Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Boise State edges Warriors, 62-61


In a Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic opening “slugfest,” Boise State landed its final punch and Hawai’i missed on its last swing as the Broncos held off the Warriors, 62-61, Sunday night.

Anthony Drmic scored a game-high 21 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 57.7 seconds remaining, and Garrett Nevels’ running 23-foot attempt at the buzzer glanced off the rim. UH assistant coaches tried to argue that a Boise player interfered with the basket – which would have resulted in a game-winning 3-pointer — but the officials ruled the game over without looking at a TV replay. Replays eventually revealed that a Hawai’i player grabbed the net and pulled it down as the ball bounced off the rim.

The Broncos improved to 9-2 and will face South Carolina in today’s 4 p.m. semifinals at the Stan Sheriff Center; the Warriors fell to 7-3 and will play Saint Mary’s in a consolation bracket game at 6:30.

“These ones are always tough, when you battle all game long and then lose at the buzzer,” Hawai’i coach Gib Arnold said. “You look at a few things you wish you had back … but that’s part of losing. I was upset after the game, but I’m not upset with our team. If that ball goes another inch, then we’d be preparing for South Carolina right now. It was an inch short. But I thought our effort was outstanding.”

Keith Shamburger’s free throw broke a 59-59 tie with 1:10 remaining, but Drmic drained his go-ahead 3 from the left wing 13 seconds later. UH’s Quincy Smith was fouled on a drive to the basket and had a chance to tie it at the line with 8.7 seconds left, but was off the mark on his first attempt. He made the second, but the Warriors were forced to foul twice to get Boise State to the line for a 1-and-1 bonus. Ryan Watkins then missed the front end, and Nevels grabbed the rebound and raced up the court in four seconds.


But his running 23-foot jump shot went off the rim as time expired.

“We knew we were out of timeouts,” said Warriors guard Brandon Spearman, who finished with a team-high 17 points. “So Coach (Arnold) told us to grab the rebound and push it (upcourt). Garrett happened to get the rebound, and he pushed it and had a good look, but it just didn’t fall.”

Boise State’s Jeff Elorriaga broke a 56-56 tie with a 3-pointer from the left wing with 3:02 remaining, but Smith answered with a three-point play off a difficult left-handed driving layup with 1:37 showing on the clock. The Broncos had taken a 54-48 lead on Thomas Bropleh’s 3-pointer with 6:26 remaining, but Fotu responded with a nifty scoop shot, followed by Christian Standhardinger’s tip-in and Shamburger’s pull-up jumper from 10 feet to tie it at 54-54 with four minutes to go.

Earlier, Hawai’i had taken a 41-36 lead — its biggest of the game — on Shamburger’s 3-pointer from the left wing with 15:30 on the clock, only to see Boise State respond with a 10-2 run started by Drmic’s scoop shot and capped by Mikey Thompson’s free throws to put Boise State ahead, 46-43, with 10:45 left.

And so it went, with the teams trading baskets on intense, hard-fought possessions.

“The pace was not to either of our (teams’) liking,” Arnold said. “But I think that’s what happens when you have a whole week to prepare. By the end of the week you know all of each other’s plays, and then it becomes more of a halfcourt, slug-it-out game.”


Boise State jumped out to leads of 8-2, 14-6 and 17-11 before Hawai’i caught fire behind Spearman, who drained two 3-pointers and scored 10 points in the first nine minutes. Shamburger’s 3-pointer tied it at 17-17 midway through the first half, but the Broncos answered with Drmic’s rainbow from beyond the arc and Thompson’s traditional three-point play to take a 23-17 lead at the seven-minute mark.

But the Warriors roared back again, with Fotu starting a 9-0 run with a running hook shot and then capping it with a layup of Shamburger’s assist to put UH ahead, 26-23, with 4:34 remaining. Boise State responded with a 6-0 run to take a 29-26 lead after Drmic’s two free throws with 3:06 left, only to see the Warriors surge back to end the half with a 6-2 spurt capped by Spearman’s two free throws to lead 32-31 at the half.

Spearman scored 12 of his 17 points in the first half.

Shamburger finished with 13 points, five assists and five rebounds, and Fotu added 12 points and four rebounds.

Standhardinger, who entered the game as the Warriors’ leading scorer and rebounder at 18.4 points and 7.8 boards per game, was plagued by foul trouble and ended up with a season-low seven points and one rebound. Freshman reserve Aaron Valdes made only a short appearance while suffering an injured elbow on his first play of the game.


“He couldn’t bend his elbow,” Arnold said. “It’s too bad, because we needed him, I think his athleticism would have helped us on the boards. Especially with Christian in foul trouble, we needed that extra boost.”

The Broncos got 14 points off the bench, compared to just six for Hawai’i.

But on the positive side, the Warriors held Boise State guard Derrick Marks to eight points — nearly 10 less than his 17.7 average entering the game, and held the Broncos to 62 points — some 24 points below their average.

“I’m pleased with how we executed our game plan,” Arnold said. “A game like this is not going to be as fast as you might expect. But as long as we learn something from it. We’ve got a chance against another strong team tomorrow.”


