Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors shut down Montana, 72-61


Defending its turf with several tough stretches of lockdown “D,” the University of Hawai’i held off visiting Montana, 72-61, Friday night in intense non-conference basketball action.

An energized Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 5,740 watched Christian Standhardinger score 26 points and grab seven rebounds, Brandon Spearman add 13 points and five boards and Isaac Fotu finish with 13 points and four rebounds despite a fractured right hand as the Warriors improved to 5-2. The Grizzlies, who went 25-7 last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, fell to 1-4.

“I thought that was our best defensive outing of the season, against a very good team,” UH coach Gib Arnold said. “They can really shoot it, they run a lot of sets, they screen hard, they’re one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, and we held them to 18.5 percent (from beyond the arc) and 35 percent for the game (overall). We out-rebounded them (35-29) … all those things you need to do when you play a really good team, we did. And it started on the defensive end.”

Hawai’i jumped out to a 15-2 lead in the first six and a half minutes, spurred by tight half-court defense and Spearman’s seven points. The Warriors opened it up to 28-12 after an 11-4 run started by Spearman’s layup and capped by Aaron Valdes’ spectacular alley-oop slam dunk with 5:44 remaining in the half.

But UH managed only one field goal the rest of the half and Montana eventually closed it to 31-25 by the break after Brandon Gfeller’s 3-pointer with 54 seconds left. The Warriors made just 3 of 10 free throws in the first half, but Spearman led a spirited defensive effort by shutting out Kareem Jamar — the Grizzlies’ leading scorer at 20.5 points per game.

“Brandon played a great, great game on Kareem,” Arnold said. “We face-guarded him all night, and I think that bothered him.”

Jamar had only four shot attempts in the first half, three of them from 3-point range.

“Brandon is always a lockdown defender,” Standhardinger said. “Last year, in conference we were on a winning streak and then Brandon was out (due to injury), and then we went on a losing streak — that’s how important Brandon Spearman is for our team. He is an amazing defender, an amazing shooter, an amazing driver. I think he is the player who is all-around, he can do everything and I respect that. He’s very important for us, and he won us the game by locking down their best player.”


Fotu started the second half with a dunk, but the Grizzlies responded with an 8-0 run capped by Keron DeShields’ 3-pointer to tie it at 33-33 two minutes in. Hawai’i answered back with a 17-4 surge punctuated by Standhardinger’s short bank shot that made it 50-37 at the 10:14 mark.

“They came back because they hit some three’s on us, but Coach called a timeout and explained to us that we just gotta stay out there and deny those shooters,” Standhardinger said. “We had to make it very tough for them to shoot, and that’s what we did and that’s why they had not a very good 3-point percentage (5 of 27). And I think that’s what won us the game.”

Montana got as close as 57-48 on Jamar’s leaner with 6:17 left, but Fotu’s free throw pushed the lead to 63-48 about 90 seconds later and the Grizzlies could not get closer than 11 points the rest of the way.

“I broke my hand on Wednesday night (against New Orleans), I went for an X-ray that night and saw that I broke it,” said Fotu, who is right-handed. “But I went to see a hand specialist today and he said I could play, so I played through it. It was hard, it was hurting. You could see that it affected (me) a lot, it felt like I was shooting with brick hands.”

Fotu, who wore a soft cast and his middle and third fingers wrapped together, actually shot 5 of 6 from the field but was just 3 for 9 at the free throw line. He said he hopes to be out of the cast in two weeks, but was told to expect to wear it for three or four weeks.

“I’m so glad that Isaac just played through the pain,” Standhardinger said. “He’s a big presence down there, he’s changing shots, he’s blocking shots, and that’s what we need him to do. Even if he can’t shoot, he brings so much to the table, we really need him. He got a broken hand, and he still plays — that just shows how mentally tough he is.”

Arnold said senior center Davis Rozitis, who came off the bench to contribute four points, six rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 11 minutes, also played a key role with Fotu injured.


“Give Davis tons of credit, when he came in, those 11 minutes were our best 11 defensively,” Arnold said. “He was blocking shots, he was clogging the paint, he was active, he was moving. I’m just really, really pleased with how well we played those guys. They got a guy Jordan Gregory, who was 6-for-6 on threes against Washington a couple days ago, and Garrett Nevels held him to 1-for-9 (overall) and 0-for-6 from the 3. So it just goes on and on … I thought our defensive effort was fabulous, and I just love seeing that because I know this team can score. But if this team can continue to play defense like that, then we’re gonna be really tough to beat.”

Valdes scored four points for the Warriors, and his two baskets came on spectacular alley-oop dunks – one in the first half off an assist from Shamburger, and another in the second half off a half-court lob from Quincy Smith.

