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Warriors get first road win at Northern Arizona

It took the University of Hawai’i basketball team one half to warm up, but once it did, the Warriors were able to run off with a 76-66 win at Northern Arizona on Saturday afternoon.

A crowd of 1,629 at Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, Arizona, watched the Warriors increase the pace in the second half to pull away from the Lumberjacks. Hawai’i improved to 6-2 with its first road win of the season, and also increased its winning streak to four. Northern Arizona dropped to 2-7 with its fourth consecutive loss.

“I’m really proud of the guys because that’s not easy to win on the road, especially at elevation and with the long travel,” Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said. “I say it all the time, boys can win at home, it takes men to win on the road … and they were men tonight.”

Junior guard Garrett Nevels scored 24 points, including 16 in the decisive second half. He shot 9 of 15 from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. He also collected three of Hawai’i’s season-high 14 steals.

Junior point guard Keith Shamburger added 15 points and three assists. He scored all of his points in the second half, including a perfect 10 for 10 performance from the free-throw line.

Senior guard Brandon Spearman added 13 points, and reserves Davis Rozitis (six points on 3-for-3 shooting) and Quincy Smith (four points, six assists) also played key roles in the victory.

Forwards Christian Standhardinger and Isaac Fotu – the two leading scorers for the Warriors entering the game – each finished with six points. Standhardinger grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

“I feel good when Isaac has six and Christian has six and we still win by 10,” Arnold said. “Our guards had a great game, offensively.”

Screen shot 2013-12-07 at 5.11.44 PM

Thanks mostly to the 14 steals, the Warriors were able to score 29 points off Northern Arizona’s 21 turnovers.

“That’s a lot of steals,” Arnold said. “A lot of those led to easy buckets, especially in that second half. We made a big run through our defense … I thought that’s what won the game.”

The pace changed drastically from the first half to the second, with the Warriors out-scoring the Lumberjacks 51-41 after intermission. With heavy snowfall and temperatures in the single-digits outside, the Warriors needed the entire first half to warm up.

The score was tied at 25 at intermission, marking the first time this season that the Warriors scored less than 30 points in a half. Northern Arizona also out-rebounded Hawai’i, 17-12, in the first half.

The Warriors seized the momentum with an 11-2 run early in the second half that put them ahead, 47-37, with 12:45 remaining. Rozitis came off the bench to spark the surge with four points, a block and a steal during a two-minute stretch of play.

The 7-foot Rozitis played a season-high 18 minutes, mostly as a disruptive force at the top of Hawai’i’s zone defense. “Davis goes 3 for 3 (on offense) and that’s just icing on the cake,” Arnold said. “Davis is our defensive guy.”

Arnold noted that Northern Arizona forward Max Jacobsen was held to a season-low four points on 2-of-4 shooting – mostly by Fotu and Rozitis. Jacobsen was averaging better than 16 points per game prior to the contest.

Fotu played his second consecutive game with his right hand wrapped in protective tape due to a broken bone. “He couldn’t palm (the ball) like he does, so he’s a little loose with it, and he’s getting one-handed rebounds, but we don’t win these last two games without him,” Arnold said. “He’s gotta play for us.”

The Lumberjacks cut the Hawai’i lead to 53-49, but the Warriors responded with a 13-0 run to increase their advantage to 66-49 with 4:55 remaining. The closest Northern Arizona got after that was 72-66 in the final minute, but Shamburger and Nevels each went 2 for 2 from the free throw line in the closing seconds to secure the win.

The Warriors finished 18 for 22 on free throws for a season-high 81.8 percent. Hawai’i shot 49.1 percent from the field for the game, while Northern Arizona finished at 46.4 percent.

Gaellan Bewernick led the Lumberjacks with 20 points, and Quinton Upshur added 15.

The Warriors’ next game will be on December 14 against Chaminade on the island of Kaua’i.

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(Game photo courtesy www.nauathletics.com)

28 Comments

  1. Good road win! Great bust-out game by Garrett! Davis had another impact game on defense and the iceman on the free throw line (K-Sham) put the game away at the end. Hope Spearman’s ankle injury at the end of the game was minor and that he won’t miss any games. GO BOWS!

  2. UH did everything you’re suppose to do to win road games…

    Win turnover battle… 12 to 21 (+9) and generating 29 points off TOs
    Hit your freethrows… 18-22 for game…. 10-10 in final 4:00
    Shoot a decent %… 49% FGs., 40% from 3

    The only thing that’s worrisome is the 2nd chance points allowed. NAU got 12 offensive rebounds and converted to 15 2nd chance points. That’s not good. UH has had some rebounding issues this year as the lineup is much smaller vs last year. UH will most definitely need to shore up the rebounding game vs some of the bigger teams in the Big West.

