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UPDATED: Warriors shot down by UCSB in home finale

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Relentlessy torching the nets almost from start to finish, UC Santa Barbara rained a shower of 3-pointers and easy layups on Hawai’i throughout an impressive 98-90 Big West Conference men’s basketball road victory Thursday night.

A Senior Night “White-Out” crowd of 7,066 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched helplessly as freshman guard Gabe Vincent scored a game-high 25 points and fellow guard Michael Bryson added 22 points and five rebounds for the Gauchos, who improved to 17-12 overall, 9-5 in the Big West with their second win over the Warriors this season.

All-Big West center Alan Williams scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a relatively quiet-but-effective performance.

Roderick Bobbitt led UH with a career-high 26 points to go with four assists, and Stefan Jankovic added 20 points and seven rebounds as the Rainbow Warriors fell to 19-12, 7-8 in their home finale. They will end their Big West regular season at 3 p.m. (Hawai’i time) Saturday at Cal State Fullerton, and then the Big West Tournament starts on Thursday.

“Santa Barbara is playing as good as anybody in the league right now, they’ll be a tough out in the tournament,” Hawai’i coach Benjy Taylor said. “Their perimeter players made shots, and of course (Williams) demands attention inside. They made a lot of big plays, hat’s off to them.”

UCSB led, 49-39, after a fast-paced first half and led by as many as 17 points, at 73-56, after Bryson’s slam dunk midway through the second. The Warriors were able to close it to 84-76 on Bobbitt’s 3-pointer with three minutes remaining, but the Gauchos answered with four straight free throws to push the lead to 88-76 with 1:22 left.

Hawai’i got as close as 94-88 on Garrett Nevels’ running bank shot with 17.9 seconds remaining and 96-90 on Bobbitt’s layup with 11.7 ticks on the clock, but Zalmico Harmon sealed the victory with two free throws at 7.7 seconds left.

UCSB finished the game shooting 56.4 percent (31 of 55) from the field, including 7 of 14 shots from 3-point range.

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“It was tough because they’re a good shooting team,” said Jankovic. “They shot about 60 percent, it was crazy. They kept knocking down shots, they were shooting the lights out.”

UH reserve guard Isaac Fleming, recovering from an ankle sprain that caused him to miss the previous three games, made his return early in the first half and scored five points but then got re-injured after slamming into a hard screen at halfcourt early in the second half. He left the game at that point and did not return.

“He’ll be fine,” Taylor said.

Former starting forward Mike Thomas, also nursing an ankle sprain from Feb. 14, played nine minutes in the first half but was mostly ineffective, failing to score and grabbing only one rebound with two turnovers. He played only one minute in the second half.

UCSB started hot from outside and did not really cool off, finishing the first 20 minutes at a torrid 57.6 percent (19 of 33) from the field, including 5 of 10 shooting from 3-point range. Vincent was particularly on fire, nailing 5 of 7 field goals including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc in scoring 14 points.

Bryson also had 14 points by halftime, on 6 of 9 shooting, and center Williams added 11 points and five rebounds. The Gauchos also out-rebounded the Rainbow Warriors, 15-10, including a 5-2 edge on the offensive glass.

UCSB led 26-13 at one point, before Hawai’i chipped away and eventually closed it to 34-31 and then 36-33. But the Gauchos finished the half with a 13-6 run to lead, 49-39, at the break.

They also were effective at avoiding the Rainbow Warriors’ defensive pressure, as UH had only one steal by halftime and six for the game.

“They would throw it to their big guy in the middle of the press, and he did not dribble — he would just turn and pass,” Taylor said. “That was the key.”

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Late in the game, UCSB held off several UH charges by slipping through the pressure for easy backdoor layups, or by drawing fouls and sinking free throws. The Gauchos finished with 29 made free throws in 36 attempts (80.6 percent).

After the game, senior Nevels and junior Brandon Jawato each were honored in most likely their final appearance at Stan Sheriff Center. Jawato has one year of eligibility remaining but will graduate this summer.

