Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors advance to championship of Big West Tourney


The season of turmoil for the University of Hawai’i basketball team has taken a sudden turn … right into the championship game of the Big West Conference Tournament.

The Warriors stunned top seed UC Davis, 65-58, in an exhilarating semifinal game at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Hawai’i, which improved to 22-12, will face either UC Santa Barbara or UC Irvine in Saturday’s championship game at 5:30 p.m. (Hawai’i time).

Roderick Bobbitt had 14 points and six assists, Isaac Fleming had 13 points and four assists, and Aaron Valdes had 12 points and a huge blocked shot in the final minute to lead the Warriors.

The game was tied with less than two minutes remaining, but the Warriors got several key defensive stops after that to take the win.

Garrett Nevels added seven points and eight rebounds, and Stefan Jankovic added seven points and five rebounds.

The Warriors raced to an 11-2 lead to open the game, as Garrett Nevels, Negus Webster-Chan and Stefan Jankovic each hit a 3-pointer in the opening minutes.

Hawai’i increased the lead to 22-9 with 10:53 remaining in the first half, but managed to score just four points the rest of the half. UCD out-scored the Warriors 14-4 in the final 10 minutes of the first half, and Hawai’i took a 26-23 lead at intermission.

Neither team shot particularly well in the first half – Hawai’i at 37.5 percent (9 for 24) and UCD at 36.0 percent (9 for 25).

The Aggies finally caught the Warriors with 15:38 remaining in the second half when Avery Johnson scored on a three-point play to tie the score at 32. It stayed close the rest of the way.

A driving dunk by Valdes off a crafty assist from Fleming capped a 7-0 run by Hawai’i that put the Warriors ahead 48-40 with 7:53 remaining.

The Warriors increased their lead to 54-44 after Webster-Chan drained a 3-pointer from the corner with 4:57 remaining.

Hawai’i was up by 11 when the Aggies responded with an 11-0 run to tie the score at 56 with 1:58 remaining. UCD hit 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions to highlight surge.

Fleming drained two free throws with 1:40 remaining to put the Warriors ahead 58-56. Valdes then got a spectacular blocked shot of an attempt by Hawkins, and then added two free throws to pad the Hawai’i lead to 60-56 with 33 seconds remaining.

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

(Game photo courtesy Brandon Flores)


  1. Ferd….jeff…jackson…wassup!!!

    Hire benjy!!

    Team fantastic game!!

    We Proud!!

  2. What a block by Valdes with about 41 sec left on Corey H !

  3. Wow! When was the last time Hawaii had both the men’s and women’s teams playing for the conference championship?

  4. What a great win!! I saw that Jeff Portnoy showed up to be a negative Nancy. He and Wheeler sucked my left nut last night and they are going to suck my right nut tonight…..Go Bows!!

  5. And what a tap from behind by Bobbitt to enable a steal near the end on # 2 ?

  6. LOL RunBows…what have the pundits/talking heads have to say now? And HEY Pupule…would you hire Coach Taylor or NAH??


  7. The guards, the guards, the guards. They dribble, they penetrate, they assist, they score, they rebound, they steal, they block shots, they harass, they lead the team to victory again. Led by Bobbitt, Fleming, Valdez, and Nevels.

  8. That one play near the end Negus or someone went diving over a Davis player to get a loose ball was really something.

  9. Personally, NAH as long as you asked. But I love the “suck my nuts” comment and no objection from Runbows. Guess it depends which side you are on to protest so called profane comments. Never said a negative word about players or team but hard to resist tweaking you over the top guys. You all are like shooting fish in a barrel. IF Benjy gets hired MB won’t have to worry about anyone sucking nuts cuz he will have blown them.

  10. Four months ago who would have thought of it. Hawaii in the Big West Conference title game! All I can say is these bunch of young athletes are the best!! We’re proud of you guys! How does the saying go…..no guts, no glory.

  11. Finally ! A conference championship game ! We were going crazy in the stands tonight. Good Hawaii crowd showed up tonight and this was a close game , UC davis never got the lead but we were tied. Valdez needs to calm down and not get so frustrated just get over the call and move on. Team should be ready for tomorrow. It’s Warrior Time !

