Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Hawai’i grinds out 78-68 win over Western Michigan


The University of Hawai’i basketball team proved its point in a 78-68 victory over Western Michigan on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Led by point guards Keith Shamburger and Quincy Smith, the Warriors improved to 2-0 by grinding out the win over a patient Broncos team that tried to slow the pace.

“I thought a lot of guys stepped up – I thought both our point guards, Keith in particular, had a big night and kept us in that first half,” Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said. “And then Quincy did a nice job that second half and put a lot of pressure on them … it makes it really nice when you got two guys out there you can really rely on when it gets tough.”

Shamburger finished with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists while playing all 40 minutes. He scored 13 during a four-minute stretch to close the first half, helping the Warriors erase a six-point deficit. Smith came off the bench to score 13 points, all in the second half.

Hawai’i (2-0) is now the only unbeaten team among the four in the season-opening Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic. The Warriors will play for the tournament title on early Tuesday morning against New Mexico State.

“We got a good team, we got all positions that can grind it out, slow or fast,” Smith said.


Senior forward Christian Standhardinger contributed 17 points and four rebounds, and sophomore forward Isaac Fotu had 14 points and 10 rebounds to help lead the Warriors to a 36-22 advantage on the boards.

Western Michigan controlled the pace early in the first half, and built a 27-21 lead with 4:02 remaining in the first half. Shamburger then took control, draining three 3-pointers during the final 3:36 of the half, including a 3 from the top of the key just before the halftime horn sounded, giving the Warriors a 39-36 advantage at intermission.

“It just felt good, shots finally started falling,” Shamburger said. “The team looked for me to make those kind of shots and they came up big today.”

With the game still in the balance in the second half, Shamburger and Smith played in the backcourt together. The teams exchanged the lead four times in the second half, but the Warriors took control for good with a 10-1 surge that gave them a 68-57 lead with 6:10 remaining.

Smith scored five points during that surge on a 3-pointer and a fast-break layup off a pinpoint pass from Shamburger. Only a few days ago, Smith was considered questionable to play this weekend due to a sore lower back.


“I just wanted to go out there and be aggressive, play for my team,” Smith said. “The second half, I just said I’m going to go out there and play until it starts hurting. I had so much adrenaline and I was pumped up to play that it didn’t hurt at all.”

Arnold said: “I felt that second half we were able to play more to our liking and keep the tempo going. I think we got to their legs with our press. Even though we didn’t have a lot of turnovers, I think it bothered them.”

Western Michigan committed just 11 turnovers (Hawai’i had 13), and the Warriors collected just two steals, but Broncos head coach Steve Hawkins said the relentless pressure of the Hawai’i defense made a difference.

“(Shamburger) is a heck of guard, and he can make you pay if you don’t get back,” Hawkins said. “Or if you do get back and give him a little space, he shoots the 3 well. They just kept coming and kept coming and kept coming, and eventually we ran out of gas and missed some shots.”

Western Michigan (1-1) shot 54.2 percent from the field in the first half, but just 30.4 percent in the second half. Kellen McCormick and David Brown each scored 14 points to lead the Broncos.


The Warriors also went 23 for 29 from the free-throw line, including 8 for 8 by Shamburger.

“How nice is that to have a point guard that at the end of the game wants the ball and wants to get fouled,” Arnold said. “As a coach that makes me sleep a lot better at night knowing he’s going to have that ball. I played him 40 minutes tonight, I don’t like to do that. I think that’s a little too much for anybody, but he’s a warrior and he handled it really well.”

The Rainbow Classic will take Sunday off, then will resume on Monday. Western Michigan will play Tennessee State at 2 p.m., then Hawai’i will face New Mexico State at midnight.