    Crazy note…. Long Beach is 1-9 for the year. They’ve played probably the toughest schedule in the nation, but they’ve been getting their butts kicked. The most telling loss is the LMU loss at home. LMU stinks and is a perennial bottom feeder in the West Coast Conference.

    I’m sure they will pick it up during Big West play, but many of these losses are blowouts, so now I’m thinking they will middle of the pack in the Big West.

  3. Eagle….very good win! When the two leading scorers score total of 12. pts and still win by ten..that is a sign that. UH. has a very special TEAM..ONE OHANA! !
    Eagle I wish Oceanic would broadcast the Chaminade game on Kauai..keep getting better guys!!
    What is really something about team?? Spearman, Q, Fotu,not 100% and team winning with D!! Rozitis outstanding! !

    better guys!!
    😀

  4. If UH wins by great d and transition baskets off of stops and steals..we will take it.. UH has to win rebounding war by committee! !

    FUHA..as long as team wins ..bottom line..

    Go Bows!!
    😀

  5. Good Win by UH. Keep it up!!!
    Pregame warm-up with “Dre beats” not a good look.
    Surprised this is allowed.

  6. long beach state 1-9…..I bet Hawaii would be too so don’t judge them too quickly

  7. Just pointing out a defensive stat here:

    Standhardinger had 4 blocks and NO personal fouls. Really! And throw in 3 steals. Wow, that is some great Defense!

  8. Now team finding identity..a defensive fastbreak team..like Fab Five..Tom Henderson teams..UH still averaging over 80 pts per game..awesome..

  9. need more consistency by Christian, hoping Fotu is a quick healer, Fotu drink a lot of milk,full of calcium for your bones!

  10. I think we are 100% in agreement. Happy that UH MBB team won! They haven’t won on road against non conference team in awhile, so very happy that they got the W. At that altitude, the freezing, cold, dry
    air, the distance they had to travel, much farther than N. Arizona had to travel for their road games to open season. UH, in second half just got after it on D, and started to get steals, 14 of them! and got nearly 30 points off of those 21 turnovers. That is what Good Teams do on the road, and at home. This bunch, the Ohana, they are going to be contenders for top 3 , and chance to dance in March.

    Agreed., The injuries to Smith, Shamburger, and Fotu, concern, however, this team, that top 9 or 10, they are finding ways to win, when someone goes down. As we all agree, from Honolulu, to Auckland , this team, is just going to get better, it is actually a NEW team, not the VANDER teams of old, I love that D with Rozitis, and the outstanding guard play of Shamburger, Nevels and Smith, those 3 additions to this year’s squad, making a huge difference, they can get out and run, also, run their half court sets.
    Too bad about, Fotu, that bandaged fracture hand, he is basically playing one handed, he does a great job with those spin moves, hard to finish now, just his size, and still being able to get some boards, and alter shots with his left hand, is crucial. Christian, as another post said, 4 blocks, 3 steals, and No fouls, so Christian, and Fotu, contributed to the win, plus Davis, going crazy, monster, 18 minutes, and the guards, and team taking care of the ball, uptempo, yet on the road, not 22 turnovers, they ONLY HAD 12 WHICH IS GREAT!

    Uhfanzonly1
    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  11. Correction to my above posts about Quincy, Fotu, and Sham being hurt, I meant, Smith, Fotu and Spearman, Keith is okay!

    Sorry , I meant the INJURY TO BRANDON SPEARMAN, re tweaked his bad ankle. Not Shamburger, Keith is okay, my apoligies fellow Warrior Insiders!

    Uhfanzonly1.

  12. hawaii09fan….what?

  13. BigIslandHank: I think hfan09 is trying to say, if Hawaii had the tough schedule like LBSU, maybe UH would have a 1-9 record too?
    Personally, I think Gib or any UH coach, at this stage, trying to build a good to great mid major team, it would be very hard, record wise, to schedule 9 or 10 high major schools to play against.
    I don’t know how good Loyola Marymount is, however they beat LBSU.
    BigIslandHank, I know where you and majority of this forum is coming from, sure, we know the guys will improve, and play great D, have to shore up team rebounding, do by committee, This team is exciting on the road at Mizzou and N. Arizona, and between those two , they came out 1-1, which is great!

    This team is good, just keep on improving, and prepare for BWC play!
    Go Rainbow Warriors!
    😀

  14. Well…BigIslandHank, I saw, FUHA’s comments above about LBSU loss to LMU at home , LBSU’s home gym, so ?
    All the 9 teams in BWC play, have a shot at tourney title, that is the Key part of season for post season play.
    This team: The guards! Smith, Nevels, Shamburger, Spearman, Enos, …the Power Forwards, Christian, and Isaac, that fantastic, 7 foot Defensive freak(in a good way!)Davis Rozitis, causing major damage and affecting winning for the Bows!

