Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

High Point rallies past Warriors, 62-54


John Brown scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed six rebounds and Tarique Thompson added 13 points and four rebounds this morning to lead High Point to a 62-54 victory over Hawai’i and the 50th Annual Rainbow Classic championship.

A spirited “Midnight Madness” crowd of 5,805 at the Stan Sheriff Center stayed up for the 11:59 p.m. tip-off and watched Mike Thomas lead the Rainbow Warriors with 14 points – all in the first half. Freshman Isaac Fleming added 11 points, including nine in the second half.

High Point opened the second half with a 10-1 run to overtake Hawai’i for a 37-32 lead with 15:43 remaining, but Isaac Fleming drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key to ignite a 16-2 run which put the Rainbow Warriors ahead, 48-39, after Quincy Smith’s stunning baseline drive and slam dunk with eight minutes on the clock.

But the Panthers roared back with a 9-0 run capped by Devante Wallace’s 3-pointer from the left corner to tie it at 51-51 with 3:52 left. Things looked gloomier for UH when starting point guard Roderick Bobbitt fouled out 30 seconds later, and Anthony Lindauer’s two free throws at that point gave High Point a 53-51 lead.

Fleming’s layup tied it again at 53-53 with 2:16 remaining, but Adam Weary converted a three-point play to put the Panthers ahead, 56-53, with 1:41 left, and free throws by Brian Richardson and Tarique Thompson stretched the lead to 59-53 with 46.3 seconds on the clock. Smith sank one of two free throws nine seconds later to cut it to 59-54, but Wallace answered with two more free throws to make it 61-54 with 34 seconds remaining, and White’s free throw effectively sealed the victory with 17.2 seconds left.

Hawai’i led, 31-27, at halftime thanks largely to 13-of-14 free throw shooting, led by Thomas’ 6-for-6. High Point used an early 8-0 run to go up, 11-5, five minutes into the game, but Stefan Jovanovich’s putback two minutes later capped a 7-0 surge by the Rainbow Warriors for a 12-11 lead. A 3-pointer by Austin White later put the Panthers ahead, 16-12, but Bobbitt answered with his own 3-pointer to start UH on a 9-0 run to make it 21-16 with 9:04 remaining in the half.

The Rainbow Warriors later went up, 29-23, on two free throws by Negus Webster-Chan with 3:49 left, but John Brown later dropped a baseline fadaway to close it to 31-27 with 1:03 remaining, and that is where the score stood at the break.

Hawai’i led despite shooting only 8 of 27 (29.6 percent) from the field. High Point was only a little better at 11 for 30 (36.7 percent), including only 1 for 9 from beyond the arc.

Thomas, who had only one field goal and three points in the first two games of the season, was 4 for 6 from the field and had a career-high 14 points in the first half.

The Warriors will not have much time to rest, as they will play again on Wednesday night when they host Hawai’i-Hilo at the Stan Sheriff Center.

More details, including video highlights and interviews, will be posted later.

(Game photo courtesy Brandon Flores)


  1. What happened ?!?
    They ran out of energy. Got distracted. Couldn’t focus.
    Ouch. I think we would win 4 out of 5 against HP. Well, this was that 1.
    Reassess. Get the brain trust together. Reassess.
    All ideas on the table.

  2. ?? Overcoached ??
    Too much emphasis on Defense ?
    Open em’ up! Give them the green light !
    Put in some alleyoop plays to get the adrenaline running !!

  3. These are adrenaline junkies ! Put in plays to take advantage of this.
    Not just speed and quickness, but spirit !!
    Take care da’ spirit !!

  4. akuhead2:

    Kind of shaking my head, did not know what happened, the defense yes, they struggled on offense, when Bobbitt went out , kind of took the wind out of their sails. Plus NWC could not hit, and MT had great first half, however, his hands must be really bothering him.
    Oh, well, don’t have to get to upset, UH still 2-1, and must get win against Hilo, and then on to Maui for some Maui magic, huge game against Pitt, then the long flight to Florida..
    akuhead2, one thing, Sammis should be ready, can toughen up that inside, and eventually Jawato, then Jankovich, then Team will be complete…Just have to go back to drawing board, and work on their offense, taking care of the ball, and closing out game, They WERE ahead by 9 points going into final minutes of game.. you are right , gassed, and High Point, just had the extra fuel in tank..

