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Warriors make it three for the road with win at Fullerton

University of Hawaii SPORTS

It was “Homecoming Night” for Cal State Fullerton, but it is the Hawai’i basketball team that will be coming home with the glory after a 77-75 win on Saturday night.

A near-capacity crowd of 3,978 at Titan Gym in Fullerton, Calif., left in disappointment as the visiting Warriors rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half and took control in the crucial final four minutes of the game.

Hawai’i improved to 13-9 overall and remained in third place in the Big West Conference at 7-4. It is the first time since the 2003-04 season that the Warriors have won three consecutive road games. Fullerton dropped to 11-11 and is in seventh in the Big West at 4-6 – which includes two losses to Hawai’i.

“This team is starting to believe in themselves, which is a real treat,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “You don’t win tight games like that if you don’t have belief and toughness.

“This group is coming together at the right time and we’re getting better every week and guys are producing and guys are appreciating their roles.”

Five Warriors scored double-figure points, led once again by Christian Standhardinger. The 6-foot-8 junior forward finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. He shot 7 of 13 from the field, and also had four steals. During the three-game road-winning streak, Standhardinger averaged 24.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.

Senior center Vander Joaquim added a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. He scored 13 points in the second half, including 4 for 4 shooting from the free-throw line in the final 2:06 to help the Warriors preserve the lead.

University of Hawaii SPORTS

Hauns Brereton and Isaac Fotu added 13 points each, and Brandon Spearman scored 11. Senior point guard Jace Tavita contributed seven assists and made his only shot attempt of the game – a driving dunk midway through the second half.

Brereton’s 3-pointer with 3:28 remaining gave the Warriors the lead for good at 65-64, and Spearman drained another 3 moments later to put Hawai’i in control.

The Warriors trailed by 12 early in the second half, and were down by 10 (62-52) with just over eight minutes remaining in the game.

“Big, big 3,” Arnold said of Brereton’s go-ahead shot. “That puts us up one, and all of a sudden (the Titans) go from leading big to down one, and our momentum was strong, our confidence was strong, and I think they were a bit staggered there.”

The Titans cut the Hawai’i lead to 72-71 with 1:18 remaining, but Joaquim responded with two free throws to put the Warriors up by three. Two more free throws by Joaquim with six seconds remaining gave the Warriors a 77-72 lead.

Fullerton’s D.J. Seeley hit a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining to make the final score 77-75. Brereton missed two free throws with 1.1 seconds left, and Fullerton’s desperation heave at the buzzer was not even close.

University of Hawaii SPORTS

“This is starting to be a lot of fun, these games,” Arnold said. “That’s why we do this … packed house, homecoming, big time environment, and gosh how many times can I say it? How pleased am I with this young group? They are playing their hearts out, not giving up and making plays down the stretch – big plays.”

Arnold was quick to note that one of the biggest plays came from junior guard Garrett Jefferson, who drew a charging foul on Fullerton’s Kwame Vaughn in the final minute that allowed the Warriors to maintain momentum. “Maybe the biggest play (of the game) right there,” Arnold said.

The first half featured an exchange of streaks. The Titans raced to an early 13-6 lead, but the Warriors eventually tied it at 17.

Brereton hit two 3-pointers during a 12-4 Hawai’i surge that gave the Warriors a 33-23 lead with 4:10 remaining in the first half. However, the Titans closed the half with a 16-2 run to regain the lead at halftime, 39-35.

Fullerton then opened the second half with a 7-2 run to increase the lead to 46-37. The Titans pushed the lead up to 12 (53-41) before the Warriors started their rally.

University of Hawaii SPORTS

Arnold said he told his team early in the second half: “We’re OK. We’re going to weather this storm. Runs are part of the road. They’re going to hit some shots … we changed our defense up and it slowed them down a little bit.”

The Warriors played man-to-man defense for much of the game, but switched to a two-three zone in the second half.

The Warriors shot 48.1 percent from the field while the Titans shot 44.1 percent. Fullerton out-rebounded the taller Warriors, 38-33, but Hawaii committed just 13 turnovers to Fullerton’s 14.

Kwame Vaughn led the Titans with 19 points, and D.J. Seeley added 18. They combined to shoot 3 of 12 from 3-point range as Fullerton shot just 26.1 percent from 3-point range as a team.

The Warriors are scheduled to return to Honolulu on Sunday and will play two home games next week. They will host first-place Long Beach State on Thursday, then UC Irvine on Saturday.

BOX SCORE

(Game photos courtesy Warren Haraki)

18 Comments

  1. Great job Chicago loving this. Always keep the faith and keep the W’s coming. Go warriors!!!

  2. Great job team! Keep up the good work! Want to know what the scoops are for the Thursday home game? Check out University of Hawaii Men’s Basketball Facebook page! They have so much planned for the WELCOME BACK HOME game!

  3. Great important victory to stay among the first

    Congratulations guys and coaches that they managed to find a way to win
    I wish everyone a good time tonight
    have a nice trip

  4. Great win guys! Effort, Energy, Attitude and WINNERS! Keep it up and keep on winning. It seems like, MBB, WBB, MVB, all playing with GREAT heart and will!

    Good job Coach Gib and staff, and the entire team. Way to go Seniors and Jr.s and fantastic freshman!

  5. Good to hear shout out from Chicago! Warrior Nation, across the nation and globe!!

  6. Last nights win is a monster win for several reasons:
    1. First 3 game road win streak in about 9 years
    2. UH gains separation in the #3 seed in Big West standings and stays in touch with #2
    3. Gigantic confidence booster because UH came back from big deficits and played solid in crunch time.

