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Warriors earn historic road win at Fullerton, 83-80

Forget about its past reputation as road kill. The University of Hawai’i is now a road-thrill team, and it has a record win streak to prove it.

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The Warriors used a furious finish to defeat Cal State Fullerton, 83-80, in a Big West Conference game at Fullerton, Calif., on Saturday. A Fullerton homecoming crowd of 3,017 at Titan Gym was raucous throughout the game, but left in silence after the Alex Harris’ 3-point attempt bounced high off the rim, allowing the Warriors to celebrate another road victory.

It was the fourth consecutive conference road win for the Warriors, and no previous Hawai’i team has been able to do that since the program started conference play in 1980. It also ties the UH record for most consecutive road wins, set by the “Fabulous Five” team in 1972.

“No one’s ever done that in the history of Hawai’i basketball and this group has earned it,” head coach Gib Arnold said.

As has been the case throughout this season, it was a group effort, with the starting five leading the way.

Garrett Nevels drained a 3-pointer from the corner with 1:03 remaining to break a 78-78 tie, and then he added two rebounds and two free throws in the final 18 seconds to secure the historic road win.

The Warriors improved to 18-7 overall and remained tied for third place in the Big West at 7-4. The Titans dropped to 8-16 and 3-7.

Isaac Fotu scored 24 points, including 17 in the decisive second half, when Hawai’i rallied from an eight-point deficit with less than nine minutes remaining. He also went 10 for 10 on free throws, as the Warriors connected on 24 of 26 for the game for a season-best .923 percentage.

“He’s so good, he’s a mismatch for any league, I really believe that,” Arnold said of the 6-foot-8 Fotu. “I think he’s that good, so obviously we were going to go inside. What we did a couple times is he kicked it out … we moved the ball around … and that’s great execution. That’s not easy to do, that’s unselfish play.”

The four other starters shared in the scoring wealth: Brandon Spearman 14, Nevels 12, Keith Shamburger 11 and Christian Standhardinger 10. Shamburger added nine assists against just one turnover, while Standhardinger contributed nine rebounds.

“Great win, great finish down the end, great job defensively the second half,” Arnold said.

The Warriors led by as many as seven early in the game, but the Titans took a 46-42 lead after a fast-paced first half. They shot 62 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, but then went 11 for 36 (31 percent) in the second half.

“Second half was a totally different story,” Arnold said. “We cut the (Fullerton) percentages completely in half … we were able to run and get into a little better rhythm.”

The Warriors managed to tie the score early in the second half at 48-all, but the Titans responded with an 11-3 surge to take a 59-51 lead with 11:42 remaining.

Nevels1_ChaseUCR

They maintained a 65-57 lead with 8:35 remaining before the Warriors started their late rally.

Fotu scored six points during an 11-3 surge by the Warriors that tied the game again at 68 with 6:05 remaining. The Warriors then took their first lead of the second half at 72-70 when Standhardinger drained two free throws with 4:35 remaining.

The game was tied again at 78 when Fotu passed out of a double-team to Quincy Smith, who then drove into the lane and passed it to an open Nevels for the go-ahead 3. Smith contributed six points and three assists off the bench.

Fullerton cut it to 81-80 on two free throws by Alex Harris, and had a chance to tie or go ahead but Sheldon Blackwell missed two free throws with 18.5 seconds remaining. Nevels grabbed the rebound off the second miss, got fouled, and hit both free throws.

On Fullerton’s final possession, Harris dribbled around the perimeter and got a momentary open look from 3-point range, but it bounced out just before the final horn sounded.

Harris finished with a game-high 29 points for the Titans.

The Warriors finished with a field goal percentage of .500, including .556 (5 for 9) from 3-point range. The Titans finished at .446 overall, and .353 (6 for 17) from 3-point range. The Titans won the rebounding battle, 36-33, but could not match Hawai’i’s free-throw shooting – Fullerton went 16 for 22.