Sunday’s Results
Iowa State 79, George Mason 67
Akron 83, Oregon State 71
South Carolina 78, Saint Mary’s 71
Boise State 62, Hawai’i 61

Monday’s Schedule
George Mason vs. Oregon State, 9:30 a.m.
Iowa State vs. Akron, 11:30 a.m.
South Carolina vs. Boise State, 4 p.m.
Hawai’i vs. Saint Mary’s, 6:30 p.m.

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


  1. What can I say? Very winnable game…Shamburger missed the front end free throw that could have put us up 60-59 with 1:10 remaining. We had another chance with Q at the line, but he missed the front end as well, which could have tied it up 62 all, which would have been a game changer. Also, on that last posession, why didn’t we have at least one player down court, ready and waiting for a pass or something? Running 3’s have a considerably low chance of falling in, although credit Nevels for his hustle and effort. It’s always the closest losses that hurt the most, but no time to worry about spilt milk. Saint Mary’s is no joke and will probably prove to be a bigger challenge than Boise. However, I think our Warriors are hungry and ready for the challenge. I think they’ll step up in a big way, and hopefully Valdes and even Dyrbe can get in the action tonight! LET’S GO BOWS!!

  2. Isaac—well said. What can We do? Just be supportive of team. Guys, from staff to all 14 on the UH bench hurting for just 24 hrs. , now, get a scout for St Mary’s, and have fun, and play for the win. That injury to Aaron Valdes was untimely, hopefully, he is ready in a couple of weeks. He probably could have boarded, and hustled to affect winning, however, that is water under the bridge , in the past.

    This DHC, like a mini- NCAA regional round, really awesome battles and great games. I hope there are maybe 4500-5000 in attendance, though game starts at 630pm, so might be hard, however, the fans at SSC are great!

    Go Bows, Rainbow Warriors, and get well Christian, and Aaron Valdes, we are pulling for you guys..the true test of a championship caliber team, how they bounce back from a hard breaking loss.!!

    Go Bows!

  3. It wasn’t the result the team wanted, but it was just awesome to have sat up at the stand with some of the players families cheering them on.

    Today is another day. Against St. Mary’s, will be cheering them on again.

  4. Yeah I agree Tongantor – it was awesome basketball and atmosphere.

    UH can take St.Mary’s out – no problem

    Go Bows!

  5. Observations on how they lost….

    Just a few too many turnovers and a couple costly 2nd chance buckets given up is what cost UH the game.

    Shamburger was unusually sloppy on his passes (trying to thread the needle too much).

    Standhardinger had a game to forget… foul trouble all game and was erratic shooting.

    Rozitis had a poor game off the bench, missing 3 easy layup/dunk opportunities around the hoop.

    Shamburger, Nevels and Smith all had trouble getting space to operate and had trouble finding passing lanes vs Boise’e active guards.

    Quincy and Shamburger uncharacteristically missed a few crunch time FTs.

    Looking at the box score nothing really stands out out other than it was really close. No major advantage/disadvantage across the major stat columns. It was just a few things here and there that decided the game.

    The big plays that stand out in my mind was then UH gave up the offensive rebound that led to Elloriaga’s 3 and of course Drmic’s 3 eventual game winner with 59 seconds left followed by Smith’s missed FT.

    The games unusual in that there was a frenetic pace up and down the court, but both team’s transition D were solid, so few points were generated off the early offense.

    Overall UH can draw a lot of positives. The defensive intensity was outstanding. Transition defense was very good overall. Boise hardly had any transition points and UH’s athleticism forced Boise to work for all their points, which is all you can ask for on the defensive end.

    We got to see Fotu work his stuff at the post. He’s going to be a dominant post player… just needs to be more confident shooting the ball from perimeter. With Christian in foul trouble, Fotu was forced to be more aggressive and he was good. He’s a little too passive at times. He’s getting better at passing out of the double team… had a great assist on a 3pt shot when Boise collapsed on him.

    Boise is a solid team in the MWC, and easily the most experienced squad in the MWC. Holding them to 62pts was excellent and there’s a good chance they won’t score this low the rest of the year. If UH brings this defensive energy on a consistent basis in the BW play, UH will win a lot of games in conference. Boise St. is a better version of the prototypical BW roster.

  6. I will say that I am concerned for tonight’s game vs St Mary’s….

    St Mary’s played a stinker of a game and lost to a bad South Carolina team. Plus, they rarely have two off shooting nights in a row. Also, UH is coming off of a close, high energy game… will there be an emotional hangover on the 2nd game on back-to-back nights.

    It’s a tough spot for UH… I fully expect St Mary’s to shoot the lights out. UH must bring the same defensive intensity and must identify shooters as the bigs for St Mary’s can shoot 3’s.

    I do believe UH has was better athletes and Standhardinger MUST bounce back and have a good game. Hopefully the crowd comes back and brings it again.

    I hope for another 8,000 crowd tonight, but being in the loser’s bracket may hurt the number. So happy to see the SSC rocking.