(Game photos courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)



  1. Nice Indeed

    OUR Guards “Look” so ʻLittleʻ
    Small, Size Disadvantaged (Compared to Miami or Illinoisʻ Backcourts Last Year)
    BUT Man Can They Ball…

    As we see this Level of Performance ʻEach Gameʻ from Two or Three of Our First Four Guards, AND
    Two or Three of Our First Four or Five Front Liners…
    Weʻll Come to Expect This Team to Distance itself from their Harried and Fatigued Opposition,
    (30 First Night, 10 the Second, iʻll Take 10 to 30 point Margin of VICTORY Wins Any Night;-}
    Two out of Three or Four out of Five Nights?

    Maybe, Sometimes, Three out of Three? Tuesday Morning…


    When we get to Next Week:

    Maybe Even On The Road?

    Worst That Happens (Avoiding Injury)
    Theyʻll Learn Early What it Takes to Travel Two to Five Time Zones Eastward (The Harder Direction)
    And Still Muster The Focus and Energy to Play Respectable, OR even Winning Ball…

  2. Great win vs a tough, well disciplined WMU team. What makes this win so nice is that Uh showed they can win a slow paced grinder where the other team controlled the pace.

    The free throw shooting was outstanding in the second half and in crunch time. Honestly can’t remember the last time I said that.

    How about Shamburger? He’s awesome. Great handles and he is so good with the ball. So nice to see him run a fast break… Ball goes to the right person at the right time… He has the vision to find the passing lane. Something our last 10 years of PGs couldn’t do. Shamburger carried the team in the first half when it was a slow moving slugfest.

    Did you know Shamburger has already attempted and made more free throws in 2 games than Jace Tavita did all last season?

    Up next NMSU… Tallest team in the country….

    UH needs to run them off the island. Press, press, press, and more press… Big slow centers are useless in an uptempo game. UH has a major advantage in the quickness and athleticism department.

    I would expect UH to clog the middle with zone. Do what every Big West did to UH last year with Vander in the middle.

  3. In the past the free throw line was the sixth man for the opposing team. Not so last night. Hope that keeps us and we will continue to win. Love the way they kept their cool throughout the game. Riley Wallace’s three players have to touch the ball before you shoot is officially buried. Long live the up tempo Bow’s offense.

  4. What did you guys think? Good win? Loved the quick transition and execution for lay ups, makes for exciting basketball. Everyone contributed when they came in and played, was not always the case in years past. Guards have good handles and vision, so the turn overs that were committed were not game changers. Would like to see Nevels a bit more aggressive offensively, sometimes thought he was holding back a bit last night. Davis is playing well and is helping to sustain their level of play; very, very positive.

  5. Soooo great to see passing and taking good shots, unselfishness and team play. What a relief to have a pass first point guard who has the skills to be aggressive if he needs to. This is the best team that Gib has had. I am looking forward to the best year we’ve had in a long time. GO WARRIORS!

  6. tako and other posts, great comments!

    This Rainbow Classic, great, great test for virtually new type of team, anchored by the super Twin PF’s
    and Rozitis, who is without question, the most agile and coordinated 7 foot plus center in UH history, his pressure, on inbounds, and traps, even if not causing turnovers, really, bothers and wears out opposing teams. What I like, from Summer Leauge, maybe Q and Nevels, so competitive wanted to be THE guy, now they are complete role and TEAM win first guys, great attitudes, You saw how Q was a real, guard, who just took it lightning quick to the hole on one play,and one. When Q , Sham and Nevels, and later with Spear, are in game, UH, is what the other teams were to UH last year, Now Hawaii has the quicks and perimeter players!Nevels, maybe, he should go away from the floater, when he attacks the rim, maybe he is lithe, he should try to take it all the way to the rim, he will get fouled, or fouled and one. That floater is not working yet, Glad that he knocked down 2 timely 3 pointers, to help UH get lead and hang on. ALL the guys, freshmen AV and MT, to sophs, and jr.s , seniors, so far FANTASTIC attitude, Captains, in particular, we have to watch out for, or Gib has to, Christian, not going Vander on us, KEEP YOUR COOL Christina, we need you, if you pick up T’s can cost game, However, great move when Christian got upset, immediately Gib took him out!
    Hey fans, If UH gets NMSU, then goes to a tough, super tough Big 12 team Mizzou on the road, had one SA blogger, complain that Beeman, schedules tougher than Gib, well, NMSU, tallest team, Mizzou NCAA participants with great athletes and Bigs, Montana, N. Arizona, DHC, with a tough field, Gib scheduled smartly,build team up , get ready, get some wins under belt, then be ready for BWC.
    Love, that UH went fast, and slow, and the Bigs, just dominated the boards in second half for UH! Hey, even if WM had their 6’11” center, he would still have to chase Fotu, Standhardinger, Thomas, Davis…Just keep getting better, I think Gib, especially with a great lead PG, WAC honored, in Shamburger, can really NOW start his career working X and O’s, he has great, great kids, just go into BWC play with a winning record, say 10-4, they will be alright!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  7. To my above post, sorry Christian, I meant CHRISTIAN keep your cool, Not Christina, sorry for typo, No disrespect for a hard working Captain of a very good and improving team.