The Warriors will return home for two games, including a showdown against first-place UC Irvine on Thursday. The Anteaters are alone in first at 8-2.

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Saturday’s Big West results
Hawai’i 83, Cal State Fullerton 80
Cal State Northridge 80, UC Santa Barbara 78
Long Beach State 74, Cal Poly 65
UC Irvine 70, UC Riverside 52

23 Comments

  1. Manu Fotu and the Fotu Ohana: GO THE MIGHTY WARRIORS! Isaac and the whole team, Sham, Nevels, Spear, Smith, Rozitis, Valdes, Standhardinger, played a solid game to get win, Huge shots and key stops and rebounds.

    Only thing, for next 5 games and into BWC tournament for NCAA bid, UH has to stop that dribble penetration, Fullerton, has some very quick, small guard/wings, who would blow by UH defenders. UH no true shot blockers or quick footed shutdown, perimeter D guys, however, they have to HELP and rotate.

    The Irvine game HUGE, all the remaining games , UH can Win OR Lose, UH tighten up the defense, rebound, battle, and shoot well. Huge shots at FT line by Isaac, Smith, and corner 3 by Nevels.

    Go Rainbow The Mighty Mighty Warriors!
    😀

  2. xer21 , where is 1) dallan, 2)o..an, and 3)….an? now? Just joking, I am sure, when UH wins they are happy,. When UH loses, they come out firing!

    Guys, UH MBB team, very, very proud..however fans, we can see, that UH has guys that can score, either the bigs or the littles, next step, Gib has to instill work with the guys coming back, and getting a couple of athletic bigs to be rim protectors…

    Still 18-7, with a HUGE game against Irvine for first , second place, UH has to get the 2 game home sweep….going to be hard, however, guys, just play focus..
    Ahhhh, EAGLE….the PLANE RIDE for the guys and coaches, must be SWEEEET!

    Go Bows!!
    😀

  3. Added to my excited post, …UH has to be able to DEFEND even better to win BWC tournament, Gib and team, work on defense..that will win Championship of BWC regular season. possible NIT and BWC tourney..auto bid NCAA…and a run deep into post season..

    Great , great win, historic!!

    😀
    😀
    😀

  4. [RE-Print]

    WAY TO GO, ‘BOWS!!
    GREAT Comeback!
    WORE The TITANS Down!
    HAWAI’I 83 – CSUFullerton 80
    24 of 26 Free-Throws Hawai’i
    ALL Five Starters in Double-Figures
    Keith Shamburger 11 Points, NINE Assists, One Turnover

    FOUR Conference WINS in a Row
    Including Missing Three or Four Shots to NOT Beat Northridge
    i.e., ‘Almost’ FIVE In A Row
    The “SAME” Northridge Team that WWON @ #1 UCSB Tonight

    WAY TO GO, ‘BOWS!!
    GREAT Comeback!
    WORE The TITANS Down!
    HAWAI’I 83 – CSUFullerton 80
    24 of 26 Free-Throws Hawai’i
    ALL Five Starters in Double-Figures
    Keith Shamburger 11 Points, NINE Assists, One Turnover

    FOUR Conference WINS in a Row
    Including Missing Three or Four Shots to NOT Beat Northridge
    i.e., ‘Almost’ FIVE In A Row
    The “SAME” Northridge Team that WON @ #1 UCSB Tonight

    —————-

    80-78 UCSB Loses to Northridge @ HOME

    Cal-Poly VS LBSU: ___

    —————-

    80-78 UCSB Loses to Northridge @ HOME

    Cal-Poly VS LBSU: ___

    KEEP Improving…. ALL-Big-West First Team FOTU?…

  5. Hoopsa..UH did lock down in second half hold Fullerton to 31% from field..big win! Fotu has to be all BWC consideration for sure..
    This team seems really confident in Cali on the road.
    UH get better..play awesome ball over next 5 games and 3. in BWC TOURNAMENT. .

