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Warriors secure fifth seed with rout of Fullerton

Jovanovic1_Haraki

The University of Hawai’i basketball team secured fifth place in the Big West Conference with a convincing 91-70 road victory at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday afternoon.

Five players scored in double-figures in a game that the Warriors led from start to finish.

Hawai’i completes its regular-season with a 20-12 overall record, giving the program back-to-back 20-win seasons for just the third time in history. The Warriors also finished 8-8 in the Big West, and will be the No. 5 seed at next week’s Big West Conference Tournament at Anaheim, Calif.

Hawai’i will face No. 4 seed Long Beach State in the first round on Thursday, March 12, at 11:30 a.m. (Hawai’i time).

Senior guard Garrett Nevels connected on 6 of 9 shots and finished with a team-high 16 points for the Warriors. Stefan Jovanovic added 15 points, going 5 for 6 from the field and 5 for 6 on free throws.

Aaron Valdes added 12 points and nine rebounds; Isaac Fleming had 11 points and six assists; Stefan Jankovic contributed 10 points and six rebounds.

The Warriors shot a season-best 56.1 percent (32 for 57) from the field, while Fullerton shot 40.3 percent (25 for 62).

The Warriors jumped to a 14-1 lead to open the game and never looked back. Valdes capped the run with an alley-oop dunk off a lob pass from Roderick Bobbitt.

The Titans got as close as 31-28 with 3:03 remaining in the first half, but Hawai’i closed the half with an 8-3 run to take a 39-31 lead at intermission.

The Warriors shot 57.1 percent (16 for 28) from the field in the first half, while Fullerton shot 38.7 percent (12 for 31). Jankovic shot 5 for 7 from the field and scored all 10 of his points in the first half.

Fullerton scored the first five points of the second half to get as close as three again, 39-36. But Hawai’i responded immediately with an 11-0 surge to regain control with a 50-36 lead. Valdes again punctuated the surge with a highlight reel dunk.

The Titans never got closer than eight points in the final 16 minutes, and the Warriors turned it into a rout in the final 10 minutes.

More details will be posted as it becomes available.

(Game photo courtesy Warren Haraki)

10 Comments

  1. Great win..good execution on offense and defense..whole team contributes

    Now for Benjy…does it help or hinder his resume for head coach?
    Definite helps

    Not many of 351 ncaa D1 mbb programs won 20 wins this year!!

    Go get that 21st win..get opening round win in bwc
    no one and done
    battle warriors!!
    🙂
    Eagle?
    Great win
    without gib, akana, fotu and sammis!!
    🙂
    Chancellor get moving on signing a head coach!!
    🙂

  2. Wahine have 3,491 fans at their game tonight.

  3. Good win!
    Should be easy to stay focused. All effort should be put into being physically ready for the tournament. Might stagger the preparation for peak performance so we will have legs for each game and the tourney final.
    Coaching staff should put in as much effort in preparing the players for their peak performances as they do in game planning. Its all on the shoulders of the team and they must be, on whole, ready, from the first minute of the first game to the last minute of the final. Those legs, that quickness, and the sharpness that is evidenced by the comtrolling defense must be there for us from start to end. A lot of great players, and they don’t all need to peak at once. But we don’t want ‘close’ games ! where it could have gone either way. And that’s what this team is ready for. Defending the three. Stealing the ball. Getting in the passing lanes. Be physically prepared for three tough teams and go out and leave it on the court. Eat right. Excercise right. Be ready. And win ! Go Bows !

  4. WBB=Preseason 1 or 2 expectations with whole staff and good team!

    MBB=Preseason 5th , without gib, akana, fotu…20 win and counting
    expectation..some said only 7 wins max…great season
    just have to focus on playing LBSU who will be ready

    Hope MBB and WBB on selection sunday Both receive ncaa invites!!

    Sure wasn’t because of Jay, chancellor, pres. IT guy, or BOR chair jeff and ha, hahh, haa, jackson hoops balker..said mbb would be fortunate to win 9 games this year
    jeff and jack..wat up?
    Just kidding !
    Happy for all spring sports teams

    Now uh admin hurry hire head coach so can recruit a big and scorer 3 ball shooter
    with maturity of G!!
    🙂

  5. akuhead2

    Yes, finally whole mbb team doesn’t have flu, concussions, really bad ankles, rib sore, back sore, pretty much as healthy all 11 guys as can be

    Benjy said going to rest them all sunday, lite workouts, then workup sweat
    team shot 56% on the road
    staff been telling benjy, hey no need too much shootaround, rest, prepare, cardio
    and have legs to shoot in games..worked..before this game not long shootarounds

    One and done, like mini ncaa tornament, lose and come home
    focus mbb team
    great job Benjy and the Bows!!
    Get first win..get into semifinals
    anything can happen

    Akuhead, I just cannot criticize this coaching staff and team
    reaaly appreciate great season

    No, no reversal..however 20 wins plus..fantastic!!
    🙂

  6. UH scheduled to play around 2:30 pm PT or 12:30 pm HST on Thursday.

  7. long beach is a scary team…it’ll be a close one

  8. Awrite! Onward to Anaheim. No let downs we need to get past Long Beach ! Let’s get past the first round Warriors and the next and to the finals !

  9. Hawaiifan and jjay credit to team..real warriors
    should be good matchup LBSU vs UH
    we just know
    on neutral court, anaheim honda center going be a battle

    UH MBB team has to learn to finish close games
    one win at a time

    Hey fans , I think several hundred from hawaii, dancers?, band, cheerleaders will be there
    plus 100 more of families of cali guys

    Probably bigdaddy, Isaac Fleming’s dad ?

    Ahhhhh…they made it..20 wins…5th seed…and shot at ncaa’s
    go bows…warriors!!
    🙂

  10. Very happy for Benjy and the Bows!!
    eagle
    chancellor..hurry up get, negotiate head coach in place next week
    so can recruit
    not hawaiian time, be a real athletics fan..negotiate with agent..get it done
    to keep team together!!
    🙂

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