    Big test against New Mex.. St, and Mizzou, N. Arizona on the road, hope they go 1-1 on that swing, a Montana , tough, tough team from Big Sky , However, UH with their D pressure, pushing the ball, and Gib wants them to push even more! Great condition the guys, last nite, Gib, tight grind game, played that first 8 , they did great. Wait until Spearman, comes back when ready. Blessing in disguise, though and injury to Captain Spear, never ever good, MT and AV and Q, GN, getting a lot of quality PT, and experience, NMSU, Gib just have team press, press, press, and fast break , transition, And Win!

    You can tell I IS HAPPY, so far 2-0, nice to be at least 10-4 or better before BWC play starts!
    Go Rainbow Warriors!!

  8. Dynamite comes in small packages. That’s Shamburger, Smith, and Nevels. That’s a lot better than Tavita, Jefferson,and Clair. No comparison. Clair is playing today on TV for Seattle against Washington.

  9. Shamburger whose game is more of a pure point can also light it up if the opportunity presents itself. This is critical when the team is struggling to score because the defense is not watching Shamburger so close at the 3 point line. That’s what last year’s point players could not do on a consistent basis when the defense dared our guards to shoot. Of course the season is young and Shamburger will need to come up big again in some games. But I have no doubt that he is capable of doing it. He reminds me of former UH player Mark Campbell. And his leadership and free throw shooting at the end of the game is like Mariano Rivera coming to the mound to close the game. This is what we need in a point that can close it out at the free throw line. We definitely got the pieces of the puzzle to put it all together and make this season a very memorable one. Waiting for freshmen small forward players Valdez and Thomas to get up to D1 speed and being comfortable and effective at sf. When that happens (hoping we come together on the road in Missouri) and Spearman returns, this team will be awesome to watch. Talk about pressure defense! We wore out Western Michigan without Spear. This is going to be interesting when we are at full strength. We got a championship caliber team guys!.

  10. The next game should be a good test for this young team. This year’s team shows good teamwork and lots of energy. What an improvement on free throw shooting. Only two games into the season, but already you can see a good chemistry brewing with this team.
    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  11. Just wanted to shout out to Dayton for your excellent video work. I try to take video from my smart phone and let me tell it was soooo hard to not take my eyes off the little screen and watch live. So thank you Dayton for having the concentration to stay focused on your job.

  12. Indeed. Props to Dayton. In addition to his well-edited video, he also wrote the story! Being responsible for one aspect of game coverage is challenging enough, but doing both? Awesome.