  6. OMG! Great win!!! Way to go Bows! Just made my weekend. 😀

  7. Awesome win! Pack the House this Thursday for Mamadou and his Irvine team all 7ft 6in of him,
    Warriors, one win at a time, great effort, gottta play better defense from now, Shamburger made some crucial shots tonight,we that scoring from the point! Fotu , you da man.Nevels ,our sharpshooter , Spearman, could have used him more in crunch time of last few minutes.Warrior time this Thursday, Pack da House ,buy a ticket, !

  8. Its gonna be important to beat irvine (and irvine should be favored, imo) because beating them gives keeps us ever so slightly ahead of LBSU for third. then, it all comes down to the LBSU game on the road.

  9. Believe UH can beat Irvine..every possession go fast..transition early baskets..press..zone..have fun and gun..as Gib said on post game show sometimes he calls too much stuff to run..very sure will be great game!!

  10. Very nice road win! Hard to believe UH hasn’t won 4 straight road games since the early 1970’s.

    Now it’s time to take care of business at home.

    Looking at the schedules of the 4 BW contenders… UH has by far the toughest remaining schedule. UCI, @LBSU and @UCSB. Long Beach has by far the easiest remaining schedule… 4 of 5 final games vs bottom 4 teams in conference. UH is the only contender left on their schedule. Irvine has a pretty tough finishing stretch also…

    With the standings looking like they are, the title will likely be determined on the final game of the season. For UH, they basically have to win out. A 5th conference loss will put UH out of contention. So basically, it’s tournament time already in regards to the regular season title and auto NIT bid, although I think UH should get a NIT invite with a 2nd place finish and if they get deep into the BW tourney.

  11. Just great ! Love it !

  12. The referees were really trying to give the game to Fullerton!

  13. ROB T…the fouls against Fullerton..actually should have been called.steals against Christian and Q..were brutal..and you know what..UH went to line plenty..24-26 made..that helped UH win on road..enjoy the moment. ROB T..GOOD WIN!!
    😀

  14. other forum chirping about Smith and Standhardinger turnovers at end of game, Sham should have been in there handling ball…hey give Christian credit, 9 huge boards, and he shoots perfect from foul line. Smith, 6 timely points, including 2-2, and 3 great assists, including the one to Nevels, deep right corner, for the dagger 3.

    By the way, Quincy, playing with BROKEN thumb on left hand,. What amazes me, Nevels and Q are slight guys, but strong, and will, not, will never back down, to bigger, athletic, physical guards. They are two tough guys from Cali.

    Great TEAM win. Can UH run the table.? 5-0, one game at a time. Gib has to figure out, the best way to shutdown, those, Caffey, and Harris driving, 3 ball shooting, super quick athletic guards. They control those guards, although, Harris made some incredible acrobatic shots to the rim. Someone missed assignement, he just went right through open lane to bucket, However, BOTTOM LINE FANS: UH is in third, poised to make a run a regular season and Big West tourney titiles.
    If they want it, it starts with win against Irvine, as I mentioned, and probably Gib will echo, still effort on O and D, rebound, great team D, shoot well, and outrun Mamadou! GET the first win guys, then go after Davis, on Saturday!

    To the guards: Great road trip, Shamburger, Spearman, Nevels and Smith, When teams try to shutdown, the Bigs, you guys Stepped up Big Time!

  15. Okay, just watched the game again via ESPN3. The refs definitely seemed in favor of CSF, as even the announcers stated that “all of the ’50/50′ balls seem to be going (CSF’s) way”. Too many clean blocks and steals were called, which makes all the difference in these close games. That, along with too many unforced turnovers made this game a lot closer than it needed to be.

    Still, love how we were able to pull off the historic win in a tough CSF house. The more I watch this team, the more I’m starting to believe this is not like Hawaii teams of old. This team can win on the road, although they do have the advantage of not having to travel too far, with some of the players being actual Cali natives. This team also is good handling the ball, averaging 11 turnovers a game, which is pretty damn good in relative terms. This team is also quick, versatile and can shoot it.