“Wearing all this lei, it’s a great feeling, I feel special right now,” said Nevels, who is also scheduled to graduate after this season. “The fans were great, they still came out even though it was a Wednesday and they had work and stuff … it was a great crowd, and I’m just sorry we couldn’t win for them.”

Nevels, who has played the second half of the season after undergoing surgery on his right (shooting) hand on Dec. 31, said he is glad he chose UH despite the many ups and downs over the past two years since transferring from Mt. San Antonio (Junior) College.

“It was one of the best decisions I made in my life,” he said.

Taylor said he is grateful for Nevels and Jawato, especially for their decision to give full effort this season after the turmoil of late October, when head coach Gib Arnold and longtime assistant Brandyn Akana were relieved of their duties and top returnee Isaac Fotu turned pro after being declared ineligible.

“I’m really proud of them,” Taylor said of Nevels and Jawato. “I want to personally thank them for sticking things out and making a commitment, again. On Nov. 1, they made a commitment to this team, and that was huge. They believed in what we wanted to do.”

NOTE: More from the “Senior Night” festivities will be posted later, including video highlights and interviews.

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(Game photos courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)

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Thursday’s Big West Games
Cal State Fullerton at UC Irvine
CSUN at Long Beach State
UC Riverside at UC Davis

Saturday’s Big West Games
Cal Poly at UC Santa Barbara
Long Beach State at UC Riverside
UC Irvine at UC Davis
Hawai’i at Cal State Fullerton, 3 p.m. (Hawai’i time)

20 Comments

  1. i thought Refs were Mostly Good / O.K..
    Hope We See Something like this @ Tourney…
    FOULED OUT THREE UCSB-ers

    i DON’T Know IF UCSB IS Actually Better
    They SHOT Better…
    We CAN Shoot Better
    AS Good As UCSB?
    Most Times NOT
    Most Times WE Score 90+ WE WIN…

    They Out-Played, BEAT US Twice
    AND Are Ahead In The Standings
    (Against The Same Teams, Same Places)
    That’s a Fair Definition

    UH IS YOUNG And Still Improving
    CAN We Be Better (Than UCSB, BWC)
    BY Next Week?
    Thomas and Fleming Need More Improvement
    (But Probably Rest at Fullerton
    Maybe woulda been better to avoid worsening last night)

    Congratulations to May Graduates Jawato and Garrett
    Best of Luck to Coaches and Players
    Step Up, Even More
    And Have a Trip for The Ages

    Gotta Beat Fullerton to have a better shot
    at Not Starting the Tourney
    Against this same Hot-Shooting Team

    GO ‘Bows!
    Here Comes the Finish
    Make The Next Games Your Very Best
    Play Lights Out
    Finish Strongest

  2. Re: Runbows on prior post; Today’s newspaper didn’t say that Benjy wasn’t going to apply for the HC job, nor did G. Dickman last night. Maybe he said it was his last game for this season here.

  3. Well we shot 52% and lost. Where are all the statistic Nostradamuses who were saying if we shoot better than 50% we can beat anybody?

    We never had the lead in this game, played catchup all night.

    The error in people saying that “if UH shoots better than 50% they win”, is that any other team’s fans can say “when their team shoots better than 50% they win”. Well what happens when both teams shoot better than 50%?

    UH had as good a shooting night as we can hope for, and lost.

    Their flashy defense lacks grit. Too much space afforded to shooters as they try to sag in the passing lanes to get flashy steals and boost their individual stats. So many layups by Bryson last night where he just ran behind the defense that tried to intercept passes. Too much playing the ball/watching the ball instead of guarding their men.

  4. Horse, the problem was the turnovers. You can shoot at a good clip but if you don’t shoot enough shots the math won’t work out. Our defense was the real problem last night. We didn’t adjust to the hot shooters and Big Al did what Big Al does to most teams. Eat them up on the glass and in the paint. I hope we do not see them in the first round.

  5. Forgot to Mention that The Refs WERE Allowing Contact Down Low
    NICKY MINAJ Defense and Offense?
    Just ‘Cos You USE Your Big Butt, Instead of Hands, Hip, Ams, Leg, it’s Not a Foul?
    Then (As Benjy pointed out) All the Minor Perimeter Ticky-Tack Fouls ?