Jamar led Montana with 16 points and three assists, and DeShields added 11 points and two steals. Jamar, a 6-foot-5 senior, recorded a triple-double (21 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) when Montana defeated the Warriors, 94-79, in February of 2012. Friday’s game was the “return” contest for that BracketBuster contest.

The Warriors’ next game is at Northern Arizona on Dec. 7.


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


  1. Very Good WIN

    Payback on a ‘Recent’ Road Blow-Out
    Beat a Methodical, Disciplined Team
    With Improved/Better Ball Control
    Better Defense/Better Discipline
    Better Focus/Intensity/Harder Play,
    Improving Athleticism

    __ Win ‘On Road’ (Missouri ‘counts as Neutral Site’)
    __ Win @ Neutral Site (Chaminade) .500
    __ Win @ Tourney DHC 2 or 3 out of 3

    __ Tuned Up for BWC Campaign?
    __ Win 3 or More of First Five in BWC

    BTW, Thank You, Christian for the Hard Work (Always) and 20+ Pounds of Additional Muscle that is making it Tough on the opposition; and similar for Fotu: TWO of Top Four Rebounders And Front-Line Scorers in Big West; Davis (and i think) Jovanovic will prove to be X-Factor advantages taking this front-line Straight to Top Two or Three in BWC.

    GIB — Thank You for The Awesome, Improved Backcourt that values and protects the Ball and Challenges @ the Three-Line and On-Ball …and Scores @ Will… Vive Le Difference en Anneeʻ…What a Difference a Year Makes….

    ʻBows just about
    Ready to Rumble…..

    and Improving

  2. Eagle: A connection, to all good MBB teams, the ability to play outstanding Defense, and shutdown, or try to, the opposition’s leading scorer.
    This One Ohana team, is doing that, on a nite when they had hard time, Christian and Isaac with fracture hand(warrior to the max!).
    UH, still keep it up, the D, with their Depth and role players, 1-14 and the RS’s support, UH can win a lot of games, either, home, or , will be a test , on the road.

    Eagle, I forsee, if UH can win at N. Arizona, and beat a tough, nitty gritty Chaminade team in Lihue, UH will be primed for a DHC crown, potentially.

    Team is great and Fun to watch, high motor, and energy, they are Winners, attitude and athletic wise!

    Go Bows!

  3. good win for Warriors! concerned for Fotu ,the hand is definitely affecting his game, we need poss JC 6ft9, 6 10 big guy that can play the five, athletic, can run and block, so Fotu can slide back to power forward next year. Go warriors bring back a win from No Arizona!! Road Warriors!

  4. Hey Dayton can you post behind the scenes videos again. I enjoyed like pre game meals and thing like that

  5. Fantastic win against a quality program.

    Montana was really trying to slow down the game. They were afraid to run with Hawaii, which indicates the talent level we currently have. We still pulled out the victory on a poor shooting night at the line.

    Isaac heal up quick! We’ll need you at full force by the Diamond Head!

  6. Yes, jjay, I think Isaac will be alright. Small fracture, clean break, he should heal up fine in about a month or so. Probably coach Gib keep him out of heavy contact in practices this week, if Isaac’s hand is really tender. However, Dr. and Trainer cleared him to go. Trainer has to make sure taped, really well.
    Basketball, you are always, jamming fingers, sprain writst, knees, ankles, concussions, no pads, so unlike football, it is a high contact and physical sport.
    Isaac heal up brother. We need you and whole team down the stretch. Isaac and Christian, man , I think they are two of the better PF tandems in the Western part of USA NCAA D1 MBB!!

  7. One thing, about Isaac’s injury….It would force Fotu , to think , now I have to, just have to, develop my strong left hand move. He is a strong right handed player. If he can now concentrate on developing even jump hook after spin moves with the left hand, or reverse and come back two hands, for jam, after spin. plus, even a soft 10-15 foot Left Handed jumper, ..we are talking about Isaac being major overseas pro talent., Young guy, Fotu, is a Warrior as everyone says, however, a lot of guys even in NBA have played with broken finger or hand, as long as Dr. cleared!

  8. Can someone explain what was going on with that referee Matthew Rukasin?

  9. Outside of Hawaii and UCI, the Big West is pathetic this year. You can also put an asterisk by Hawaii and UCI also…

    UH has beaten up on weak teams and lost to the two quality teams they’ve played. UCI has some awful losses to really mediocre teams.

    I still really like UH’s chance to win the Bug West this year. Long Beach will surely get better as the year moves along, but they have been non-competitive vs good teams and losing to some mediocre teams.

