Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors advance to semifinals with win over Long Beach


Garrett Nevels scored 17 points to lead the University of Hawai’i basketball team to a thrilling 79-72 victory over Long Beach State in the quarterfinals of the Big West Conference Tournament at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Warriors will meet a yet to be determined opponent in the semifinals on Friday at either 3:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. (Hawai’i time). The teams are re-seeded after all the quarterfinals are completed.

Aaron Valded added 14 points, Isaac Fleming 11 and Quincy Smith to lead the Warriors’ balanced attack.

Hawai’i improved to 21-12 and won a game in the Big West Tournament for the first time in its three-year history in the conference.

Stefan Jankovic drained a 3-pointer on Hawai’i’s first possession of the game for a 3-0 lead, and the Warriors stayed in front for most of the first half.

The 49ers took a momentary 9-7 lead, then the score was tied at 17 with 13:54 remaining in the first half. The Warriors then went on a 12-3 surge to take a 29-20 lead, with Valdes and Nevels each hitting a 3-pointer during the run.

Hawai’i led by as many as 12 points late in the first half, and took a 47-41 lead at intermission. Long Beach State took some momentum into the locker room after Eric McKnight scored on an alley-oop dunk at the halftime buzzer.

Valdes scored 14 of his points in the first half on 6-of-7 shooting, while Nevels and Stefan Jovanovic added eight points each.

The 49ers went on an 8-0 run early in the second half to cut the Hawai’i lead to 50-49, and the game stayed close the rest of the way. Long Beach State took its first lead of the second half with 11:53 remaining when McKay LaSalle scored on a layup to put the 49ers ahead, 58-56.

The 49ers increased the lead to 64-58 with 8:59 remaining, but the Warriors rallied to tie the score at 64 on a jumper by Isaac Fleming. Hawai’i regained the lead at 70-68 on two free throws by Quincy Smith with 4:24 remaining.

Smith added driving layups on back-to-back possessions a few moments later to give the Warriors a 76-71 advantage with 2:48 remaining.

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

(Game photo courtesy Brandon Flores)


  1. The small lineup — Bobbitt, Valdes, Webster-Chan, Smith and Fleming — really came through down the stretch. Props to Benjy for mixing and matching the lineup throughout the game. Defense did it again. Tough, gritty win.

  2. Does benjy deserve head coaching job for uh? mbb..both espn and fox sports commentators say benjy deserves head coac uh mbb job!!
    corey magette, ex nbha star …yes…benjy proved himself!!

    Great win
    21 wins most since 2002? Savo led team


  3. clyde…great managin and coaching defense down stretch
    nevels, fleming, nwc, smith just helped shutdown caffey down till end when counted

    Benjy cocky?
    No..humble and hungry
    he did helluva job coaching this year!!
    Not bad for a country boy from north carolina!!
    Uhadmin..new AD..,Hire benjy permanent head coach!!


  4. Tough team! Never hung heads and fought back. Hats off to the players and coaches! Benjy making it hard to not to extend him and remove interim tag!

  5. Clyde, no offense but Negus was 0 for 7 from the field. Nevels 17 points, Fleming 11 points, Quicy 10 points, Valdes 14 points, Bobbitt 6 points, but a big layup to seal the game. That’s a total of 58 points. Quicy came up big and he was the one to get the lead back with 2 great lay ups. I’d give it to him for game MVP honors. I thought Fleming was just outstanding too. Bobbitt wasn’t having a good overall game, but Isaac took over. Nevels led the way scoring and Valdes was just so solid. Jankovic and Thomas and Negus struggled, but tomorrow is another day and another chance to help the team.

    Good job by Taylor by giving Quincy more minutes to play and he delivered, big time.

  6. Great teams come up big when the money is on the line and UH did not disappoint. Total team effort. Tremendous play down the stretch in stopping Long Beach State and clutch ball handling by Flemming and Bobbitt. Flemming is starting to become a key player in prime time. Like the announcer said he has the ability to work his way inside through nifty ball handling. He’s the closest thing we got as a go to guy. Nevels played superb too. When this team plays up to their potential they’re tough to beat.