  12. Definitely proud of the team and the coaching staff. It was a great win against a tough opponent. Good Luck to both the men and women’s teams for the tournament championships tomorrow !! Amazing that both teams are one game away from the NCAA tournament!

  13. Hey Clyde,

    I saw you posting on Warrior Beat and want to ask you a question on this blog since it’s less congested. You mentioned buying Chromecast for $21. Where did you get it as I usually see it for $35.

    Sorry for going off topic but I am now calmed down after watching the team on watchESPN. All the warriors did a great job and Valdez had a great block but for showtime highlights you cannot beat Fleming and he’s only a freshman.

    I DO NOT CARE Or Have Time For BOO-BIRDS
    It Takes All OUR Energy Supporting The Team
    They Talk to US, Look To US For Energy, Extra Belief and Confidence During Time-outs, Breaks in the Action…
    Everybody Who Cares… SEND Positive Energy…

    R.I.P. UC-DAVIS…
    They Started The Semi-Final Day Just Like Hawai’i…
    With TWO Teams, BOTH Men and Women in BWC Final Four
    They ARE A Way Classier Program and Fans than The Beach/Dirtbags


    GUT it out ‘Bows!
    Just Plain Out-Hustled, Out-Played Davis
    Led Buzzer-to-Buzzer, Except for One Tie
    Played Tougher than Yesterday When Surrendered Lead to LBSU in Second Half
    Before Taking Control…
    OH, Fans were Nervous, Of Course when Davis Hit THREE THREES in a Row to Mount their Late Comeback
    BUT UH Pushed Back, Played From AHEAD Again…
    THAT’S the Way to WIN Championships
    Stay Ahead ALL 40 Minutes…
    Wire-to-Wire, OVER The TOP

    AV Soaring Block
    Negus Diving to the Floor for the Loose Ball
    Knocking the Ball Away from Behind
    HITTING Free-Throws
    WINNING Going Away…
    GO ‘BOWS!

  15. BigFan: I just checked my Amazon account. I was a bit off. I bought it for $22.99 on Dec. 1, but it came during some kind of promotion that discounted the price by $10.29. I see that it’s now $32.49 on Amazon. I think Walmart might carry it, too, at a price a bit lower than $35.

    I think it’s worth the investment. I watched a few of the men’s and women’s basketball games road games, too, because they’re all streamed in the Big West Conference.

  16. Clyde,
    Thanks for that information on Chromecast. I just wondered about the pricing because I saw it at one of the price clubs and I believe it was for $35 and figured the price must be fixed at that level. I’ll probably pick one up soon.

  17. Irvine tomorrow. Will Davis II is a smooth player, 15 rebounds today 18 pts.

  18. If we beat Irvine, I don’t think we’ll be a 16th seed and play Kentucky… I highly doubt that… I think the Selection Committee would have a higher regard for either Irvine or Hawaii and we could get as high as a 12th seed, IMO. Remember, Cal Poly went into the NCAA’s with a losing record with NO quality wins outside of their tournament run. Irvine and Hawaii each have decent records and wins.

  19. Cheeeeeeehuuuuuuu….signing in from new screen name shortly lol
    (This one going in trash forever)

  20. Really hard to believe that we have come this far…so very, very proud of THE BOWZ.

    It is even hard to grasp how Benjy has not only kept this team together, kept their egos in check and gotten this far with this young group of talented players. Exceptional job Benjy.

    Irvine sure has had our number but remember we are healthy, Benjy has substituted well from game one of this tourney and it is hard to beat the same team three times in a row.

    If we are lucky enough to win one more game, by current BPI rating, we would come in as a #14 seed which means our first round opponent would most likely be either North Carolina, Utah, Oklahoma or Wichita State. Finally it won’t be Syracuse.

    GO BOWZ…the entire 50th State as well as the World is watching you now!!!

  21. We (9 year old son who got airtime on ESPN preface intro, holding foam Shaka hand, and I) are seriously walking on air….so how can I still use “BrokenHearted” moniker?!? It’s official, we are elated in Anaheim. Two great TEAM wins. I told son yesterday that if we win the tourney, we can stay up here on mainland and go to first round ncaa…let’s hope they get a west region game and don’t kill my wallet hahaha
    Firmly believe this team will do it tmrw!! Playing as a team on offense and defense! They have put it together at right time of season, a dim proud to be here in Anaheim rooting them on!
    Gnight all…Disneyland in morning then a DOUBLEHEADER HAWAII CHAMPIONSHIP!!