    Go Bows!
    😀

  15. The ONE OHANA, Team, the guys are unselfish, and are buying into their roles, once again, ON THE ROAD, Isaac and Christian ONLY Score 12 points between them, and UH Still wins by 10! That is sign of a very good team and getting better!

    Go Bows!
    😀

  16. Playhoopsa…i agree it’s anybody’s championship to win, and we have a shot. Also, to jjay, Christian might have had an off shooting night, but the one consistent thing about him is that “he brings it every night”.

  17. All I can say is the TEAM did fantastic! I like it that everyone can move the ball around. Makes it harder for other teams to watch film on us to figure out their strategy because the entire TEAM is rocking! Great job guys, fly home safe! Come back home where it is nice and warm.

  18. And PLEASE Oceanic for UH growing fanbase, on the other 7 islands of Hawaii nei, see if you can show in HD the game from Lihue, Kauai,…the broadcast that Oceanic did in HD from Maui War Memorial gym, against North Carolina A&T with Vander , Joston and Shaq, Zane, leading the way, was a great TV moment. Live from the outer islands. I would think Oceanic can do it, or another local station pick up the game, if it is in the UH/Oceanic broadcast rights agreement. I don’t know how it works , good that we get to see via BigWest Tv and some ESPN3, broadcasts of UH road games!

    Anyways, will listen on radion and check live stats, hope they update quick.

    Echo the thoughts of some other long time fans, UH, don’t go to sleep on Chaminade, if UH is getting better on Team defense, and running, still taking care of the ball, UH can get the win. Don’t want No Virgina vs Chaminade game. For the Hawaii fans, and the Silverswords , great game on the Garden Isle!

    Go Bows!
    😀

  19. Regarding LBS, I think that our SOS will get a nice boost in the DHC, especially if we face off against St. Mary’s or Iowa St.

    Nice road win!

  20. playhoopsa….I think Christian will bring his “A” game, which he always does, hustle wise, if not hitting shots, rebounding , defense, and smarts, to the Chaminade game. If Christian goes off for one of his 26 pt, 12 rebound efforts, and the guards do their thing, alongside, playing that pressure D, Zone, Davis Special Point man, should be great game.

    This team, I have watched at Stan Sheriff, from scrimmage, to exhibition, NMSU, on the road at Missouri and Northern Arizona. The are Smart guys, Basketball IQ very high, and they are a Team, ..If anyone, can, with friends or families, if have time off, come down to Stanley, to watch UH play Boise State, that will be a war!

  21. Also, team, i.e. , important , all the guys, don’t let emotions, get to you all in closing minutes of game, that technical at the end of game, caused, a bit of stress! Gib, has to address that with his guys, don’t want to lose a close game, by having other guys possibly score 5 points, in a couple of seconds!

    Otherwise, the team, is very exciting, and , number one thing? They are winning!

  22. Yea, great win and great comments by all.
    Nevels is the man! Really played unselfish and team ball. Even though top scorer, never seemed that he was just jacking it up. Played within the system.

    Also impressed with Fotu. After having not practicing all week long, he never seemed winded. And at altitude at that. CAn’t wait for that brace to come off.

    Wish I could make the Kauai trip. Anybody know if the Chaminade game goes in the record books?

  23. warriorhaw:

    Yes. Like the UH Hilo game, the Chaminade game counts for both teams won/loss records. The exhibition game against BYUH did not.
    Some think that UH is only one that schedules, DII schools, nope, some of the high Major and Mid Majors, even play NAIA and DIII , schools, to boost their overall record, and to help team to develop winning attitude and confidence. UH, and Gib, maybe in future, can have more Missouri, type of non conference games, however, it would be killer for his team, to have 8 or 9 UCLA’s, Kentuckys , Dukes, or Michigan States. Bombai, maybe in future, if UH is at the high major level!
    Love that team is winning, anyway they can!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!
    😀

  24. When was the last time guard play dominated UHMB? Awesome to see. In prior years if the bigs had an off night that usually meant loss. What’s more it came on the road and we still cranked out the win. Gotta give credit to the defense too. The starting five is pretty much set as far as their capabilities. The second five is the x factor. They are still learning and growing. Hope they will be able to elevate their game so that Gib can go deep in his bench and get quality minutes. Like to watch them play and see them grow.. This group will need to be tournament ready if we are to go far. They need to know what it’s like to play in crunch time and not just when games are blowouts. Someone could come in and have a zone day and hit 4,5,6 threes and break open the game. Or dominate in the paint or on defense. This group is capable of doing it and need to believe they can.

  25. Thanks playhoopsa,

    I noticed that there are no stats on Chaminade scorer after the Minn. game. And even there he only scored 8 pts. Is he hurt?

    If he plays will UH put Spearman on him?

  26. Sorry forgot to mention the scorer for Chaminade is Varidel.

  27. Nothing like a good road win. Good job guys. This team plays with a lot of energy. They’re always moving around. I just enjoy watching them.

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