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UPDATED: Warriors conquer Cal Poly, 69-60

Fotu3_CalPoly

On “Superhero Night,” the University of Hawai’i basketball team played the role of Avengers in a 69-60 victory over Cal Poly on Saturday night.

A Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 7,308 watched the Warriors ride their star forwards on offense and turn in a solid effort on defense to win the battle for fourth place in the Big West Conference.

Hawai’i improved to 16-7 overall and 5-4 in the conference; Cal Poly dropped to 8-14 and 4-5. The victory by the Warriors avenged a 12-point loss at Cal Poly last month, and ended a five-game losing streak to the Mustangs that dated to 2010.

“You don’t want to get beat by anybody on the second time around,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “If you made some mistakes on the first time, which we did up there, you want to be able to correct it. The guys responded and they followed the game plan to perfection.”

The game plan revolved around getting the ball inside, and preventing the Mustangs from doing the same.

“It was awesome,” Arnold said. “I couldn’t call (Isaac) Fotu’s number enough, and Christian (Standhardinger) was the recipient of his hard play … that’s when we’re at our best – when Fotu is getting shots up and Christian is getting to the line.”

Christian1_CalPoly

Sophomore forward Isaac Fotu led the way with 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field and 6 of 8 on free throws. He scored 16 in the second half on 6-of-7 field goal shooting, helping the Warriors hold off a late charge from the Mustangs.

“Coach just told me to post up and the guys did a great job of getting me the ball inside,” Fotu said. “Everyone did their job tonight.”

Senior forward Christian Standhardinger contributed 18 points and 12 rebounds for his seventh double-double of this season. He went 9 for 9 from the free-throw line, giving him more free throws than the entire Cal Poly team. Hawai’i went 21 for 27 on free throws, while the Mustangs when 6 for 8.

“It means a lot to (the seniors) since we never actually won against this team,” Standhardinger said.

Standhardinger’s 12 boards also led the Warriors to a 38-22 advantage in rebounding. Hawai’i shot 48.9 percent from the field while limiting the Mustangs to 38.6 percent. Most notable, Cal Poly star forward Chris Eversley scored a season-low two points on just two free throws. He went 0 for 5 from the field, but did grab a team-high seven rebounds.

“I loved how we played,” Arnold said. “It wasn’t necessarily high-scoring, up and down that we’ve had so many. But technically, it was exactly what we had to do to win. We had to get that ball inside.

Bench_CalPoly

“We didn’t shoot the ball from outside very well again tonight, but we can weather that storm if we play that style … tonight we played to our strengths. I just loved how our guys played on the boards, they were tough, defense was great, we changed it up, kept them out of rhythm. All the hustle stats, we crushed them.”

Fotu and Standhardinger were the only Warriors to reach double-figure points, but several others contributed.

Garrett Nevels scored eight points, including 4 for 4 free-throw shooting in the final minute to help clinch the win. Keith Shamburger scored just four points on 1-for-7 shooting, but passed for six assists with just two turnovers.

“Keith has a lot of composure and he’s our point guard, so we trust him,” Fotu said. “He always comes through in the end.”

The Warriors also got some key contributions off the bench. In particular, senior center Davis Rozitis had four points and five rebounds in addition to providing a presence on defense. Freshman wing Aaron Valdes scored two points and grabbed five rebounds – all in the second half.

Cal Poly took an early 14-8 lead, but Standhardinger and Fotu combined to score 10 points during a 13-3 surge that put the Warriors in front, 21-17. The Mustangs tied it at 21, but the Warriors responded with an 8-0 surge to take a 29-21 lead, and Hawai’i eventually took a 32-24 advantage at halftime.

Davis2_CalPoly

The Warriors increased their lead to 46-35 with just over 13 minutes remaining in the second half, but the Mustangs rallied to cut the Hawai’i lead to one, 54-53, with 6:30 remaining.

The Warriors responded with an 8-0 run to push their lead back up to nine at 62-53 with 3:53 remaining. Cal Poly never got closer than six the rest of the way.

Kyle Odister and Dave Nwaba scored 12 each to lead Cal Poly.

The Warriors went 2-2 on this homestand, and will play their next two games on the road – at UC Riverside on Thursday, then at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday.

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

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Screen shot 2014-02-09 at 3.08.41 AM

Saturday’s Big West results
Hawai’i 69, Cal Poly 60
Cal State Northridge 92, Cal State Fullerton 83 (OT)
Long Beach State 88, UC Riverside 76
UC Irvine 61, UC Davis 59

13 Comments

  1. Great win, and fantastic video coverage Dayton. Also, added bonus from prime sponsor Valerie Schmidt, real time comments and appreciation for the Rainbow Warriors. Thankyou Valerie!