    MAYBE NEED National Standards…
    With More Training / Videos
    We Have Refs / Experts — Comments?

    ——

    The Ultimate Purpose of Passing, Dribbling, Rebounding, Defending,,,
    IS Shooting
    Making More Baskets than The Opposition…
    UCSB Did Most of that Well

    IS There A Coach that CAN Recruit and WIN Consistently (And Stay)
    From Middle of PACIFIC Ocean?

    CAN Laura Coach Men?
    There IS A Raise Involved….

  6. islandman….

    yes… I think emotion of the moment…. he is still preparing team to get 20th win at Fullerton, and Anaheim.. he and staff prepare for that 3 game run.. still a lot to play for.

    Think according to Bobby C. this morning show, that is what administration does, they open up HC search , and go over qualifcations, etc, and if Benjy applies, he would be up there as top ones, however Admin would have to decide who is best candidate.. All Benjy and the Bows can do, since beginning of season.. JUST keep on getting more wins.. Say, islandman, if UH beats Fullerton, the 20th win, and then wins 2 more in BWC, gets to BWC tourney championship game and falls.. UH MBB with interim Benjy at the helm would end up 22-13. not bad record for a team, we thought, I thought, maybe if they won 16 games it would be fantastic.. Good resume.. the running MBB program, seems like guys on board academics, team stays together as whole for season, and very exciting product.. Those are the Positives.. think so important, that Team Still plays hard for Coaching staff and Hawaii, they still can win that Anaheim Tournament,,.. if UH goes to NCAA tournament.. the win the BWC tournament.. Then Admin. they find a JC very successful coach that applied, and felt he or she was better, would you not hire Benjy, at 24-25 wins and NCAA invite.
    Would have to think if UH wins another 2 more games , and has 21 wins.. I have never heard of interim, in Baseball, Football, Basketball, unless the interim did not want permanent job, not get hired to multi year deal.. Think it is just protocol.. For Chancellor to say, We Have Time.. don’t have to hire HC NOW.. that screws up recruiting the 2 JC guys waiting..although, if new AD was given reins to hire HC, if soon, before April-May signing date.. would have chance..

    First time islandman, due to circumstance, I missed live broadcast of UH MBB home game in 40 years..incredible, when turned on radio after 9pm.. UH was still battling to end, in last few seconds to come within 6 pts. The Warriors, and Warrior Chief Benjy Taylor, This Year, made UH MBB fans proud.. they NEVER give up.
    Hope Fleming is okay, and UH is energized, and gets hot like Poly and wins that NCAA bid.

    Team and their families should throw their support, if team is truly behind Coach Taylor and voice publicly their support for Benjy as coach.. it worked back in October..

    Maybe, Benjy, tells team.. NOW JUST HAVE FUN.. play loose, play hard, and play hoops… that is how they played in first 16 games pre BWC season.. New Season, a mini 3 game tournament, win and advance.

    No islandman, probably, Benjy if he applies, and I hope he does.. keep Senque on board too, I would like to see whom they can recruit.. What Bobby C . cleared up on sports Animals, yesterday , was huge, the ncaa thing.. UH did enough , self imposed.. and NCAA is going to clean up that , punish the guilty or alleged infractions people, and let the innocent ones continue to play for post season etc.. other things UH can work out with NCAA.. that leaves hope for this year’s Jr.s, sophs, and freshmen to return next year.. I think they will.. I hope Benjy applies…and has good interview.. who is interviewing,.. if They have a good opinion of Benjy and see the body of work.. keeping as CEO, a MBB program that took a near fatal blow at beginning of season, and injuries, illness, and helping team to mature.. Coach of the Year, In Western USA NCAA DI in my mind!

    Benjy, Benjy Benjy !!.. Like Danny K. , remember , to Frazier former AD, during Wallace final game, Danny K. led chant, we want Nash, we want Nash.. well Nash, I feel sorry for him, did not win, over 3 years.. for one year.. Benjy and Bows, still can , I am sure, over next 2 games, they will get the 20th win, historic for First year HC.. for UH MBB.. Benjy, Benjy, Benjy.. UH admin, consider Benjy for permanent new HC, let he and staff recruit..

