Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors want to repeat over Riverside

The University of Hawai’i basketball team has been in the Big West Conference for two seasons, and its largest margin of victory over a conference opponent came last month in a 100-69 win over UC Riverside.


The Warriors would settle for 30 points fewer – if it still means a victory – when they face UC Riverside in the rematch on Thursday at SRC Arena in Riverside, Calif. The game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. (Hawai’i time), and will not be televised (radio coverage on ESPN 1420 AM; internet streaming video at www.bigwest.tv).

“It’s a scary game – second time around is always scary, especially when you have to go on the road,” UH assistant coach Scott Fisher said. “We beat them by 31, so you don’t want to go in complacent thinking we’re just going to be able to show up. Having watched all their games since we played them, they have improved.”

Hawai’i is 16-7 overall and in fourth place in the Big West at 5-4. UC Riverside is 8-15 overall and tied for seventh at 3-6.

The Highlanders have already surpassed their overall win total from last season and matched their conference total (they were 6-25 and 3-15 a year ago) under first-year head coach Dennis Cutts.

“They have a new coach who is looking for rotations and roles, and I think they’ve figured that out,” Fisher said.

Since the 31-point blowout at Hawai’i, the Highlanders have gone 2-3, but two of those losses have come in overtime, including a 68-65 loss to second-place UC Santa Barbara. Their two wins in that span were against Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton.

UC Riverside features a balanced attack, led by the trio of Chris Patton, Taylor Johns and Sam Finley.

Patton, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound senior center, is averaging 13.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game; Johns, a 6-7 sophomore forward, is averaging 12.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, and has a .553 field goal percentage; Finley, a 6-2 freshman guard, is averaging 12.3 points per game, including 16.8 per game against Big West opponents.

“They are obviously a very good team,” Hawai’i senior forward Christian Standhardinger said. “When we played them, we won by like 20 because I think they didn’t find each other as a team yet, which is crucial in our conference … this will be a whole other team we’re going to play against.”

Standhardinger continues to lead the Warriors in both scoring (17.5) and rebounding (7.9). He had 27 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Riverside last month.


Sophomore forward Isaac Fotu is next in both categories at 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, and leads the team with a .617 field goal percentage. He has been even better against Big West opponents, averaging 19.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game with a .654 field goal percentage and .872 free throw percentage.

Junior guard Garrett Nevels is averaging 14.0 points per game and leads the team with 45 3-pointers and a .429 percentage from 3-point range. Senior guard Brandon Spearman is averaging 11.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Junior point guard Keith Shamburger is averaging 8.7 points and 5.0 assists per game. He has been in a shooting slump of late (5 for 31 in his last four games), but also had 20 assists against just four turnovers in the past four games.

Thursday’s game will take place in the SRC Arena, where the Highlanders are 6-6 this season. They are averaging just 872 fans per home game. Last season, the Warriors beat the Highlanders, 72-68, before 910 at SRC Arena.

“The crowd at Riverside is one of the most animated,” Fisher said. “They don’t fill out their place, so you don’t hear this roar. You hear the individual voices and that can be even more off-putting when you’re on the road.”

Game 24 Tipoff Notes
Hawai’i (16-7, 5-4 Big West) vs. UC Riverside (8-15, 3-6 Big West)
When: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014
Time: 5:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: SRC Arena (2,750) – Riverside, Calif.
Television: None
Streaming Video: BigWest.tv
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona and KTOH on Kaua’i.
Audio Webcast: Live audio streaming on espn1420am.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at GoHighlanders.com


  1. Funny feeling…both of these games make you nervous. Riverside and Fullerton have played the top 3 teams tough.
    Their gyms so small, you can hear….Nevels, Nevels….Spearman, Spearman…

    One thing you know, Riverside and Fullerton, know their home courts, just going to be attacking the rim, and shooting from 28 feet out and hitting the 3’s. UH pound it inside, however, Fotu, the focus, for him, and the surrounding team, if they double him, even triple team him, or pack the paint, probably what both opponents will do, just ZONE UH and pack the paint so Fotu and Standhardinger, will get some points, however, they will force the guards, and perimeter athletes for UH to beat them. That is why , as everyone, including Gib and scout coach Fisher, know…Shamburger, Valdes, Enos, Smith, Spearman, have to provide the offensive boost.
    Agree with another post: UH should Zone, with Rozitis top or bottom, and hope that Fullerton And Riverside start missing the 3’s that they will jack.
    Still as, others mentioned, if UH plays like they did for 40 minutes, against Davis, and Irvine, UH can come away with 2 HUGE wins. BWC, PARITY..