    Now, UH MBB athletes, the shooters, in practice and on your own time, keep shooting the 3 pointer, and especially the mid range, 17-19 footers, when you are not hitting the deep ball, lesson from shooting coaches, step in a couple of feet, hit one or two of the closer shots, then move out a few feet, you will start to get range.

    Rule of thumb: Nevels, Smith, Enos, Shamburger, Spearman, keep practicing and shooters keep shooting, going to need on the road, and at home, for the perimeter guys to hit 7-8 three pointers a game, then the close games, will turn in to good wins, and comfortable margins of victory.

    First things first, Fear No One, and Respect All The Big West Teams, Riverside and Fullerton, can beat you at their house, so you have to outplay, out hustle, out rebound, defend, and play like champions. Keep shooting the rock, guards!

    Go Bows!
    😀

  2. Appreciate this forum, all types of opinion and comment, as others have said, well maybe UHF and hoopsa, that 100% of comments from fans of Gib or not, they WANT UH to win, if not, are they REALLY fans?

    Good win. Now, go on the road with mindset, to get 2 wins. Keep shooting as hoopsa says!

    Great victory, now, have chance, actually 7 chances to get 4 more wins and that milestone 20th victory of regular season, and momentum going into the Big West Torunament.

  3. Nice win Warriors, but I have a question….where da HELL has the 3pt shooting gone?! We started off the season shooting solid but have since seen quite the decline. NEED to go 2 – 0 on this upcoming road trip to stay in the race, and that’s not gna happen with the crap 3 point shooting that we’ve seen as of late. Also, Shamburger needs to get his shot back. Not a want, NEED. Not a choice! If he can’t, then I’m sure Q will be more than happy to step up as he already has at least once this season. Okay, that’s all I got for now…let’s GO BOWS!!!!!

  4. Isaac: agree, this team, the shooters, the perimeter guys the guards, have to put in extra time on their 3 point shooting. To keep teams honest, stretch defenses, more balance. Nevels, is a 46% shooter, he will be back. Shamburger distribute first, hit a couple a game good, Spearman streaky, he will hit a couple a game, Smith, that set shot, from corner, he is pretty good, Enos, his job, come in and shoot 3 from anywhere, to give boost to offense, Jawato? could be his bad ankles, and not being able to defend, poor guy should have had ankle surgery, then come back next year.

    Bigs, Fotu, Standhardinger, and Rozitis, are really playing well, so UH strength in frontcourt, a given, if the guards, and wings start to hit their 3’s like beginning of year. UH can go 6-1, or even 7-0, if UH is defending, rebounding, and inside out offense, ..I like how Gib, knowing it is conference time, and seeding for BWC tournament, is slowing things down, like Riley and the old WAC, when UH executes in half court, go to Fotu first, then Standhardinger, then perimeter shots if open,this team will win a lot of games still.

    Isaac, give the team a chance, they are fighters, they are kids, let them play. Interesting, in Cali, they play well, ever since the 2 game road sweep. I , as well as several thousands of other UH MBB fans, here and around the globe, are backing the ONE OHANA team, Gib cannot shoot for them, however, I like the philosophy, inside to Fotu first, then , perimeter guys start hitting 3’s, shooters, go into slumps, this road trip, watch them start to knock down 7-9 threes to win games. that is what happens, once they get the shooting touch back, UH will be on a winning roll!

    Go Rainbow WARRIORS!
    😀

  5. And Airon Valdes, Aaron is playing really well coming off the bench. He is helping from the 3, 4 and 5 spot, with his D and rebounding, Aaron, can also hit occasional 3, however his game is in the paint, and offensive putbacks, energy.
    Those 3 guys, Rozitis, Smith and Valdes, are giving great energy and boost coming off the bench, and JUST IN TIME!

    Go Bows!
    😀

  6. Guys just have to get good legs, practice, and get the shooting stroke back. They can do it. Have that 3 point scoring in addition to the Bigs scoring down low, team will be tough to beat going into the BWC tournament!

    3 pt FG
    Standhardinger, C. 11-40 .275
    Nevels, Garrett 45-105 .429
    Spearman, Brandon 28 -94 .298
    Shamburger, Keith 30-98 .306
    Smith, Quincy 5-14 .357
    Valdes, Aaron 3-11 .273
    Enos, Dyrbe 9 -23 .391

  7. Start Valdes to give him needed experience and bring in Spearman as the 6th man. Valdes is super athletic, taller, and a good defender and rebounder. He needs to play more.