  7. The tournament run of the 2015 Hawaii team looks a little familiar to the 2001 team… one year before Hawaii dominated in 2002.

    In 2001, the Hawaii team gathered steam towards the end of the regular season until the tournament. At the WAC tournament, this freshman (who was now healthy) got more playing time and showcased his ball-handling and offensive skills as each game became more critical. Then, in the WAC championship game, this freshman stepped up and propelled Hawaii into the NCAA Tournament.

    This 2001 star tournament freshman’s name? Carl English

    In 2015, our star tournament freshman? Isaac Fleming…

  8. Negus was 0 for 7, but had 6 assists, 0 turnovers and 5 rebounds. 4 for 4 on FT’s.

    UH missed 11 free-throws, got out rebounded 31 to 42, but shot 51.7 % and had 10 more FG’s than Long Beach St.

  9. Long Beach St. made 14 more FT’s than UH.


    If you told me that we went 13/24 from the line, got outrebounded by a dozen, Negus could not hit the broad side of a barn and all three of our big men were in foul trouble…and we WON…no way!

    Always in the game with these athletic guards and the mindset that the Bowz have. Let’s hope both Irvine and UCSB win tonight so we can play Davis next.

    I can see Captain Bley now…he has to be hating each UH win. With each UH win it shows how many more rungs of the ladder he has passed his Peter Principle.

    GO BOWZ…Hana Hou!

  11. Bigdaddy94
    we appreciate agent zero
    quinvy and G…great games
    2 captains
    good season no matter what happens

    sign benjy up!!

  12. UH MBB
    Great fan support in anaheim

    happyhearted in anaheim?

  13. Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  14. Cheeeeeeeehuuuuu…we were getting nuts at courtside, battling the LBSU fans who, ironically, fired up Quincy with “airballl smith” chants from the get go!! As q kept stepping up and propelling the team, we all (UH fans) began chanting “airballl smith” and pointing at the scoreboard to the LBSU fans…
    What a clutch win…we have no voices!! Looking forward to the Wahine/warrior doubleheader semifinals tmrw!!

    New screen name coming, run bows!!!
    Since we bleed warrior green and black, I’m thinking WeBleedGreen works 🙂

  15. Quincy was awesome. Anyone else notice that he seems to play a lot better away from the Sheriff Center? He seems to press too much at home; especially at the FT line. Today, he went 2-for-2 on FTs, and 4-for-4 on FGs (I believe all layups), and grabbed 5 rebounds.

    Derek: No offense taken. My point was that Benjy elected to go “small” during the crucial home stretch, and that “small” lineup came up big.

  16. clyde: yes, Q.. he is a gamer.. when called upon, and on the road in Cali.. he plays great basketball, for a guy at 6’1′ 180..HE IS FLYING

  17. Quincy plays well clyde, in fact coming off the bench for Gib last year, he was the energizer like this year’s Fleming..I am so happy for Cali guys and co captains, Nevels and Smith.. Their families.. I think Isaac’s dad, Valdes , Thomas, Bobbitt, Jovanovich friends, and HS/prep alumnus, Smith , Nevels, maybe Jawato? I would think Brandon is on the trip? , That support is great.

    kudos to UH cheer squad, dancers, 80 member strong pep band, waaay bigger than any BWC band, and pep ,/ dance squad.. maybe, this Friday and Saturday hopefully more fans, from Cali and Hawaii will be there..
    Wonder if Chancellor BV, yes, Backbeat,, he is stuck.. with every win.. validates.. Benjy’s leadership as coach and The Team,.. and what About Ben Jay?

    Who is New AD , get him hired quick.. ESPN , Foxsports AND CBS key sports broadcaster, Andy Katz, BB guru from espn, All shout out to Benjy and The Bows.. Sign Benjy up..I think.. Now, chancellor, and AD,..admin, and forget the hoopsbalkers.. Even if UH ends up at 21 wins.. Benjy deserves job, to recruit 2 more JC guys, a big and a shooter.. and continue, this soph, jr. and freshman laden team on to BWC regular season titles for next 2 years..

    ncaa thing.. let UH counsel handle that. they fight like hell for UH MBB to lessen blows.. and let them go on
    MBB and Benjy at helm first year, interim.. wins 21 so far.. in On year.. and Norm Chow, wins what? 9 games In 3 years?