    Now, if we could only play some DEFENSE!! Seriously, way too many CSF easy looks/put backs, and it nearly lead to our undoing. Didn’t the Warriors watch the Superbowl?? A little defense goes a long way!! If we expect to make any kind of post-season run, that’s going to be where it starts. I know they can do it. Let’s go BOWS!!

  16. It’s not rocket science!!!! Why do you suppose the UH basketball team has won 4 road games in a row? Why do you suppose the Wahine volleyball team and the Wahine softball team consistently win on the road and wins conference championships with regularity? Simple. Better players and coaches who are able to recruit high caliber and character players. It’s no accident that this UH BB team is talented. Arnold has gone far and away to get some very good players. Sooner or later he will find a very good player from Australia, Senegal, Nigeria, the Cameroon, Croatia. I’m not going to say Arnold is a great coach and he would be the first to say that he needs to be better game strategist. But, with a talented squad the program can win a lot of games. To wit:
    1) Keith Shamburger is the best point guard that Arnold has had. He leads the conference in assists per game and he’s second in the conference in free throw shooting. It’s too bad Shamburger went to San Jose State for his first 2 years in college.
    2) Garret Nevels – is the best shooting guard Arnold has had. He leads the conference in 3 point shooting percentage, he is 11th in conference scoring, is shooting.800 in free throws. He also plays very good defense. You knew he was good coming in. Nevels was the MVP of his Mt. San Antonio JC and was the MVP of the conference tournament.
    3) Isaac Fotu – just a soph. he is going to improve every year. He can work on his game facing the basket and around the free throw line working on his short jumper. He can work on his double clutch around the basket. He’d be fouled on every play. And he can work on shooting a lot of 3 pointers. Fotu can be called Mr. Efficient. He leads the conference in field goal percentage at .607.
    4) Christian Standhardinger – I call him the Energy Bunny. Sometimes get out of control, but I can fault his effort and hustle. 3rd in conference scoring and shooting .761 from the charity line, a big improvement from last year. He’s also one of the leading rebounder on the team at 8.1 per game which is 4th or 5th in the conference. As a senior, he will be hard to be replaced for his scoring and all around game and his versatility. Stefan Jankovic might be his replacement.
    5) Brandon Spearman – just a solid player, day in and day out. Will give you good defense, energy, and about 10-12 points per game. Fortunately for Arnold, Negus Webster-Chan will be next year’s small forward replacing Spearman. Webster-Chan is by far the better scorer, but we will see about his defense and overall game.

  17. Playhoopsa and all the die hard UHMBB supporters. Great history making game by the team, getting the W. The live streaming wasn’t great for us here at Kiwi Land, ended up listening to the radio. We get great quality pictures when team play at home.

    Awesome to hear some of the Cali players Ohana chanting in the background amongst the local supporters last night.

    Big game this Thursday (Friday here) SSC will be rocking, hopefully supporters will come out. Saturday will be great, but one game at the time, do battle again with UCI!!! The bigger they come the harder they fall 🙂 Respect everyone, FEAR NO-ONE.

    GO THE MIGHTY WARRIORS!!

  18. Historic indeed! Go waaaay back in the day to 1971-72, remember that road swing, out east to U. Conn. and back to Portland U., Fab Five got 4 in a row.

    Fab Five, good team players, passers,hit open man, all could shoot it, and defend, great rebounders for a team that went 6’8″ Nash, 6’6 1/2″ Davis, 6’4″ Holiday, 6’2 1/2″ jumpin John Pennebacker, and 5’9 1/2″ Jerome ” hook” Freeman.