  13. Dayton, as Valerie Schmidt alluded to, and not many know, he has a Full Time Job, WI, is done on his own time after that secular work! It is truly hard work, moderating, writing, editing, posting, interviews, ..Dayton, is a true UH MBB fan , and NOW is the greatest Insider Access to the BB team on this planet. The international families appreciate it. We local fans as well as Mainland USA families and fans, AND potential recruits. Gib has to be pleased and thankful to Dayton and Warrior Insider too. Potential recruits and their families can read writeups and interviews, plus video of the UH MBB program , real time!Dayton , THE NUMBER ONE, Warrior Insider for UH MBB.! For all that you do, Dayton, even pre-WI, when working for the periodical, we fans appreciate. Never before, have we gotten to know staff, recruits, and athletes, in person, like this before. Your use of technology , fantastic! And your late nite work too, very hard and dedicated person. For UH MBB!Mahalo, a thousand times over Dayton, you are the Best in the Business, for this Online UH MBB Insider site. I am sure, Aussie Mum, Tonganator, TribeV Ohana, Chicago Boys, Toronto, Latvia, Serbia, Germany, appreciate it as well!

    Thankyou Dayton. The Video hilites and editing are world class!
    I don’t know if you keep track of views, who is looking in on your site, maybe you have program to do that, however, there are quite a few, I would gather, and growing!
    Thankful that, potential for UH MBB to have great seasons for years to come under Coach Gib might just be starting!!

  14. Spearman getting much better, rehab super man! Imagine, ….just my opinion fellow fans, Spear, strong dude, will go to the rim, finish and one, better 3 point shooter this year, he worked very hard on that off season…strong defender, when he gets cleared to play, whether, he could be 2, with Shamburger, Valdes, Fotu and Standhardinger?,…I guess, doesn’t matter who starts, this team , Main thing get WIN…!! Could be , Sham, Nevels, Spear, Fotu and Standhardinger..Oh well, does it matter, as long as the W right fans!!..This of course down the road..maybe several more games,….With that energy group of Nevels, Smith, Thomas, and Rozitis off the bench? However, UH still have to be able to have about 3 guys that can consistently hit the 3 ball. This team, so far, is just so adaptable, very High BB IQ, role guys, team first, as long as team wins, and guys contribute, on the bench or first off it…that is what makes BWC champs!

    Great attitude Team, One Ohana Indeed! Still very early in season, however, guys are working TOGETHER!
    Go Rainbow Warriors. Let’s Go Bows!

  15. Nevels has incredible 3 pt shooting percentage so far! 5-9 .556 %
    2-2 1.000% from FT line.
    9.5 average.
    only .333 % from FG
    Garrett Nevels will be alright, when he gets that set shot, his feet and body squared away, from about 25 feet on out, his shot, so far has better than 50 % chance to go in from 3 pt. line! His two timely 3 pointers, in game …were key to UH’s comeback. Nice assist to Rozitis, a drive and dish to Davis for the layup!

    I love how this team, could still go inside, not just jacking 3’s, with Shamburger, Nevels, Standhardinger, and Spearman, occasionally from Q hitting, 7-8 3’s per game, UH could average, with this uptempo style about 80 ppg. You watch, a lot of teams, now scout their film footage, will try to break and attack the rim, beat UH press, and try to slow Hawaii down, by tempo. Zone them up..UH as Gib alluded to, their hope to win a lot of games, the guard play, the PF’s, team D, take care of ball, and knock down FT’s and actually keep pace EVEN FASTER! Incredible..we fans love it when they run, and finish, this group can, and they are unselfish, they will pass the ball to open man!!..they can win a lot of games this year…However, coach Gib’s Mantra, will always be, as should be, Guys, keep on getting better! And team will have shot at good things come March 2014!

    Go Bows!

  16. This year’s team is nothing short of amazing. They will cause nightmares for opponents all year long. Any guy can/will go off on any given night. So many weapons and so all-around. I start work at 6:30AM tomorrow but I fully intend on staying up for the game tonight! Too excited about this team to miss it. How this team fares on the road is yet to be determined, however from what I’ve seen thus far, I truly believe every home game is winnable this year. I see all 5 starters averaging double digits, and possibly even the 6th man (Valdes, once Spearman comes back from injury). Only sort-of-weakness I saw was the turnovers, but it sure didn’t seem like 13. So stoked about tonight. Let’s GO BOWS!!!

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