    From what I’ve watched so far! UH has the best collection of talent from top to bottom in the conference. Just a matter of shooting better from the field. Outside of last night’s sloppy 22 TOs, UH has taken good care of the ball thanks to Shamburger.

    Regarding attendance, it’s bad. In fact, it”s pathetic considering what UH has brewing this and future years. I’ll give the people some leeway this year because the home strength of schedule is below laughable. Not a single team non-conference team that would draw more than a few dozen extra fans (mostly opponents families) to the SSC.

    At some point people need to start showing some support.

  10. Oops… Last nights game only had 11 TOs… I was looking at the New Orleans game that had 22 TOs.

    Shamburger has a Ast/TO ratio of 2.69, which is a nice improvement over Tavita’s 2.21 plus UH gets 9.4ppg out of Keith vs 3.2ppg from Tavita. Shamburger is also very reliable from the FT line at 84%. What’s awesome is that one of the team’s best FT shooter is the PG… Keith can ice games at the end with his handle and FT shooting.

    He’s been as advertised. Maybe better…

  11. winbows1… I hope your right. Fotu must develop at least one solid left hand move to become a viable pro player. His potential is super high, but any decent opposing coach will have Fotu’s defender guard his right arm and force him to beat them with his left.

    At the college level, he’s good enough to dominate even if he only develops 1 left hand move. As of now, Fotu will attack to his left off the dribble or drop step, but the ball is always in his right hand when he shoots. If a defender has size and any brains, Fotu is easy to defend.

    Fotu is really good at setting up his right hand, but for him to take the next step, he needs to develop a go-to left hand move or two in addition to refining his jump shot.

  12. So glad to see Spearman slashing to the hoop. That’s what’s he’s best at. Now that big Vander is no longer plugging up the paint, Spearman has the space to carve up defenses.

    Also, I though Spearmen fell too much in love with the 3pt shot. He’s not a pure shooter, so I’m super happy to see him get back to slashing to the hoop, drawing fouls and getting to the stripe for and1’s.

  13. Fotu = Ultimate Warrior

  14. So far, UH played a tall team with athletic guard Mullins , NMSU, they could have won, very competitive old WAC rival. NMSU will be overwhelming favorite to win the WAC and get NCAA invite. Western Michigan, well coached, slow down, run sets, come off screens, bang and shoot 3’s, UH very competitive, even led at half 46-45 against Mizzou at Kansas City, Mo, surprised even the most die hard fans, and now, UH beats, another NCAA bound team, well coached, and very physical, Montana team, and shuts down their best player in Jamar.

    This UH team, though they are not huge, and physical, like Hauns, Jace, Vander, etc, or even Zane Johnson time., they play fast, slow, can bang, …the X factor, in my opinion, this TEAM , they are smart, Basketball players, high BB IQ, and they do well in classroom. They listen to scout, and directions from coaches, and they put into game situation. Gib says , work on Defense, become an Outstanding defensive, team, probably the best in the BWC, UH MBB will go far, and into Post Season. All of the dominant, MBB programs around the country, NCAA Division I , going back to days of UCLA, and Wooden, they played excellent defense, Even, going back farther to KC Jones and Bill Russell at University of San Francisco in the 1950’s, they played solid defense. I love the Defensive, mindset that Gib is instilling in his team,. they D up, individually and helpside, as well as the petal to the metal, hustle of Herr Standhardinger, This Team, witnessing them at SSC and on the road, they play much bigger, and faster, than teams similar to them, and, can hang with the more athletic and taller, wider teams, the NMSU’s and Mizzous..Yes, UH MBB can have very good season. Just get better, week to week, day by day, and stay healthy guys! Fotu, Christian, Brandon S, Sham, Nevels, Q, Enos, Davis, Aaron, Mike Thomas has to step it up, I believe he will…Jovanovich, Harper, Hackman, all 14 guys will contribute, have to love that, the guys are together, trying to win the BWC !

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  15. And Jawato, gets his legs back, he will be streak hitting several 3’s to help UH bust some zones. That guy is tough too, with two bad ankles.

    jjay, Jawato, another of 14 Warriors!

