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Warriors pull away at UC Riverside, 87-76

Christian1_CalPoly

With its first five back in form, the University of Hawai’i basketball team continued its winning ways on the road with an 87-76 victory over UC Riverside on Thursday.

A crowd of 1,074 at SRC Arena in Riverside, Calif., watched the Warriors control the game from start to finish. The victory completed a home-and-home sweep of the Highlanders for Hawai’i. It was also the third consecutive road victory for the Warriors.

Hawai’i improved to 17-7 overall – matching the win total from last season – and climbed into a tie for third place in the Big West Conference at 6-4. Riverside dropped to 8-16 and 3-7.

“Love how we played tonight,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “We did everything you need to win, especially on the road like that. Great defensive effort and great patience on offense – got the right guys the right shots at the right time.”

The primary recipient was senior forward Christian Standhardinger, who led the Warriors with 27 points and 13 rebounds. It was his eighth double-double of this season, and 17th of his career.

Junior guard Garrett Nevels broke out of a shooting slump with 20 points, including 13 in the second half. He shot 7 of 11 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range. He hit two deep 3-pointers during a 12-2 surge early in the second half that gave the Warriors a 51-39 lead, and the Highlanders never recovered.

“I liked when we got ahead, we didn’t play not to lose,” Arnold said. “We still played to win.”

Junior point guard Keith Shamburger recorded a double-double of his own with 11 points and 10 assists. Reserve point guard Quincy Smith added two points and three assists, and Arnold said their combined play was “really big.”

“I thought (Shamburger) was great tonight and I thought our point guard play was as good as its been,” Arnold said. “I thought that Quincy Smith came in and gave us a great push, had some great passes in the transition game. I think that was the difference – I think our point guards were really big tonight.”

Senior guard Brandon Spearman contributed 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting, and sophomore forward Isaac Fotu scored eight against constant double-teams from the Riverside defense. Senior center Davis Rozitis contributed seven points and four rebounds off the bench.

The Warriors shot 53.7 percent from the field – its best shooting night in the past three weeks – while holding the Highlanders to 42.2 percent. Hawai’i also went 7 for 15 from 3-point range, after going just 5 for 30 in its previous two games.

A 3-pointer by Spearman with 5:04 remaining in the first half gave the Warriors a 35-22 lead, but the Highlanders closed the half on an 8-1 run to cut the Hawai’i lead to 36-30 at intermission.

Riverside got as close as 40-37 early in the second half, but the Warriors responded with a 12-2 run to increase the lead to 51-39 with 14:20 remaining. Another 12-2 run by Hawai’i later in the half gave the Warriors an insurmountable 73-55 lead with 5:57 remaining.

Chris Patton led the Highlanders with 21 points, and Taylor Johns added 19 points and nine rebounds. Those two combined to shoot 16 for 23 from the field, but the rest of the team went 11 for 41.

Hawai’i will remain on the road for a game at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. The Titans defeated UC Davis, 74-64, on Thursday to improve to 8-15 overall and 3-6 in conference.

Saturday’s game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. (Hawai’i time) and it will be an ESPN3 game (available on television to Oceanic “Sports Pack” subscribers and via the internet at www.watchespn.com)

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Thursday’s Big West results
Hawai’i 87, UC Riverside 76
UC Santa Barbara 65, Long Beach State 64
Cal State Fullerton 74, UC Davis 64
Cal Poly 62, Cal State Northridge 55

12 Comments

  1. GREAT JOB, ‘BOWS!

    Takin’ Care of Business
    WINNING on THURSDAY!
    Against A Riverside Team that’s Been Playing A Lot of Teams Tough
    On Their Court [BEAT Cal Poly, O.T. VS UCSB, BEAT CSUF, O.T. VS CSUN On The Road)
    Took The Early CONTROLLING LEAD
    Then Never Let The Highlanders Closer Than Six after Midway through the FIRST Half
    GREAT FORMULA For WINNING On The Road
    Early Knockdown, Keep Pummeling Away!

    K-Sham 11-10 Double-Double Welcome Back, Keith!
    Two Double-Doubles (Christian) and TWO Over 20 points…
    Even Fotu, Way to Draw the Defense
    WAY TO GO ‘BOWS!

    DO IT AGAIN! (NOW, Saturday!)

  2. Good job guys! Now on to conquer Fullerton! veni vidi vici

  3. Yay! Happy dance! Good job Warriors!

    Whew, I was on pins and needles watching the first half. Then Garrett drained some deep 3’s and all was better in the world of Warrior basketball again. It made me wonder if California is the other “home” with so many players with families in the stands.

    Congrats to all the guys who found their shot….it wasn’t really lost, just was on the back burner. Also, shout out to Mike Thomas who got to get points on the board in the last minute of play.

    Make it happen again on Saturday!

  4. Nice win. It was a “should” win but still any win is nice, especially on the road. Hope we can have the same good shooting against Fullerton on Saturday. The bigwest.tv stream really sucks. I mean, I’m happy to be able to watch it at all but come on. This is 2014 and we can’t get a better live stream than that? Sad. I hope the live stream doesn’t look that bad when it shows games in Hawaii.

  5. A great win. The guys were solid. The backcourt, Shamburger, Smith, Nevels and Spearman, were the difference, steady, rock solid. Nevels, got his 3 point range back, he was playing like an all BWC player. So was Shamburger , 10 assists, outstanding. Q kept on pushing the ball, so fast, and got 3 dimes. Rozitis, huge boards, D and 7 points!
    Team will be ready for Fullerton, they want to sweep, make up for the two games they loss at home!
    Very proud of team. Tonganator, GO THE MIGHTY WARRIORS!
    Stream, not too, good, however, Manu, you and Fotu Ohana, if you have access the ESPN3 watch , is so much better online feed!