  8. NO. Spearman should absolutely start, period.

  9. playhoopsa, thanks for posting the 3pg FG% stats. Our guys can hit the 3-ball but they do have their off games, and often ill-timed. The Santa Barbara game was so frustrating to watch, as our guys would play solid defense for 34 seconds, which results in a UCSB “desperation heave” that somehow kept going in. That doesn’t happen, or at the least we hit a 3 or two, and we’re right back in that one. I strongly believe we will take them down in their house, long as we’re playing with a vengeance.

    I think UH’s gameplan at this point in the season should be fairly simple. Rotate the ball around the perimiter, work it in to Fotu down low for either the step back 2 or lay-in. If he draws the double/triple team before he can get it off, he dishes it back out to the perimiter with priority to Nevels and Spearman, where they can hit the 3. If it’s a miss, Standhardinger/Fotu/Spearman will be there to fight for the second chance/rebound to clean up the mess. If the starters can’t hit the 3, put in Dyrbe/Valdes/Jawato, they can prove their worth then get back and play some d.

    I don’t see this plan ever failing, we have a talented team that still has tons of potential to be something great. The clock is ticking and the season is winding down. The time is now, don’t waste any more of it! Let’s go BOWS!!

  10. Good win guys. From the warm ups, I could tell that we were the better team. I was never nervous about this game even when Cal Poly got to within 1 in the 2nd half. I don’t think that the team was edgy also. I think they were confident as a better team should be.

    Also agree that the shooters need to shoot more in practice. We know that a lot of emphasis was placed on defense but shooters need to jack it up when ever they can. Keep that touch going. Not assuming that they aren’t it is evident that the touch needs to be found again.

    On a side note, it is great to see Caleb on the bench cheering his team on. What it tells me is that his situation was handled correctly by all involved. That includes Gib and the other coaches, Caleb and his parents, the team and the medical personnel. Also noticed that whenever Caleb got up he had to put on his back brace. Caleb, please follow all the rehab instructions so that you may continue your BB career. I always like how you were progressing.

    Go Bows!!!

  11. Hopefully this is the last time we have to face Cal Poly. In both games, they’ve shut down our triples shooting. 4-19 on road, 2-11 at home. Their plan works well; harass Nevels so much he can’t shoot, and the perimeter falls apart.
    Oh well, our team is what it is so Spearman and Shamburger got to keep shooting to keep our offense up to pace.

    @Cal-Poly, we lost by 12 with only 14 FT vs 16 FT.
    In the home game, we won by 9 with 27 FT vs only 8 FT. To be fair, we got 8 FT in the last garbage minute.
    So we play a lot better at home? With a 21 point swing (-12 to +9) that just happens to mirror the 21 FT swing (-2 to +19). It seems to me that ref advantage is as real as “homecourt advantage”. Looks like on a neutral court ie even FT, we could lose by 10. Hard to fathom, since Cal Poly has an RPI currently way below UH: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/rpi/_/groupId/9

    Don’t know if they have any answer for Fotu though.

    And if postseason invites went by RPI, the Big West would only get 1 team in NCAA/NIT.

  12. HORSSSSSE_Champ- great observations and breakdown. True they were face guarding Nevels the best 3 pt shooter in the conference, He had 7 and 8 pts, in last two games, however, Nevels, Smith, Spearman and Shamburger the guard rotation, are gamers, not how many points, get key buckets, stops, hustle plays feed Fotu, feed Fotu, and Christian gets the O boards.

    This team is ONE OHANA, I like how they addressed, ( to shoot down the Gib haters), Fotu, Nikola, Stefan Jankovich and Negus, say on camera, NO PROBLEM< they are One Ohana, and the RS's are helping team get better. Fotu, wants to play next year with them, and Filipovich, is very agressive, high energy on O and D, will be a great THIRD PG for next year. Those 3 RS's and Fleming, and a couple more athletic shot blocking , rim attacking on O and D bigs, will make UH that upper tier team in Big West from the start.

    Hey and Super Classy, and good feel from the Dresslers and their son Caleb. I always though that Caleb, was a 21st century version of Jack Sikma, all NBA pro from the Seattle Supersonics, maybe not the same, game, however BB IQ super smart. Wish you well on rehab Caleb, for many UH fans, when you came on board last year, we liked what we, saw, a banger, a great passer, a team player, and a Big Body,take care, and get well!

    Go Bows!
    😀

  13. Highly energestic post, I enjoyed that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

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