  2. Hope the feed from Big West Tv is good. The last game with Wahine, the stream, was steady. Hope the MBB game from Riverside, will be good live video.
    If UH , Shamburger, Nevels, Spearman, score double figures, and points and rebounds from Valdes, Rozitis and Smith, UH can win. Going to be closer games, UH has to play much better than last road swing. Now is the time. So huge, if UH gets these 2 wins, they are at 7-4 coming home.
    as Isaac says, a lot of people will listen on radio, livestats, or video feed. The Sat. game against Fullerton, should be good. Come on UH, step it up, and continue to be in that top 3 or 4!

  3. Really hoping for a good feed for tonight’s game! If not, I’ll have to go with the radio feed, but either way the Warriors need to be really careful tonight. Davis will be playing w/a chip on their shoulder and the refs will no doubt be homers. Either way, we have what it takes to win, so no excuses. A loss tonight would be nothing less than catastrophic to the season. Either way I’ll still be watching and cheering. Let’s GO BOWS!!

  4. Isaac, probably around the globe, and islands, whoever has radio, or online stream will follow game. So critical. If UH gets the sweep. They accomplish milestones. 18 wins, more wins than last year’s 17, with 5 more games to go. And they finish near that top 3 or 4 as winbows says.

    Odds makers, have UH as 6 point favorites, they haven’t been too accurate, with UH at home or on the road this season. So, I would call it a wash. Even game, maybe even a point as favorite to Riverside.

    Key: The guards. Spearman, Shamburger, Nevels, ..they score, 12, 14, 16 with Smith/.Enos, scoring 8, …in addition, another 7 or 8 pts from Valdes, Rozitis, Jovanovich, Jawato, UH will win. The bigs will get their, 15 and 17 pts, or better.

    Look for a close game. Guards help to clinch game at the FT line.
    Of Course we all hope, UH will just come out on fire, and get good lead and hang on. Kind of exciting. Fear No One, and Respect Everyone., One Ohana, go Bows!
    HUGE GAME….Absolutely needed win, to prepare for Fullerton Saturday!
    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  5. Really, if UH wins by 11 pts or 1 pt, just get the win Bows!

  6. Last game with Riverside was a huge foul fest at Hawaii. Jovanovich fouled out in just 12 minutes getting 5 whistles all in the second half, when the refs operated under sympathy mode. Thomas fouled out in just 7 minutes! Anyway, UH was up 56-30 at halftime, and still outscored Riverside 44-39 in second half with the starters playing <10 minutes each. UH even had FT disadvantage (39-32), but it doesn't matter when UH players are so much better. That first game qualifies as a bad game for UH defense, and still held Riverside to 69 points.

    Can Riverside defend better? Riverside starters are small, tallest is Taylor Johns 6'7" (although he does get 2.0 blocks per game). Riverside has a 6'10" senior they bring off the bench. They list a couple of 6'4" guys as forwards. And in the first game UH guards shot well enough against the small team. Fotu only took 6 shots, so look for that to increase if UH needs it on the road.

    Can Riverside shoot better? No one on Riverside shoots better than 33% 3FG, no one on Riverside has more than 3 assists per game. They have a small team yet only make 4.4 triples per game. Their last few games, they've gotten hotter shooting with one of the 6'4" forwards (Steve Thornton, from Utah St.). Sometimes you can't predict shooting, but there's a reason why Riverside's RPI is #321.

    Can Riverside get more help from the refs? Maybe, but they would need a lot. There is no way Riverside players are good enough to draw 39 FT against UH, but the refs got in sympathy mode. Nick Gruninger for Riverside shot 10 FT in 17 minutes, when he has shot 40 FT all year.

    I don't see much changing unless Riverside really slows down the pace. First game, UH shot 69 FG and 32 FT. Scored 44 in 2nd half with majority of bench playing and picking up tons of fouls. Johns fouled out in just 19 minutes and had a subpar game, look for him to do better for Riverside. Riverside's biggest threat is Sam Finley who shot 9 FT against UH and 16 FT against Northridge. He is a guard that takes it to the hole but does not pass. Which is easily stopped if UH plays a zone, but we'll see what UH does. A problem with Finley is that he turns the ball over a lot.