  7. islandman……chancellor wants to, and remember he is INTERIM chancellor too, probably, they should move fast on filling AD position.. leave the responsibility and the burden and responsibility on new AD, How about Shoji? Or wonder if John McNamara, who knows the deal at UH for years.. would be leading candidate.. I think so.. if he is supportive of Taylor and what team has done, he could recommend hire of Benjy Taylor.,

    Think that Benjy, in post game radio show, so emotional.. he felt heart broken that team could not get the W for Garrett Nevels, the athlete who went from player to player, and told them to stick together,.. only 2 guys left program, before end of 2014..Reyes and Fotu..so Garrett , UH MBB fans, owe a lot to, as well as Mamma Valdes touching letter to support the Team no matter whom the coach..
    Depends.. Big call , for now more important then dismissing Chow after next season, if he does not go to Hawaii Bowl,.. HIRE AD fast and hire,. best HC for MBB, would think Benjy would be number one.. the administrative things, though buck stops with Benjy, or the HC,, he can delegate, and he told Artie that he did.. each of his 4 assistants, got it covered, from recruiting, to scouting to academics.. great X and O assistant in coach Autry, and player developer in Senque,, and Loyd,make sure team on top of school work even on the road.. So Important that Team finishes this Spring good GPA and everyone stays in school.. 2 grads… Nevels and Jawato huge too for APR..

    Benjy, I totally support you.. your team wins 20 plus games, and Team of 14 guys stuck it out for a whole year.. with your guidance.. that is HUGE POSITIVE for resume.. If UH admin goes another direction.. and dismiss winning HC.. I don’t get that..

  8. eagle:

    Wonder where UH MBB team mindset is at at this point? Hope they still go out to win.. and true, the way the officiating called, let go physical play down low and call ticky tack fouls on top.. affects UH ability to pressure, get steals.. when UH was in games like that , refs, clean up their aggressive perimeter defense.. UH lost games..

    ths team so laid back.. the only way they win Fullerton and 3 games in Anaheim, have to have Warrior mentality.. they can do it.

    Go Bows !!
    ESPN3 online broadcast for Oceanic and HawTel? subscribers.. ESPN3 feed the best , high quality.. look forward, believe it is Fullerton’s Senior nite.. don’t want them to be hot..UH just bring it.. and Lost in this, discussion.. Janks. is playing as that hybrid big, and going down low, playing really really well, newcomer of the year?
    Janks, NWC.. Nevels, Bobbitt now, Valdes, Thomas, Jovanovich, Smith, just bring it.. nothing to lose, everything to gain..

    Getting excited again at 300pm HST online ESPN3 or ESPNwatch app, UH vs Fullerton, so important for momentum and to get that 20th win, at Fullerton..team has to play really well, not go through motions,.. guard whole court, and play smart.. They can win next 4 games for sure.. new season, the March season !!
    πŸ™‚

  9. Really… comes down to this.. as in past seasons with Gib at helm…. Defend the 3 pt line.. at one time, UH MBB, was one of the top WAC and BWC 3 pt shot defensive teams…

    Watched video, and interesting, When other teams, not their leading scorers, Caffey, Hawkins, Williams, who are kept in check by UH, it is the OTHER guys who go off from 3 pt line, and transition buckets, to help their team get wins..

    Have to stay with all 5 guys on court, I guess, defend from 27 feet on in.. UH get back to defending ..shot pretty well from field.. and 8 or 9 guys contributed points, rebounds etc..

    UH , just get refreshed.. tried their best to beat a UCSB team that had the two perimeter guys go off…if they were held to their averages.. UH wins by 8..

    Ain’t giving up hope on you guys , MBB team.. You all can still Dance.. and Garrett, maybe, this March Madness time.. UH MBB team play mad, mad and all out winning basketball.. get Fullerton and the 3 games in BWC tournament.. Anaheim where dreams come true , hoops dreams.

