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Warriors look to finish strong at home

With momentum now back on its side, the Hawai’i basketball team would like to ride it to the finish line.

The Warriors will play their final two home games of the regular season this week, when they host UC Santa Barbara on Thursday and Cal Poly on Saturday.

Hawai’i is 16-11 overall following its largest margin of victory this season in an 84-50 romp over Northern Arizona in a non-conference game last Saturday. The Warriors return to Big West Conference action this week, with important seeding positions for the conference tournament at stake.

“This is huge, probably the biggest week we have,” senior point guard Jace Tavita said. “We want to finish our home season off the right way, 2-0.”

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Hawai’i is currently tied for third place in the Big West at 9-6, with three regular-season games remaining. The Warriors could finish anywhere from second to seventh in the final standings.

“Everybody is within a game or two, so these last ones become even more important,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “Thursday night is the most important game of the season, then Saturday night becomes the most important game of the season.”

The Warriors regained confidence with the TKO of Northern Arizona. Hawai’i had lost its previous two games on the road, but as Arnold noted, the team is now 6-2 in its last eight games.

“Fans were awesome and I thought the team played awesome,” Arnold said. “I thought they responded and played 40 minutes – maybe our best 40 minutes of basketball, where we didn’t really have any lapses on either side of the floor, defensively or offensively.”

The Warriors already own a victory over UC Santa Barbara – a 78-73 win at Santa Barbara on January 26. The Gauchos, however, played that game without their best player, as sophomore forward Alan Williams sat out with a leg injury. He currently ranks fifth in the Big West in scoring at 17.0 points per game, and first in rebounding at 10.3.

The Gauchos have lost eight of their last nine games, and are 8-18 overall and 4-10 in conference. They are in a battle with Cal State Northridge (4-10 Big West) for the final spot in the eight-team conference tournament.

Saturday will also be the final regular-season home game for Hawai’i seniors Tavita, Hauns Brereton and Vander Joaquim. The trio of starters will be honored after Saturday’s “White-Out” game.

“It’s an emotional time, it’s a special time,” Arnold said. “It’s a night where we honor seniors and all the work they’ve done. It’s tough. There probably should be some emotions along with that game. But these guys are mature guys and I’m sure they’ll handle it just fine.”

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Here is the final edited version of the “Harlem Shake” by the Manoa Maniacs student section on “Star Wars Night” at the Stan Sheriff Center last Saturday:

10 Comments

  1. Thank you Dayton and WI, from last April 2012 till the beginning of March 2013, and the home stretch to get to a Post season tourney, part of March Madness, great video work and interviews. This site is pretty much global, You watch , next year, this site will be full on with support from across the mainland and around the earth! UH MBB whatever they are called, great effort and coaching by Gib and staff, Jamie Smith, I hope he sticks around, and gets VISA clearance to stay another season, Manoa Maniacs are enjoying MBB!

    Yes, UH MBB team, Vander, Jace, Hauns, seniors , last two home games, get the win and make it a memorable senior nite! Then go get W at Northridge. Work hard, get better and you have a shot to win BWC tournament and go to NCAA’s, Finish with 19 or 20 wins and make it to semis of finals, and even if you don’t win tourney, possible NIT or CIT bids. A lot to play for , March Madness! Don’t give up, listen to coach, keep getting better and finish season strong. You guys are a great bunch, no head cases or ego maniacs, you have support of Manoa Maniacs.
    Good job Gib, recruiting and inviting quality kids as scholarship and preferred walkons. Great Job Dayton and staff and sponsors for keep this site going . Our family, UHF and Playhoopsa(the young one) love your work. this has been a fun year, and it is not over yet! Mahalo!

    UHF and Playhoopsa say UH MBB team Vander, Hauns, Jace, Christian, Fotu, Jefferson, Clair, Harper, Ozi, Davis, Jawato and best wishes and safe healing to Brandon Spearman, finish season strong. Season is far from over, have a good final home stand.

    UH Fanzonly and Playhoopsa Ohana say thank you once again. UH MBB is fun again! Thanks Gib!

  2. Have two great home games seniors – you have done a terrific job – enjoy!!!

  3. Coach Fisher on BC This Morning:

    BC: i don’t even know if those light sabres were legal — don’t get me wrong, i love them — but i think they actually might’ve made a difference with NAU’s missed free-throws (i commented similarly Saturday Night because NAU shooters were missing left and right like they were losing their horizon or balance…)…they are really distracting…

    Coach: “We did get those light sabres approved through the athletic director all the way up to The Big West office…

    BC: Isaac Fotu has skills…that no one can stop at this level…

    Coach: we’ve had this conversation before, and Isaac realizes how good he already is and can be…When he gets that left hand working, and we’re working that now, his options will increase 100% … i’ve played against REALLY Good Big Men at all levels (including some Pro Examples) and Isaac has as good a first step as good as a lot of those guys, not many big men can spin as quickly as he can, great hands, good jump shot, and he’s putting up good numbers, but i told him “Super-Stars” don’t shoot 65%, they shoot 50% because they’re trying to score every time they touch the ball; right now he does yield to other players (teammates)…when he starts doing that he Will Be a Super-Star…his numbers are gonna go way up…

    RE: Thursday & Saturday Games: We’ve worked on the team playing with energy…IF this team shows up playing without energy & effort they’ll give anyone a chance to beat them. The Seniors realize they’ve only got two (regular season) games left on this court and they’ll show up ready…

  4. UH still has a chance to get 20 wins this season… Just need 4 more wins and it’s very attainable. I think UH sweeps the last homestand… UCSB isn’t very good and Cal Poly has been a terrible road team plus they are travelling to Hawaii on short rest as they play on Thursday.