  16. Gary Dickmanʻs “Explanation” (True?) is that the Officiating Crew was from the Big Sky Conference and i would say (My Opinion, IF that were true) that similar to PAC-12 Refs for USC Football Games (before video reviews) and WAC Refs for BYU Games, they had difficulty seeing (accurately) their Perrennial Repeat Conference Champions being OUTPLAYED on Any Particular Play, much less, Overall — just Couldnʻt Conceive OR See…i can understand they could get used to seeing Montana ʻMaking All the Playsʻ on the way to Back-to-Back (19-1?) Conference Records…
    [Donʻt Know IF This Helps with your Question…]

    Hawaiʻiʻs DEFENSE allowing only 25.2% Threes Ranks #17 and 37.6% Assists #14 in the Country

    Big West Pomeroy Power Ratings:

    UCSB 81
    UCI 106
    HAWAIʻI 142

    (Posted Other Teamsʻ Ratings Yesterday…]

    IF Hawaiʻi Continues to Improve should be in the BW Running…

  17. Playhoopsa, i dont think anyone could ever call hauns or Jace physical. for all they gave us, their defense was awful, and quite the opposite of physical.

    This team may be small, but Spearman and Nevels are much more physical defenders, and it shows in opponent’s guard production from beyond the arc.

  18. xer 21: Sorry, xer, what I meant, Physical makeup, Hauns, Jace, Zane and Vander were Taller, and heavier. They were not quick athletic, on ball defenders.
    Last year, Gib wished he had 4 Spearmans, and One Shamburger.
    This team, they amaze me, they are buying into Defense, and we all know, good defense wins games, Great Defense wins championships and Post Season Invites, and possible deeper runs in NIT or NCAA.

    No, even, Vander was not the greatest defender,however his length and size, height could bother guys shots. Vander, up and down the court, and agility, Davis, is a physical , in a good way, freak, he is a 7 footer, 240 pounds. playing like a guy that is 6’6″ 220 pounds. Great pressure on inbounds, and getting after shooters on the Point Zone.

    Defense, UH MBB team, Defense, Rebound, shoot well, take care of the ball, with smarts, you guys will win a lot of games!

    And Eagle, you are correct, Go Bows!!
    Pomeroy, rankings, if UH can make it to 100’s , fantastic!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!!

  19. This UH edition is so much better. Much more athletic, more talent. The key is limiting turnovers and making shots. The roster can go at least 10 deep. Rozitis, and Michael Thomas are key backups down low. Thomas has a lot of upside and I am hoping he will show his improvement. Aaron Valdes has so much athletic ability it excites me and to think he’s a redshirt freshman. He’s a defensive stopper too. Enos can shoot the 3. But the guy that keeps everything going when the starters are taking a blow, is Quincy Smith. He’s the perfect point guard to spell Shamburger. Smith can score, he can make great passes and he’s so heady. No wonder he led CC of San Francisco to 30 straight wins last year. There is no drop off when the second team comes in, that’s for sure. With that many guys who can play, Arnold is having his team push the ball up court. Standhardinger is stronger and more aggressive this year too. Spearman is solid. Nevel is just a smart basketball player who can score at any time. Shamburger is 10X better than Tavita and Fotu has more experience. It should be Arnold’s best team since he’s been here. I see at least 20 wins this year.

  20. UH did enough things to win the game. Their man defense really caused problems for Montana. The second half I think we went strictly man and that pretty much kept Montana from getting easy baskets. Although this is a quality win UH can and will need to do better on the road. And don’t forget the bench. Thomas did not play and Enos had 1 minute. These rotation guys need to touch the ball every game if they are to improve and feel comfortable coming off the bench. But off course Spearman had a monster game especially on defense so that’s why Valdes and Thomas were kept out. On the road will be a different story as the legs go out from you quick. Our bench is one of the strengths of this team and using them will keep everyone’s legs fresh for the last 5 minutes of the game. Because on the road that’s where games are won or lost.

  21. University of Hawaii basketball team congratulations on win. Brandon Spearman your Chicago fans are watching and loving it !

  22. Ho’okahi No ‘Ohana

    TIME OUT TO Recognize:
    OUR Sistas, Na Wahine:

    1) Took Colorado State to Overtime in Tourney Game One,
    AND GOT Called OUT By their Coach for Uninspired, Un-Focused Play;

    2) BEAT A BB HALL OF FAME Coach & UT-Chattanooga in Game Two and

    3) Tonight Took University of Minnesota (Was 7-1) Out, Also in Overtime
    even with their All-America Shooter;

    Shawna Lynn Kuehu’s Three with No Time Left to Force Overtime was her First Three of the Young Season…

    These Former USC BB Assistant Coaches doin’ o.k. @ UH

  23. Fellow Fans- if you have that Oceanic Sports package with Fox Sports(they carry the regional BB broadcasts). Check the guide, in the 200’s I believe, maybe UH athletic site, or SA will have listed by thie Fri or Sat., UH vs N.Arizona at Flagstaff, on live cable TV feed 200pm HST.

