Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UC Riverside holds off Warriors, 66-62


RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Jaylen Bland drained a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:36 remaining and then later sealed the victory with a free throw with 8.1 seconds left tonight to help UC Riverside hold off Hawai’i, 66-62, in Big West Conference men’s basketball action.

A spirited crowd of about 2,300 at the Highlanders’ Student Recreation Center Arena and a national TV audience on ESPNU watched UCR even their record at 9-9 overall and 2-2 in the Big West. The Rainbow Warriors fell to 13-6, 1-2.

Stefan Jankovic led UH with 17 points, Isaac Fleming added 15 points and Roderick Bobbitt contributed 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals.

UCR used an 8-2 run in the first two minutes of the second half to take a 36-35 lead on Steven Thornton’s 3-point swish from the right wing. Hawai’i answered with a 5-0 run capped by Fleming’s 3-pointer to put the Rainbow Warriors ahead, 40-36, with 16:19 remaining in the game.

The Highlanders responded with an 11-5 spurt ending with Austin Quick’s three free throws to give UCR a brief 47-45 lead with 11:52 left, only to see UH tie it on Stefan Jovanovic’s slam dunk to tie it 30 seconds later at 47-47. Nick Gruninger’s 3-pointer pushed the Highlanders back ahead at 50-47, but Fleming capped an 8-2 run with a three-point play to give the Rainbow Warriors a 55-52 lead with 7:37 remaining.

Quick later topped off a 6-1 surge with a steal and layup to put UCR back ahead at 58-56 with 3:19 left, but Hawai’i tied it a minute later on Jankovic’s runner in the lane.

Hawai’i led, 31-28, after UCR finished the first half with an 11-2 run.

Bobbitt’s putback with 15:30 remaining in the half capped a 9-2 Rainbow Warriors run to put them up, 10-6, and Quincy Smith baked in a 3-pointer from the left wing to later top off a 15-5 surge to extend the lead to 27-14 with 7:40 left.

UH had nine steals in the game’s first 14 minutes.

The Highlanders then chipped away and eventually closed it to 31-28 on Gruninger’s mid-range jumper 21 seconds before halftime.

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

(Game photo courtesy Warren Haraki)


  1. Aaron had off game he gets 10 pts at least probably uh mbb wins
    as benjy said post game show..down 2 starters..ailing hurt guys..warmups jawato back spasms..however this team…never lost 2 games in a row
    I expect team get off the mat and get davis and irvine
    uh mbb win 9 or 10 bwc games …fantastic..
    benjy , what a job managing mbb team through storm
    he is righf ..wants janks to grab more rebounds..

    Oh well.
    go get 2 wins at ssc next week!!
    Go Rainbow Warriors !!

  2. Entertaining game but too bad we lost on national TV. We just need to be able to execute better in the half court offense when teams slow us down.

  3. Hawaii played a great game. I like the defensive
    Pressure in the first half. They were in control the first half. Stealing the ball.. the second half they did not press as much. Hawaii has a great team.they just have to know how to put a team away. They let this one get away. Hawaii will finish in top four in conference. Let’s go warrior s.

  4. Yes…all the effort too turning team over 23 times , had to convert fastbreaks and half court sets…that is where nevels and nwc would have helped….on road shoot 36% from field won’t get it done..
    no panic…team effort never lacking , young team learn to execute and win ..
    this team still very exciting
    benjy knows team needs to be disciplined on offense and bigs need to, i.e., janks grab solid rebounds..teams are pounding them phisically now
    still believe uh mbb will get that 8-8, 9-7 record and be ready for bwc tournament
    illness and injuries really ill times, however part of sports
    team resilient they will be okay..

    Bows we still backing you all !!

  5. Just saw the ESPN replay. Couple of bad calls at the end, but still.
    I a fan of going with the hot hand. Valdes did not have the hot hand tonight. That would be Jankovic. Possibly Fleming. And I think Bobbitt could be a little more determined scorer. Would like to see Q in there more. Hope MT is okay.

  6. Sloppy game , many missed layups , free throws , some foolish passes by Bobbit , Riverside comes back from 13 down and beats us . This game was ours , and we let it get away. I am so pisssssed. Agonizing loss to watch this team blow up at the end. Valdes was MIA no sugar coating here , Janks still making bad mistakes by not taking a step or two in closer before launching his bombs , needs to learn to get inside and play physical, we lose too many balls where the other team just slaps it out of our hands. 1-2 is not a good start , we should at least be 2-1 at this point , the next two at home are winnable and we Need to Win. !! We need you Nevels , heal fast.

  7. Benjy should have team just work on offensive and defensive half court sets
    teams that can run their half court offense..they score or get offensive rebounds..
    on offense uh mbb has to be able to score…got good looks..missed some easy ones
    and rebounding
    if nwc and nevels..thomas? Not up to par..gut check time

    Team does not like to lose
    benjy keep team togrther
    as we all know, team healthy playing well end of bwc regular season and playing best basketball..can win..go dancing
    trust team together
    janks offensively gifted..has to rebond better
    nevels what a fearsome rebounder
    uh mbb probably play their 2 best games and win 2 in a row next week
    team is tough
    need go to scorers
    team get better

  8. Teams just beating up uh mbb now..gotta fight back..

  9. We had them on the ropes in the first half and should have had a big lead going in to halftime. Instead, we let them cut into our lead through sloppy play and build their confidence going into the second half. The disappointment is that this should have been a win instead of a loss. The next two games won’t be easy; I hope they can regroup and pick up the wins.

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