    Derek, this year’s starters, Standhardinger, Fotu, Spearman, Nevels and Shamburger, and Gib paring down to 3 off the bench, Valdes, Rozitis and Smith, That rotation is really working well. Now if only the team, can defend these last 3 home games, and go for it on the last 2 road games, UH will be right at the top 2 or 3, or with things fall into place, who knows, never count these guys out, a string of wins, and a Historic first BWC regular season title!
    ONE GAME-ONE OHANA-AT a Time!
    Go Bows!

    Uhfanzonly1.
    This team, from LAST summer, on a mission, to go to Big Dance, or little Dance, either way, as everyone on this site has mentioned, team, DEFENSE, have to shutdown, the penetration, and stay with those super athletic speedy guards!

    Go Bows!
    Uhfanzonly1.

  19. This team has been involved in quite a few close games. At first we seemed to be losing the close ones. But now we are learning how to hold on and win. Every championship team knows how to pull out the close ones; at the end you play with poise, make your free throws, and then give’m the daggar. UHMB refuse to be defeated. For some, the thought of losing is so bitter, so devastating, that you will your body beyond fatigue. Ya you gotta hate to lose with a passion. And know what? This team truly hates to lose—with a PASSION!!

  20. Did you notice. The last 2 times at home, against Long Beachand UC Santa Barbara we lost those games on Thursday. Granted, these are two good teams in the conference. This coming Thursday, at home, we play another good team, UC Irvine. I don’t know if it’s a bad omen, but the team, Arnold has to figure out the outcome will be better. Against both the Beach and Santa Barbara the1st half was close. In fact, UH scored the first 6 points of the game against Long Beach and the first 4 points against Santa Barbara. At the beginning of the second half, our opponents asserted themselves right away and we found ourselves down and chasing an up hill battle. Our defense wasn’t as good at Long Beachs’ penetrators got a lot of easy baskets and 2 backups had career nights. Against UCSB, guard Bryson made 3 3 pt big shots with the shot clock winding down. Williams had his usual big game and his big butt knocked around Fotu and Standhardinger to tire them out and they had trouble scoring. Irvine is a little different. They don’t have a top scorer, but they do it by committee. They have the tall trees (3 seven footers plus) and some good perimeter players. But, talent wise I think we are better. I like our chances at home. We already beat them at Irvine on Shamburger’s miracle shot to save us. The key will be solid defense and shooting the ball better at home. The stigma to losing on Thursday has got to stop. Thursday is HUGE. Win that makes us 1 game back in the conference race and sweep Irvine. Win that and we are one game away from winning 20 games. When was the last time we won 20 games in a season?

  21. Derek: something special about this team, they figured out how to play BWC style ball on the road in Cali. It seems now, they play better on the road than at Home!
    3-2 record at SSC and 4-2 record on the road?
    Now, UH has to sweep 3 remaning home games, as you mentioned, from the get go, from the start, just balls to the walls, outrun and gun, Irvine, they can do it. Remember, Nevels, NO FEAR…Cali guard, outstanding, he drove, with the floaters right at Mamadou. The bigs plus the guards, can outrun Mamadou. That guy is a beast, huge, large wingspan, his shots are mostly dunks, Bigs go at him again, get him in foul trouble, then play against the rest of Irvine team.
    This 2 game home stand, becoming the biggest, in recent history, go 2-0, you are right historic! 20-7 before going out on one game road swing. And at 9-4 BWC play, would be outstanding

    Last time, UH won 20 games, I think it was that 2003-4 Michael Kuebler led NIT team, great Riley Wallace team, his last good one, that went to Post Season, then Riley was retired few years after that.

    Go Rainbow WARRIORS!
    Get rest Sunday, Monday, get back to school, do well, and Get back to work..now, at home, HAVE fun, gun, and, you are right, as well as others, this team, finds ways to win, as Sham says, the Fullerton win on the road, that is where a Championship Team is Made
    Go Bows!
    😀

  22. Great writeup! There’s one small typo though “The Anteaters are along in first at 8-2.”

  23. Thanks for the correction geewhy. Should read “alone in first” … also the updated standings now posted as well.

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