  22. Whatever outcome Bows are champions in eyes of good positive uh mbb fan nation

    Jackson owes Benjy apologies

    for Benjy and Bows to be playing for ncaa bid
    any other “applicants” for head coach should recuse themselves from consideration

    Uh mbb gets to DANCE…great….they finish second …still Fantastic season

    Made believers out of thousands of fans

    And Mamma Valdes…forever grateful for letter encouraging Rainbow Warrior nation to Back the Bows!!

    One more battle…no matter what happens

    We UH MBB fans LOUD AND SO HAPPY , team did so well
    with Benjy at the helm
    the whole staff
    ball boys
    grad assistants
    and mahalo to Jamie Smith waited nearly whole saeson to return
    see Bows go for ncaa bid!!


  23. WeBleedGreen…that was you and your son for several minutes waving shaka?
    Was your son holding his shirt displaying state 8 islands warrior t-shirt?
    Hope you recorded on DVR…Priceless
    uh mbb winners already..
    I am ver happy
    one more to go
    team have been champions all year for staying together!

  24. Not to get too ahead of ourselves here, but…IF we manage to pull out the championship tomorrow, I would imagine a 13 or 14 seed. The thing to keep in mind is where do we fall in accordance with all of the other automatic berth teams? It really just depends on who’s in and who’s out. Despite the 12 losses, 9 of them were to teams in the RPI top 100. They’ve beaten 3 teams ranked 51 – 100. Not a lot of automatic berth teams will be able to say that (UC Davis also had 3 wins against teams ranked 51 – 100). And for what it’s worth, we ALMOST upset a ranked team 😛

    Okay, okay…Irvine, it’s the match-up I would prefer for tomorrow (pick your poison). Just gna have to deal w/Will Davis and Mamadou! Going to have to force a lot of turnovers. Reffing has been solid throughout the tournament, hopefully that doesn’t change tomorrow.

    Let’s go Wahine! And Let’s GO BOWS!!!

  25. Got a chuckle out of this: Benjy on post-game interview on the team taking too many 3-point shots in the first half (of the 24 shot attempts, 13 were from 3-point range). At halftime, Benjy said Bobbitt told the team: “You guys gotta stop taking so many stupid 3-pointers.” Quipped Benjy: “Oh, and he used a different word than ‘stupid.’ “

  26. Our team the UH Men’s basketball team has achieved more than people thought. They have accomplished, tied and broken records. Kudos to the players, the coaches and all those that support the team behind the scenes. They deserve all the excitement and happiness that they feel tonight.

    Now to address our fans on this blog…..
    To those who love the team, you do not need to taunt, or flaunt or use any inappropriate language. We tell our UH men on the floor to hold onto their emotions. No showboating after a dunk, no in your face language to the opposing team. For those who love this team, you are already rewarded with win number 20 yesterday and win number 21 tonight. Remember you too are role models to our players and our young readers that may be on the site.

    To those who are not fans of this team, thank you for sharing your opinions with dignity. You are entitled to your opinion and although we would want you to love our team as much as we do, you choose to have another opinion and that is fine. The world is composed of many different people.

    To all:
    When we come together to support the young men and women who are putting their hearts on the court to honor the 808, we too must honor them by winning with dignity. Heads high, shoulders back because this team has got it on!

    Shout out to Dayton and the WI staff for taking time out of their busy schedule to give all the WI fans the insight to team and the excitement. Go warriors! Go get it!

  27. Thank You, Valerie

    Well-Said with R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Dignity, Caring and Class

    FWIW…Strongly Seconded

  28. Well said Valerie. Thanks for reminding everyone to just enjoy the ride. Good job to Dayton and the WI staff for the outstanding coverage on the games.

  29. Awesome Awesome Crazy fun win! Was a little to close for comfort but made it more exciting, haha.

    This question is for WeBleedGreen or anyone else who flew to Cali for the tourney.

    I couldn’t go up this year but want to try next year. How much was the airfare this time of year and which airlines?

    I know allegiant is usually the cheapest to LAX but was hoping theres some sort of package deal.

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