    UH still give a lot of effort.. they will win a lot of games at SSC, and have a shot on the road, because the defend so well, and when their complete team is shooting well, they can be very good.
    Hey, akuhead2, .. still has 29 more games before BWC tournament.. ton of games, to have winning season.. Still Very Early.. Coach and team , they are learning, they will bounce back..

  5. 54 pts is not going to get it done on most nights. When you don’t have a quality low post threat then we will have off nights like this when we rely so heavily on guard play. I think despite their relative obscurity to the average basketball fan, High Point is a quality opponent who went to the NIT last year and returned all 5 starters. Our first real test and we graded out about a C- in my book.

  6. We are on a learning curve indeed.
    Just to re-state, I think we have a very exceptional team. The team out there tonight, could have won. And I think, would win 4 of 5 against High Point.
    Our bigs are actually pretty good, and will definitely get better.
    But our guards were in disarray tonight. I think maybe they were only thinking about defense. Their minds were not there on offense. The announcers kept talking about how good our defense was. I thought they played okay. Valdes was on the floor scrambling quite a bit. What hustle!! Good!! But not one of the guys was thinking offense, THE WAY WE ALL KNOW THEY ARE CAPABLE OF. I’m just saying, we, they, should not take for granted their awesome offensive capabilities. Let’s see what the coach has to say. If I had to guess, I think he had them thinking D. Maybe they are learning. But the offense, if they are not ‘learning’, then open it up and play some free style. I think we have got three excellent coaches. But the guys looked dazed the last half. Not that High Point was that good and beat us. We look like we went home early. I know this team can do better.

  7. So nice to see them on ESPN !

  8. Thanks to Eagle for helping me set up my ESPN ! Mahalo.
    Now, what about the rest of the games. ??

  9. Agree we “should” Beat HPU ‘Most Times’ we play them; that’s why ‘easily’ led most of the game…
    i think even our Bigs outplayed theirs…
    BUT Too Many Unforced Turnovers and Failure to Execute and Convert Field Goals and Free-Throws In Prime Time….
    (We Really Also NEED Better Refs who stole numerous baskets– improper charge calls took away converted baskets and potential three-point plays as many as three times? PLUS Ridiculous Possession Calls and Phantom (Made Up) Fouls);

    HPU Earned the Win by converting their free-throws and NOT making mistakes to overtake the lead at the end when it mattered — they also pulled away from a tie game with APB in the last four minutes and reversed several ‘End-of-Game’ Deficits with CSU-Bakersfield…So their “Five Starters” and Experience Prevails and Shows when it Matters —

    Something UH Still NEEDs to Learn Better, (made good comebacks against Both CSUB & HPU to take (apparent) ‘controlling’ leads….

  10. The offense is lousy. That’s a fact, not just a reaction to one loss this weekend.

    This team is still coalescing together. Sammis did not even play because he’s only been with Benjiy for what, 2 days of practice? Bobbitt missed the whole summer. Quincy got recurring back problems. Thomas keeps getting scrapes. It’s no wonder these guys don’t know how to run the offense together at full speed.

    The point guard play will have to step up, imo that is a reason why the shooting is so lousy. Not getting the shooters enough space, or where they want the ball at.

  11. UH played scrappy defense, but had too many turnovers near the end and missed FT’s plus some players couldn’t find their shooting touches. Although Valdes and Negus didn’t score much, they both grabbed 7 rebounds. Nevels had 6 rebounds, 3 steals, one block and was playing tough defense.

    Thomas and Fleming scored well. Stefan played tough, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 5 rebounds. Quincy made a couple of good drives, Bobbitt was working hard on defense.

    UH only had 5 assists to HPU’s 13 . Brown showed he could shoot away from the rim too. As Eagle said, they closed out the game well.

    Why Portnoy so ____ about Nevels making the all-tourney team ? Negus also made the team.

  12. Tough night or morning?!? The hustle was there, but the cold shooting didn’t help. John Brown was a force. This team is still exciting to watch.

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