounds on both ends and limit turnovers= WINS

  12. Jace is playing well!

  13. the NAU game is important for getting wins. supposing Arnold wins out, he would need only one more win in the Big west tourney to get an auto extension. even if that isnt the case. having 18-19 wins looks WAY better than 17 wins if we’re trying to get into the CIT (we are, in absence of a tourney bid), which we could potentially host again.

    that game is VERY important. just as important as conference games.

  14. Need a good point guard? Well, there’s a good recruit down in Florida who averages 12 points per game, 11 assists, and 4 steals. Handles the ball like a Harlem Globetrotter, and quick as a cat. But, there’s a catch. He’s all of 4’5″ tall and 70 pounds, 11 years old in the 5th grade and plays varsity basketball for a private school. Other teams don’t want to play against this kid because he makes circles around them. He’s that good. Too bad for Hawaii, he wanst to play for John Calipari and Kentucky. The kid’s name, Julian Newman. No relation to Alfred E. Newman. What, me worry? But, we do need a very good point guard to take our team to the promised land one of those blue moons.

  15. Jefferson you gotta play like there’s no tomorrow. You’re taking over for Spearman be ready to rebound and take it strong to the basket. You need make up and score 12 PTs per game minimum. Man up and Do it!

  16. Also wanted to point out Jace’s excellent game. 9 points, 8 assists against 0 turnovers. If he could be consistent with those kind of numbers on a nightly basis, it will be hard to lose. He’s made leaps and bounds this season, hopefully he continues to improve.

  17. Every Challenge IS An Opportunity to Step Up…

    Brandon Spearman Rest & Work, HEAL UP …
    Come Back MORE Focused & Determined;

    Jefferson Jace, Jawato, Ozi & Manroop
    MAN UP, Step Up …
    Decide NOW To IMPROVE (More) the Point & Shooting Guard Positions
    (Iʻve SEEN Good Athletes Turn ON The Defensive Stopper Skills “Overnight”…
    ʻTil the Legs BURN, Then Push Through again & again ʻtil it just becomes Natural,
    Til the Opposition Gives Up & Goes Passive…)
    YOU HAVE More Depth than Anyone in This League,
    There Is Nothing to Hold Back
    ʻLeave it All on the Floorʻ

    Play Like Champions
    IT IS Within Reach
    Get it in Your Grasp & Donʻt Let it Go

    Play AS IF You need to Beat ʻEach Otherʻ
    THAT Level should be More Than Most other teams can handle….
    Can Bill Amis Strap it Up (Like Open Gym) and Rough it Up with you?
    COACH & League Got To Get these Pansy Untrained Refs in Line…
    BUT You still gotta play TOUGH
    ?Go Straight Up instead of Initiate Body Contact?
    when you encounter one of these Turkey Refs who calls All Contact Offensive
    OWN the Glass like the Number One Rebounding Team that you ARE…
    Return to Your Expected Outstanding High Percentage Shots

    PLAY HARD Against N.Arizona
    SHOW UP To Play
    SHOW Up to Dominate
    Play to Out-Hustle, Out-Rebound, Out-Defend Every One from Here On Out
    Home And AWAY

    IT IS Crunch Time
    MONEY Time
    Time for The Real Players
    Assume th Playofs have Already begun…

    WIN, Win Win, Win, Win, Win, Win Again

    We Believe You CAN
    YOU Believe You Will
    This Team Can Effort As Good as Anyone
    Then DO IT….

  18. Spearman out 2-4 weeks torn ligament in ankle. Hope he is fast healer, or gets good rehab and is back for post season play, No sense coming back to fast and reinjure. See what, trainers, doctor, therapists and Spearman’s own will and body can do. Vander with MCL damage, he is pretty much in better shape, came back pretty fast.

    This team, the other wings have to step up. I think they will. Have to go after N. Arizona. N.A. is the type of team to come in here and rout Hawaii, if warriors are not prepared. funny, it seems, like that same expression was made for a bracket buster game last year or two, I think one of the BW Cali teams came in, and all 5 starters on that team were 3 ball shooters, they couldn’t miss , and ended up beating Hawaii by double digits at the SSC . UH cannot let that happen, Guys, go to war, every game, no matter whom opponent. total effort, smart, play hard and together get the 16th win of the season!

  19. Sad news. According to BM. update on Spearman. Doctors saying his injury, to recover rehab, would take 2 to 3 months, in essence , Spearman is done for the season. Medical hardship?

    Too bad, feel for you Spearman, just work on rehabbing, maybe you are a miracle healing person. in 4 weeks, back in shape, however don’t push it, ankle injuries can be chronic for rest of life, take care, and do well in school!

    You are an ultimate Warrior!

    Now, Jawato, Jefferson, Hauns, Ozi, Harper and Clair, have to step up big time. Help Warriors to a good winning season, possible BWC tourney championship and maybe the big dance. Would make you , and Hawaii fell good, and a good feeling for Brandon S. , who feels pretty bad right now. Spearman, great team player, will be missed. Get well soon Brandon!

  20. Spearman is a true Warrior He went down fighting.
    This injury will take a while to heal He will be in a boot cast. He may need surgery. My daughter had same injury in high school BB. All players should have their ankles taped or wear ankle braces to lessen severity of this injury. Should be mandatory. Easy to roll the ankle coming down on someone’s foot.

  21. playhoopsa, say it ain’t so… torn ligaments is a big injury. 2-4 weeks will be extremely optimistic. There are different grades of tears but even moderate tears take a long time to heal.

    The good news is, and previously mentioned by a few commenters, that UH has one if the softer scheduled to finish out the season vs the other contenders from #3 thru #6 in the Big West.

  22. Spearman can’t take a medical redshirt, he’s already played too many games. He’s finished this year. He just has to rehab and get ready for his final senior year next year. Tough deal.

    Jawato and Clair will have to fill Spearman’s shooting guard spot. Pavlovic will have to spell Hauns.
    Jefferson will spell Tavita and if needed Clair too. Fotu and Davis will sub for Christian and Vander.
    Harper will be available in an emergency. So I think the team will be okay and the depth is fine. The guys filling the spots will just have to step it up and make shots and get stops. It will be a team effort and I think the team will get closer. The 3 freshman Jawato, Ozi, and Manroop will have the chance to make a very big difference. At least one of them will have to score double digits or all of them will have to average 6 to 8 points per game from here on out. Good luck guys. Go Warriors!

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