    Go
    Bows !
    Warrior Time !!

    πŸ™‚
    Yes, did not take long, I support Benjy for permanent HC for next 3 years, however I also suppor the team, the 6000 plus in attendance, for last game SSC home.. and all the thousands of fans old and new of MBB this year.. we got spoiled.. never expected this,.. a Great season.. on what could have been NO SEASON.. everyone including Benjy, Senque, jumping ship.. they stayed with it.. and will be one of the winningest UH MBB teams in history.. top 12 for sure !

  10. UCSB looks to be the best team in the Big West regardless of conference standings. Hope we don’t have to meet them in the first round, but if we end up 6th and UCSB remain in 3rd, we could be. UH tried to keep up, but the difference was UCSB got a lot more loose balls and rebounds and was able to get more shot attempts. Percentages were pretty close, but UCSB was just a little bit better. UH had more 3s, but UCSB had a better %. Tough luck for Fleming getting hurt again. I hope he’ll be okay by the conference tournament starts. UCSB’s defense matched UH’s defense. UH had to have the edge on defense to have a chance to win. We are probably one short getting the edge on all the teams. Fotu would have been the edge. Oh well, we lose Jawato and Nevels, plus earlier Fotu and Reyes. That’s 4 scholarships. NCAA sanctions may cut some scholarships, just have to wait and see what happens. May also cut practice times, recruiting time, and postseason ban(s), or ineligible for conf. tournament. You never know, but most fans are hoping it’s not too severe. And maybe releasing Arnold and Akana early would help ease harder penalties since the major problems were under their doing.

  11. Janks for governor or mayor. Jawato had some wahine volleyball players giving him some leis after his family. Garrett, looked like he had a lot of local people giving him leis after his family.

  12. I think Benjy said on the replay of the interview with Gary and Portnoy something about 24 players nominated for all conference and three from UH ? Would that be Valdes, Janks and Bobbitt ?

    He also agreed with them that Janks could be newcomer of the year.

  13. I respectfully disagree with you islandman. Newcomer of the year has to be Roderick Bobbitt. He’s the leader of the team, leads the nation and the conference in steals. He leads the conference in assists also.
    Nobody from UH will be first team Big West, unless somehow Bobbitt makes it.

    My selections for 1st team Big West: Corey Hawkins, Michael Bryson, Will Davis, Stephan Hicks, Taylor Johns.

  14. Derek; That’s what Benjy said, i think- Janks But that’s right, Roderick is also a newcomer.
    ———————————————————————————

    Davis barely beat Riverside tonight, 61-59. Irvine beat Fullerton, only 68-62 .

  15. Yes…incredible….riverside loses after leading davis late
    sets up uh mbb team getting win at fullerton for 20th win and 5th seed
    LBSU will be 4th
    so possible 4 vs 5 matchup first round uh mbb vs LBSU

    yes…so much to play for
    hope Isaac will be ready

    We all watch if can espn3 of espnWatch app
    saturday

    Go Bows!!
    πŸ™‚

  16. derek..islandman
    impact new guys …fleming..janks…NWC…bobbitt..
    UH MBB need 4 guys double scoring
    whole team on point
    what have they got to lose?
    Fullerton game and first round game chance to get 20, or 21 wins
    should be exciting
    long as uh mbb can score well
    πŸ™‚

  17. With Fotu and Sammis…UH MBB preseason pick …5th
    now ..with basically new leading scorers and top rotation guys
    Team did not tank or fall apart

    Incredible
    good job coach Taylor and Team!!
    πŸ™‚

  18. Big West Men’s tournament quarterfinals supposed to be on Prime Ticket, March 12.

  19. Wish them best
    tell you fans as mid range expressed Benjy and The Bows no matter if season ends at 19 wins
    team made Hawaii proud
    new, and young team
    new coaching staff
    jayson goo mvp trainer!!
    πŸ™‚

  20. Thanks islandman hope refs let uh mbb play defense
    should be best crew

    Janks very good
    NWC
    AV
    MT
    G
    Q
    IF
    stef
    Rod
    great season, not over yet!!
    πŸ™‚

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