    Go Rainbows, Warriors, Let’s Go Bows!

    And, rub it in….real hard…where ARE YOU DALLAN? 😀
    Xer21, who is that Guy?

    Go Bows, great win!
    😀

    Eagle, the guard have returned, the D, and the outside shots! : D

  6. Great win tonight team.

    Yes playhoopsa we will be watching on ESPN3, a lot better quality. Bring it on again on Saturday (Sunday here in New Zealand).

    GO THE MIGHTY WARRIORS.

  7. Listened to portion of AW on point radio show interview with Pops Leahy. Their in agreement that UH MBB team is not consistent. When they are playing well, they are really good. When, things not too well, the LBSU and UCSB home game losses, they can be not too good of a team, off.

    Well, UH MBB team, only way to Prove, even the so called experts, and they probably have valid points, when you all are playing great defense and shooting well, in particular the guards, the team, the Warriors are the top team in the BWC.

    This Fullerton game, very, very important. I personally like how , teams, double, triple team…just wish that Isaac watches for the guards coming from behind and stripping the ball from him, Isaac has to be stronger with ball, and make decision to kick out ball to guards quicker, sort of a mini Vander type of thing, once Isaac does that, and perhaps moves out for that 15-18 foot jumper a few times, he And Standhardinger can go off for 20 pts, along with Nevels, Spearman, and Shamburger in double figures, they are a load for any team to handle when their starting five, whom I think is the best in the BWC.

    Go UH, get the Fullerton win, and have a great plane ride home, remember, every game , the last six regular season games, at home and the road, will be a WAR!
    Love this team, they battle back, and seem to be peaking at the right time!

  8. HOWEVER…UH on a 3 game so far, and shooting for a 4 game winning streak on the road, are playing good , solid TEAM ball, team’s double and triple and attack on D Isaac, focus on shutting him down, Christian has room to drive,get a ton of rebounds, and transition runouts. Also, Spearman, Nevels especially and Shamburger, benefit, when Christian and Fotu kick out to shooters. Give Nevels a few feet opening, from up to 28 feet out, he is hitting nothing but NET! When you have UH hitting 7 or 8 threes per game, along with Standhardinger and Fotu, getting combined 35+ ppg and 15 rebounds, UH will win a lot at home and on the road.

    UH, and Coach Gib and staff, Fish, Taylor, great job, getting the boys ready.
    Fullerton, live on ESPN3 or TW Sports pack premium cable channel will be awesome!

  9. Other than the sloppy streak the final 4 minutes of the 1st half, UH played a good game. Glad to see the outside shots start dropping in for UH.

    Offensive execution was solid for most the game. Standhardinger stuck to his guns and got to the paint, where he gets layins and/or gets fouled and goes the FT line. Fotu did a nice job of finding the open guy when he was double and triple teamed. When the offense flows though Christian and Fotu, and Christian is aggressive to the paint, it really opens up the looks for Spear-Man, Sham, and Nevels.

    Big West teams are starting to give Fotu the Vander treatment at the low block, but Fotu is handling the double&triple teams much better.

    The only concerning thing I saw was that UH really needs to solidify it’s zone defense. UCR was getting inside and kicking out for a lot of open looks and also were able to get a handfuly of easy buckets inside as the low defenders were getting over extended. Thankfully, UCR didn’t have any good shooters to exploit the open 3 pt shots. The other thing I saw was that they were allowing UCR to get the ball in the middle way too easy when they had the press on. The back side defender doesn’t rotate to deny the middle pass. If the ball gets to the middle, it’s breaks the press and gives a numbers advantage to the offense… So it’s super important to force the ball to be passed horizontally or backwards when the offense reverses.

  10. Former UH athlete. Notice too, by a lot of other fans. UH can score, they got near 90 pts on the road, Fantastic. They mentioned, that they got , or get confused, when coach calls out switching defense. They have to stick with one or two, and Lock Down solid. Then, instead of winning by eleven, probably win by 21 or more.

    You are right, and we all agree, with Shamburger, Spearman and Nevels, and Christian, providing 7 three pointers, it really opens up game. With Fotu, as the designated guy teams are doubling, Christian, goes to work, either at home or on the road, he is putting up big numbers. Next game, if they go after Christian, leave Fotu, one on one, Isaac goes off. And the perimeter guys still have good open looks, and have good chance to hit 7 or 8 threes again.
    Defense, agree, when those guys get to painted area too easily, or bigs waltz in there and shoot point blank and one, or guards penetrate then kick out, good thing Poly and Riverside, were not hittng their 3 point shots.

    Hey, FUHA, key thing, most important, for yesterday and tommorow’s big game against a very feisty, and talented Fullerton team, Get the W, whether win by 1 or 21 …bottom line!

  11. less we forget, Davis Rozitis, past several games, playing well, defending, scoring getting some key rebounds. This team, like the saying: “it takes a village…”, UH will win on the road or at home in any conference they are in..”it will take The Whole team “..contributing, especially those first 8 guys rotation, and when Jovanovich, Enos, Jawato, Thomas’ number called.

    Enjoy the game tomorrow on ESPN3 and TWC Sports Premium Pack cable channel Oceanic.

  12. Big West Stats:
    1) Fotu leads the conference in field goal percentage
    2) Standhardinger ranks 3rd in conference scoring, Fotu, 8th, and Nevels, 11th.
    3) Nevels is 2nd in 3 pt. field goal percentage at .441.
    4) Shamburger is now 1st in assists per game at 5.3

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