  7. Former UH Athlete: as always good observations. Wondered too, why Keith Shamburger, was dribbling so much at the top of the circle…only thing I could think of, Boise scouted UH so well, they could not run sets. Plus, Nevels, has to find his shot early, would keep UH even at beginning as well as have chance to get controlling lead.

    UHA, less we forget, Boise, 5 starters back from an NCCA team last year. They have good coach, former Gonzaga assistant, running a system that fits his guys. They are smart team. UH can match, and even beat, NMSU, Mizzou, they were leading at the half in KC, Mo, on the road, and they should have could have beat the Broncos.
    KEY: Fotu, Standhardinger, and Christian, Thomas, Jovanovich? getting rebounds, and blocking every shot at the rim. And who knows, all of a sudden Nevels goes off for 26 and Shamburger gets 21. and UH wins. This team, always, someone else leads..more weapons this year, offensively.

    Test: What is the Heart of this team,? Unless they completely throw in towel, look for UH to come out on fire, look to start running up and down, battle on the boards, Christian(even though had sickness)and Rozitis, Thomas, I wonder if Gib could throw in Jovanovich to get boards, protect the rim agains, a big, but skilled PF in Waldow?

    This game will be a good one. Hope fans, at least 4500 will come out. FUHA, you are right, whether, older , middle aged, or young fans, they cheered their hearts out, including, the Valdes’, Aussie Mum, the Spearmans, and other families in town,(Hackmans), Jawatos, this team, if a few shots go down, or they get a rebound or two, would be in semis today.

    Rainbow Warriors!
    Go Bows!!

  8. Too bad Valdes got hurt the on the first play he entered the game. Valdes would have been a good matchup to slowdown Marks or Drmic last night.

    Any word on Spearman’s injuriy??? Spearman looked like he tweaked something in the 2nd half and didn’t play much the last 10 minutes.


    I wouldn’t be surprised if Gib goes further down the bench tonight because of the fatigue of back-to-back games. I would like to see more Jovanovic, but I think Rozitis should be better vs St Mary’s because he’s not going have to guard small slashers. St Mary’s is more of a perimeter oriented team that uses set plays to free up shooters. Boise weaves along the perimeter until they get a favorable matchup then slash to the paint to create shots. Rozitis doesn’t have the lateral quickness to handle slashers. Vs St Mary’s, Rozitis’ size will be more of a factor tonight.

  9. Oregon State Beavers Defeated George Mason Today…

    SO WINNER OF HAWA’iI VS St. Mary’s Plays Against ‘Obama’s Ohana Oregon State On Christmas Day…

    St. Mary’s ONLY Favored by About Three Points Versus Hawai’i

    IF WE Can “Over-Achieve” A Bit Tonight…

    COULD Still Be The Start of Something BIG…

    GO ‘Bows!

    STILL Got Time & Opportunity for a

    Very Mele Kalikimaka!
    (As POTUS Noted This Past Week…)

  10. Interesting tournament. As others have stated, even Gib, very similar to an NCAA regional opening round play. These teams, from South Carolina to Iowa State, very good athletes, shooters, and battlers. Hope UH comes out firing on all cylinders, so important, they try to go 2-1, or the least, 1-2 against great competition for them. Will prepare for the Big West and Post season .

    Aaron Valdes, tough break, injuring himself, as others have stated, UH like a MASH unit, Spearman, looks like he tweaked that ankle again?, Christian Standhardinger(cold or sick?), Fotu, hand recovering, Dressler(year ending back surgery/rehab), Jawato, as was mentioned above, those bad ankles, needing surgery, wonder that he didn’t opt to have surgery. He might be on pace to graduate? Wish Brandon J. the best, great young guy.

    Looks, like for next year, Gib has to load up, make sure, have 14 or 15 guys active roster that can play, due to illness or injury. resembles a Football team!
    Well, UH , go get that victory. Enjoy watching team, they have to be able to beat these top 100 RPI, teams, they will…

  11. Just a few thoughts. Hope we can get some medical updates on everyone soon. Standhardinger was sick and hopefully will be better today. I mentioned it to my wife with about 3 minutes into the game. He never seemed to get any rhythm and was definitely frustrated the whole game. Rozitis has improved so much but it appeared he was extremely nervous and it effected his play. was stunned that the refs didn’t go to the replay on that last play. I may have cost us the game. Where I was in the stands it appeared the Bosie player interfered and we should have been awarded the two points. For them to walk off without verifying their call when it was so important to the game was so unprofessional. We never really got into our transition game and when we did we scored. Not sure if that was due to Bosie State’s play or we planned on a half court effort. So, the game came up with more questions than answers. Today should tell us more. I am so pumped for a Warrior victory.

  12. If you look at that final shot by Nevels, the second bounce sure looked like it was headed into the basket. One of the Boise State players grabbed the net as the ball was just about to touch the rim. When he let go the rim snapped back up causing the ball to bounce out. I think the ref should have looked at the monitor because this was clearly interference. The referee stole that game from us.

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