    Go Bows.. so proud.. win or lose.. Hire Benjy and the Bows keep this group together..

  18. This is a terrific win. This team plays with a lotta heart. I guess defense wins out in tight games. Good job Coach Benjy.

  19. Quincy great attitude.. just does his job.. and helps UH to win 41 games so far over 2 seasons. same like Nevels.. a 6’1″ and 6’2″ pair of guards. rebounding like 6’9″ guys.. incredible desire.. even if come out short on the board battle, they Got The Key Rebounds on O and D to win the game..

    Amazing..and UHadmin.. Backbeat.. every win, or actually 21 wins is Great Resume..

    Wish for a double header semis for WBB and MBB and hopefully a championship BWC tournament doubleheader for MBB and WBB and together.. who knows on

    To this old guy UH MBB fan,, and fan of LB and gals.. so proud of both teams

    agree with SA bloggers.. UH admin, who are Academic driven,.. they better get athletics dept in shape, otherwise, they lose good winning coaches, down the line.. and Football? Who made that heck of a KILLER schedule?

    Great win.. and we listen to game tomorrow, win or lose, UH MBB Strength through Adversity

    And Guys, UH MBB team, We Got your Backs.. just win and have fun,.. battle..You guys are Winners. and a lot of Hawaii, people even not familiar with UH MBB program, are talking about your team.. Great, great job.
    And Janks and NWC. .you all will represent OH Canada, properly, your skillset, NWC just the assists and key rebound, helps team, your shot will come around.. and Janks.. just, gotta battle, and you will be back.. Proud of you two Former Mizzou Tigers

    Go Bows Go Warriors !!
    And This Social Meida forum.. 99.999% all positive towards you guys,.. don’t read or listen to the Negative Noise.. they ain’t real UH MBB fans !!

  20. I was afraid that the poor free throw shooting was going to result in a loss for us, but kudos to the team for overcoming that. For awhile in the second half it looked like the momentum had swung in LB’s favor. It’s good that when some players like Negus and Jankovic weren’t having a good game, others stepped up. Nevels, Quincy and Fleming played especially well. I like how determined and focused they are in winning the tournament and getting to the big dance. It’s gonna be tough but I wouldn’t bet against the Bows.

  21. I forgot to add that Benji deserves a multi year head coaching contract. He has done an excellent job in keeping the team together and now in contention to winning the BW tournament. It’s a shame that UH administration is so incompetent.

  22. Bernie:

    agree 100%, do they, admin, know what they are doing? Unless behind the scenes, they are working on a contract offer. .. if have a new AD to hire.. it would be very, very hard to overlook 21 wins, and counting hopefully.. make ncaa’s or not.. great job.. espn the magazine or TV movie worthy, like Hoosiers..

    Hey BrokenheartedinAnaheim.. regardless of win or lose UH MBB in semis, you and your son have great time.. Air Ball Smith, Air Ball Smith.. Q going and G going. battle with team , make all the hundreds of fans, at Anaheim proud..

    You and your son must be proud too.. could have been NO SEASON.. if every one left end of 2014.. the 14 stayed, Benjy stayed.. and WE ALL SO PROUD !!

    Hope you can change your name.. Hey Broken.. just the effort. whatever outcome..the team will Not Give up !!

  23. Whew! A write we made it past the first round ! Bunch of us there for the game was exciting. We had a big lead in second half that dwindled away loss the lead Jovanivich made some careless errors fouling a player needlessly , he was out of position and got called on goaltending which he did commit the ball didn’t look like it was going in at all. Benjy went crazy. Jovonovich did make some good free throws. The team shot poorly from the line especially first half terrible. Last few minutes were exciting as we put some pressure on them Caffey is a ball hog but can score One of the Beach fans yelling all game about our team and whining about every fricken non call or so called call that should have been. We’re all cheering loud for our guys and they appreciated it. High fives with Quincys dad and relative as Quincy played well , scored and great defense today. And when the clock went to zero we all high fived again and the sour butts left with their two tails wagging What was nice all the players came up to the fans , waved at the crowd. We are pumped for tomorrow. ! Go Bows. Go Warriors !! It’s going to be crazy !!!