  7. There’ll be a lot of hacking from Riverside, trying to strip the ball before UH can get the shot up. They have no one that can match with Fotu and Standhardinger (and Rozitis, and Jovanovich if they get in the game…). We’ll see what the refs call, got to be ready for a snippy game. I know Fotu has international experience, but I also know Standhardinger can throw some dirty moves at people.

  8. Horssse- Good take on UH and officiating on the road. UH has to get out and score 75-80 pts, fastbreaks, mid range shots, inside to bigs. Mix up defense, then settle into their Zone, with Valdes or Rozitis at the top. They are getting pretty good at it. Christian, is not going to get the flop calls. He has to be careful. He might be, as well as Fotu saddled with 2 fouls apiece in first few minutes of game. Jovanovich, Thomas, Rozitis, Valdes, Smith have to step up big time.

    That is the equalizer at these small venues, the close proximity of fans, getting personal into ears of UH, and the officials calls. However, if UH is shooting, getting off clean looks, and hitting high percentage, without any physical contact on their part. The referees should not decide outcome of the game. Probably Riverside and Fullerton will have as much or maybe more fouls than UH.
    UH, bottom line, as hoopsa says, score 1 more point at final buzzer , get the W!
    Go Bows!


  9. As mentioned previous, hope the live stream is good tonight. The Fotu Ohana will be cheering the team on again.


    playhoopsa, HORSSSSSE_Champ, Isaac, Winbows1, FUHA, ans all die hard UH BB fans, here we go.


  10. Time for the Bows to take care of business this week. Everything must run through Standhardinger and Fotu on offense. That will collapse the defense and produce wide open looks for the guards.

    If Christian gets to the FT line at least 9 attemps, UH should be the winner in almost every game. The more trips to the FT line Standhardinger gets, the fewer perimeter shots he’s settling for.

  11. Who’s going to handle the pressure? Who’s going to make the big shots in crunch time? Who is going to be Mr. Cool? You saw it yesterday in the Syracuse-Pittsburgh game. The Point Guard, the true freshman, Tyler Ennis. I saw it live and it was the most exhilarating shot that I have seen in a long time. Time is running out. Ennis never hurried. He was in total control and his shot was looked good from the time he let it fly. The situation, down one, one the road, the undefeated season on the line. It wasn’t so much he made the shot, but it’s coupled with the fact that he is a freshman. That speaks volume of his mental makeup as a big WINNER. So, for tonight and every game, the MAN on our team is Keith Shamburger. If the plays solid and is the leader, we win, period. Play poorly from the field and on the floor, we probably have a good chance of losing. Thus, the importance of the play of Quincy Smith. When Keith is struggling, Q has to come up big.
    The point guards make all the difference in the world in basketball. You can just look at our point guards from last year.

  12. Everybody talking bout offense, offense, offense.

    The focus should be on getting stops and playing defense with a sense of urgency; or better yet, desperation. And cleaning up the defensive boards.

    Basketball is a game of runs, and if they are able to start strong and can string together stanzas of stops on consecutive possessions, they will separate from Riverside, and continue to separate and put this team to bed early. They have the better personnel and scheme.

    Shots fall or don’t fall. They need to take care of business and impose their will defensively and look to push tempo and speed Riverside up. Riverside does not have the personnel to go up and down with them.

  13. mid range game:

    Yes. Pretty much thought of Coach Gib and staff from beginning of season. This team averaging about 81 ppg. They can score inside, transition, and when bigs get going, they can match anyone in the BWC. So, to be contending for BWC regular and BWC tourney title, DEFENSE, outstanding, and you are right, that old Formula, get consecutive, stops, and score off of steals, blocked shots, deflections, turnovers, quick strike, to bigs first, then the perimeter guys, UH can sweep road trip. However, League, the number 8 and 9 teams , will be tough at their house. UH has to go full bore on O and D, they can and should win. Now, is the time to step up. Still , this season can be a very, very good one!

    Go Bows!

    UHMBB 87, UC Riverside 76

    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)
    Then Never Let The Highlanders Closer Than Six after Midway through the FIRST Half

    Early Knockdown, Keep Pummeling Away!


    DO IT AGAIN! (NOW, Saturday!)

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