    At Northridge will not be easy as UH has been shaky on the road and Northridge may have to win to qualify for the BWC Tournament.

    Let’s Go Bows!

  5. 20 IS A GOOD Stretch Goal — NOT That Much of A Stretch…
    JUST Keep Winning One At A Time, ONE Half at a Time…

    ? WIN ‘EM ALL ?
    and Maybe WE Get to Watch Y’All Samoa, Right Memphis?

    FOR THE RECORD — Because THIS TEAM WILL End Up BEYOND What OUR MYOPIC Fans Can “SEE” ‘Today’…
    MIGHT Even Be THIS Year… i “Pray” for THIS Season…

    Regular Team?

    6-8 Ozi, He Really hasnʻt even Gotten Started Yet…when he starts playing “Freely” he may be ʻlookinʻ like Toni Kukoc…

    6-8 Standhardinger — The BW Coaches say, “We have never seen a player like Standhardinger…”
    [Watch Out! UCSB’s Super Soph Alan Williams “might” show us a few things inside of 15 feet…
    OR WE Might Shut Him DOWN…])
    He was playing Good Credible Shut-Down defense against Russell & Rogers All Night — The UC-Davis Type players

    6-8 R-2 Fotu –HE doesnʻt even understand How Good he already is yet… much less improved as expected, FASTER Than VANDER…(he ʻshould average 12-20 next year– he can shoot all night…)

    7-0 Davis Rozitis — minute per minute best rebounder & shot-alterer? TOP of the Key (like Ozi) No Less

    6-10 Darth Vander — NOW With Range & High Percentage Accuracy to Three
    NOW that he’s enjoying the game again, expect faster improvement, even after he GRADUATES!
    (Making His MUM Proud…)…

    Numerous 6-6 to 6-3 Quick Guards, ALL with shooting range and Improving DISCIPLINE, Athleticism & Physicality…

    THIS TEAM May Be Ready to Play its BEST BALL IN MARCH…

    MARCH Starts Friday … may be Thursday Night…?

    Let’s GO ‘BOWS!

    (Rampant Rebelliousness Not In Check…)

    —————–
    COMMENTARY:
    MY BELIEF: IF Manti Teo had spent Four Years Training @ UH, he might not be As Famous (VS. First Team All-American Samoan Sackman?), BUT He Would Be TEARING Up The NFL Combines…

  6. Nice recap Eagle. I really like Fotu’s ability to maneuver underneath the basket. He has that long reach and quickness for reversals.

    Intensity for 40 minutes is going to be key in the BW tourney. In Hawaii’s blow out losses, we got out-rebounded by smaller teams and were unable to close out on shooters. I liked what I saw in the NAU game. The team didn’t let up and held NAU to only 22 points in the second half (despite having a large lead).

    UCSB will have their big man (Al Williams) back. He is a double-double machine and didn’t play in that first meeting. However, they were decimated by injuries in recent weeks. I recall they only had 6 scholarship players and a couple walkons suiting up last week. Their fifth leading scorer, Nate Garth (a New Mexico transfer), was out since February 7th. And their second leading scorer (Kyle Boswell) was out the last two games.

  7. Basically, guys have to bring it. 40 minutes. Will be nice after final buzzer if Hawaii is at 18-12 overall and 11-6 in BWC with one more to go on the road. I would be happy with that! In fact 18-12 or 19-11 was my pre season pick for final regular season finish. Have to have at least an 18 win season regular before going into BWC tourney. Then, anything can happen! 20 game winning season, BWC tourney champs and NCAA bid, or CIT, NIT bids. Guys, don’t ever take UCSB , Cal Poly or Northridge lightly, have to dominate on the glass, D up, shoot well and take care of the ball. If Hawaii ends up with 19-20 wins, and a post season tournament and parcipation in some form of March Madness, reward for Team, Gib, Maniacs, old and new fans of UH BB, Dayton and WI, The Schmidts, Ben Jay, UH and the Aloha State, Hawaii !

    Go Warriors, Rainbows, Bows, Deans, just go UH MBB team, play hard , smart and together!

  8. Sorry, I meant, 18-11 and 11-6 in BWC play before final road game at Northridge. UH gets that game on the road, then UH would be either 19-11 or at worst 18-12! Just have to bring effort, especially on the boards and defensively. Remember, good defense helps you win games, Great Defense helps you win championships, i.e. BWC tourney!

  9. Manoa Maniacs……..they’re awesome.
    Okay guys, close to money time. Now or neva.

  10. Manoa Maniacs are getting better…. The Harlem shake is getting a little stale though.

    Might be a pipe dream, but I hope one day UH can draw 1,500 students. One issue is the seats. If you look at the best student sections in college BB, the students have the best seats in the house. Gonzaga, Duke, Maryland, among others student sections are along one sideline and wrap around to behind one backboard.

    UH has them behind the backboard and a little on the corner.

    That being said, there needs to be enough students showing up to justify taking the sideline seats away from season ticket holders. UH isn’t at that point yet.

    I just heard on Vegas radio that the big game tonight is New Mexico vs San Diego St. Amazingly, New Mexico has averaged 97% of its tickets sold for the season. The Pit’s capacity is 15,411 (source: wikipedia). That’s amazing!

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