  24. Jjay…enjoy!!
    We fans in 808 can hear and see hawaii fans cheering!
    Always seems like mainland broadcasters favor other team
    that is okay
    uh mbb win..tell other fans shhhhhhhhh!

    UH MBB galvanizing the state..
    No Gib…No Akana…No Fotu,…No Sammis..no problem..
    Benjy and Bows doing us proud!!

    Go Rainbow Warriors !!
    We stay proud
    FOXSPORTS Should show uh mbb fans..band , more
    too much opponents closeups

    Great season!!
    Eagle…jjay…brokenhearted enjoy ride
    final four of bwc touney !!

  25. waiting for the video clip here.

    Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  26. Cheeeeeehoo! What a great feeling, and a rare one at that, to actually know what it feels like to advance out of the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Total team effort for the win. AV powered the team to a nice first half advantage. Nevels stepped up when needed and kept his season alive at LEAST for another day. Isaac was the go to go when we needed points and looked unstoppable. Q was the man and was really the game changer. Overall, the team played well and the game was well-Coached. Even Negus, despite shooting “0-7”, most (if not all) of his shots looked good and he still made some important free throws. He will be an important factor tomorrow.

    Some reflections/reactions…how was that dunk/hang-on to the rim for 4 or 5 seconds at the end of the first half not a technical? And I can count at least 2 times where we stole the ball then got purposely TRIPPED (flagrant foul, please?). Either way, the better team won. When fully healthy, we are the BEST team in the conference! Should be interesting to see who we play tomorrow, but either way I’m very much looking forward to it. Let’s GO BOWS!!

  27. 9 UH mbb guys played…all 9 scored between 4 and 17 points
    all 9 guys had between 12 and 32 minutes..
    bench ..thomas, jovanovich, smith and fleming score combined 33 points, bench firepower
    team only 11 turnovers and forced 17 turnovers and got 10 steals
    team win

    Yes that small ball
    nwc, fleming, nevels, bobbitt, valdes…or valdes, smith, nevels, bobbitt, and fleming..close out game

    Team win

    NWC… and janks be doing whatever to help team win..

  28. What a great win!! I am in Anaheim and watched this game live! It was a nail biter in the second half. Looking forward to tomorrow’s game. Sorry Portnoy and Wheeler, I heard your show on Wednesday night and you can both suck my left nut on that game……..

  29. Manoa Baller..enjoy very special team

    The more hoopsbalkers dump on uh mbb team and benjy the better,,
    they haved proven them wrong

    Jeff and jack..uh mbb backers? Not!!
    Great win
    wish 5000 of hawaii fans could be there too..
    Anaheim “where hoops dreams can come true”

    Good season
    come on chancellor , admin..keep this mbb program together from trainer to staff, to 808 represent kapalama heights grad!!

  30. RB – AWRite…Happy and BIG HAWAI’I Hearts in Anaheim…

    Winning, Playing Hard, FINDING A Way…
    Against The BEACH, No Less
    Felt Like We NEEDED To Out-Shout their Low-Class Fans,
    And their Good Ones, too…
    “Let’s Go Beach! ”
    NOW They Can — NO BB Games for The Beach Tomorrow
    TWO For HAWAI’I!

    Rainbow Warriors!
    Finding the Ways to WIN…
    Not Yet Playing their Best in Anaheim
    Tomorrow And ON…
    ALL Remaining Teams Will Be Stronger
    ‘Bows Got to Bring Their BEST!
    UCDavis Tough…
    But the ‘Bows ARE the Ones who can give ’em a Great Game
    AND BEAT ‘Em!

    Got that First One Out of the Way
    …WIN Again…and… Move to the Championship
    Keep Pace with Na Wahine!
    Both Final Four and Looking To The Crown…

    Some ‘Bows Stepped Up
    Others WILL Play Better!
    Lookin’ For The Stronger Version of The ‘Bows Next Two Days!
    Go ‘BOWS!
    As Champions!

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