    I would say that the most impressive aspect that I’ve seen in the road win streak is how well Gib Arnold took command of this team after the embarrassing loss at Cal Poly. He’s tightened his rotation down to 7 guys. Last nights game had 8 players over 10 min, but that was expected because most people knew Jefferson’s defense was going to be needed. Jefferson delivered and slowed Seely down in the 2nd half.

    Gib did use a lot of timeouts early in the 2nd half, but saved the last one for a critical situation late in the game… With 2 seconds left, UH’s lead was just cut to 2, UH was trying to inbound the ball and was having problems. Gib was able to call his last timeout before the 5sec violation. I honestly thought UH had turned the ball over when the whistle blew because it was right at 5 seconds. The timeout eventually secured the win as UH was able to inbound on the reset.

    Gib also made very good use of his situational subs late in the game. He’s really made strides in his coaching ability the last 3 games.

    Also… Standhardinger continued his aggressive play and had another very good game. He’s become UH’s best offensive option as he’s the most aggressive and not afraid of drawing contact.

    Vander’s play has been frustrating, seemed like he missed the bus to the arena. He was a complete non-factor for most of the game (2pts and zero FT attempts at half), but he did knock down some late free throws.

    All in all, and road win is a great win, Getting 3 of 4 on this stretch is huge going forward. UP NEXT: The Beach and Irvine at the SSC. Very winnable games as UH could have beaten both teams on the road in their first matchup.

  7. Way to go Warriors!..thas what im talkin about…3 an 1 on the road for the cardiac kids!..

  8. Coach made some great adjustments down the stretch in all three road games. Much credit goes to him for his game and personnel management. In each of his three years, he always got his teams to bounce back and overcome adversity from near monumental road collapses. Anyhow, it’s going to be a fun week with LBSU and UCI flying over to Honolulu. Looking forward toThursday.

  9. Awesome. Pack the Stanley this week student power needed ! Come on Maniacs ,6 th man ,Your team needs you in force and Loud! It’s going to get crazy!

  10. You guys did us proud! Terrific road trip. Keep up the energy. See you guys back home at the Stan Sheriff.
    Go Warriors!!!

  11. Well done Warriors, you certainly played like Warriors to get these Ws. Looking forward to the next two games. It will be rocking at the SSC!!!

    We will shouting out from Aotearoa once again!!! Stay healthy and get ready for another rollercoaster ride!!!

    C’mon Manoa Maniacs lets all get there and bring the team home.!!!

  12. Congratulations Warriors – play hard for Thursday

  13. Well balanced scoring from our top five scorers. Everyone is starting to settle down with their roles and playing in a comfortable rhythm. The only thing that they need to improve on is maintaining their composure throughout the game and not always have to fight and claw their way back. But this team knows how to win and whatever shortcomings they have in the first half they make up for it down the stretch. I’ll bet on this horse.

  14. Upon a night that the Warriors turned steelers by a winning margin of 8-5 stls, beating the host on their Homecoming Night and, got bels4 motivated to posts
    for the 1st time (welcome to the Spearman fan club!) expressing “Great job Chicgo loving this. Always keep the faith and keep the W’s coming.” Yes, all our Warriors fans loving this with you! >> The ‘Spearmint ~ Super refreshing’: Your follow-up-3 to the former King of the Beach’s shot beyong the arc came to form, resulted as the last nail.. to their interim coach’s stall tactic => stratigical error, which disrupted their own game plays; Reenforcing our finishing-them-up momentum, to accomplished the signature task on hand (We appreciate the helping hands)!

    Give credit to where credit is dued ~ This is a synergy in it’s best => TOTAL TEAMWORK EXECUTION. (TEAM mean coaches included);
    The Counter now indicating 2-0. How sweet & lovely is that???

    Hours earlier, the Wahine (our lovely women basketball TEAM) who has given their Coach the 400th Career head coaching victory, simply by winning on the Free Throwline on the road too (ft-a ~ 25/31 for 81% vs 11/17 for 65% => a 14pts diferential. If both discounted that free stat => 40-42 Wahine loss).
    Coach Beeman good humorously said “Now I’m chasing five”. Personnally, I’m carelessly optimisticly wishing that she says “Now I’m chasing five hundred more wins at Hawaii”! (And, that the same hope goes to Coach Arnold as well!).

  15. Yes, Vander seems to have harder time getting off to good start, in second half, he comes around. Fotu is a beast in last few minutes!

    Quote form warrior insider above(Vander still had impact on win):

    “Senior center Vander Joaquim added a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. He scored 13 points in the second half, including 4 for 4 shooting from the free-throw line in the final 2:06 to help the Warriors preserve the lead.” WI

  16. Great game by the players and game management by Gib. I can’t help but think that Vander is still bothered by or doesn’t have confidence in his knee. He just doesn’t move like he used to.

  17. A Big Congrats to the UH Men and Women’s Basketball Teams for the Wins last night! Way to represent!

  18. Big West TV reports that Standhardinger won Player of the Week accolade by connected at a 55.2% (16/29) and 9.0 rebounds plus 2.0 steals per game (an outstanding 4 stls against Cal State Fullerton).
    OTHERS NOMINATED:
    >> Josh Greene of Cal State Northridge;
    >> James Ennis of Long Beach State;
    >> Adam Folker of UC Irvine;
    >> Lorenzo McCloud of Pacific.

    Congrats Christian,
    Warriors fans are very proud of you!
    You are the MVP for the record breaking Consecutive Three Road Wins!

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