    American One, an online, feed, for those with internet connect, will have stream as well at 200pm. Kind of neat, that is how I watched, the Wahine beat N. Arizona WBB team last month, or few weeks ago.

    Just hope that the Big Boys, whom we pay a lot of money to, the DVR, HBO, PPV, sports premium, etc, Oceanic Time Warner, Hawaii, will take a HD crew with Artie, Tony and Dash, up to Lihue , Kauai to broadcast live from the outer island. That game against Chaminade should be a good one, the battle for supremacy , local bragging rights for the 808!

    I, think, all the guys with Mainland families and friends can get hookup, or even here , go to sports bars, to watch N. Arizona game this Saturday. Going to be a good test for UH. If they can use 10-11 guys, and still ramp up the 40 minutes of great D , and shoot decently, they can win. If they run out of gas at altitude, affects, everything, like the old WAC with AFA and Wyoming road swings, brutal on the UH team. Anyways, nice to know the road game this Sat, will be broadcast to Hawaii, cable tv and online stream!

  24. Eagle: good for LB and gals…with FB getting a win , WVB getting to host 1st and 2nd round ..maybe. start of post season bound BB…WSB..MVB…and in March. 2014 hopefully the two former USC assistants. will be part of deep run in WNIT ,NIT or what we all want…BIG DANCE NCAA’s!!

    Go Bows!!


  25. We Need to Train Time-Warner-Oceanic to Re-/Broadcast ALL UHMBB Games…
    HOW Expensive can it Be when youʻre Already in the business?
    For Kauai, i COULD Live with Portable Temporary Lighting And a One-Camera Shoot…

    Northern Arizona


    ALL Road Trips…

  26. they also need to let us be able to watch espn3/u on the internet

  27. Eagle and hawaiifan, plain and simple,

    I agree with winbow,1..Oceanic Time Warner , the most households use their service, they have the farthest reaching coverage in state, until HawTel, can provide more service, they have monopoly of what we can and cannot watch. They have the monies, probably can tap into a least a billion dollars from national company as well..they say they want to be the NUMBER ONE access provider of UH sports..you are right Eagle and Hfan, why not provide the UH fans with chance to view, game, online, live cable feed, etc,..You know, just my opinion, however, a lot of people would agree, KFVE, or another station, would love to provide free live coverage of away, games.

    That game that UH, with Shaq, Vander and company, a few years back from Maui, HD coverage against the team from East, was a fantastic experience for local Maui fans of UH MBB as well as for all of us that watched on Oahu, that Sunday afternoon. The HD, was great, so Oceanic can do it, …all the time KFVE, or the old KHVH, KHON, or KGMB, would make decision to broadcast games when UH sports teams were doing great, either live or Re-broadcast.

    Wish Oceanic would step up, and provide coverage from Lihue, even delayed, or have UH communications students from Ka Leo, do that One Video Camera online feed, via Facebook or something, can be done. The kids are really tech savvy today.
    Hfan, try to search for winbows metioned the N. Arizona site, I saw they have a live feed online. And if you, are not in the islands, I believe, the Fox sports networks, a special channel cable premium, has, the game live from N. Arizona, this Sat.

    Go Bows!
    Eagle, will Oceanic step up to the plate? I know KFVE/KGMB/KHNL would! And of course, maybe Dayton and WI will have video hilites, hopefully from Lihue!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  28. Interesting comments. Would have to have a very large segment of UH Basketball fans, to let Oceanic know if they wanted a delayed broadcast of game from Lihue. That Chaminade, with their guards, and wings, who will shoot the threes at will, nothing to lose, that game, plus the one against the Lumberjacks in Arizona, great test for UH .

    As eagle and hoops say, wonder if UH students, or multimedia, or CSI majors, could do live online feed. Must be that contract with UH and Oceanic, on who shows games, however, the Lihue one, wonder if it is up for bid? Still think it is in the contract UH made with OC Sports.

    Glad to see, at least 5000 and more in attendance at Montana, game. If any are able to come to Diamond Head Classic, and the two games after that at the Stan Sheriff Center, UH is playing really well, especially on Defense. It is really exciting brand of Basketball. At least ten or more guys contribute, to wins, and the bench and Redshirts cheer on too. I enjoy watching team in person, if off of work. However, next best thing, whomever provide video, live online or cable, for UH fanbase. This is a good team.

  29. CSI, I think that is a TV show! UH has Computer Science majors. Those students could do live feed, or delayed. Warrior Insider with Dayton, very sure will have recap of game on Kauai.
    N.Arizona game will be on that Fox Sports premium channel, and online feed from NAU.

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