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UPDATED: Warriors top Coastal Carolina to improve to 2-0

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The University of Hawai’i basketball team passed a significant early-season test with a 74-63 victory over Coastal Carolina in the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic on Sunday.

A crowd of 5,271 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Warriors improve to 2-0 by dominating a Coastal Carolina team that is coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.

“Very pleased with this win against a really good program – not just a good team, but a really good program,” Hawai’i head coach Eran Ganot said. “Very proud of our team’s effort, probably our most consistent effort during the game, especially defensively and on the boards.”

Hawai’i will next face Nevada (2-0) for the Rainbow Classic championship on late Monday night. The game will start at 11 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN2 as part of the College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon.

“We pretty much have a traditional championship-type game (Monday),” Ganot said. “How great is that to have two good teams going at it this early in the season?”

Senior point guard Roderick Bobbitt turned in an all-around ironman performance with 23 points, five rebounds, four assists (against one turnover) and four steals while playing all 40 minutes. He shot 7 of 10 from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range, and 5 of 6 on free throws.

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“My position, I’m the quarterback of the team and I have to make sure that my teammates are comfortable – get the ball to them in comfortable situations,” Bobbitt said. “When it’s my turn, I’m ready to score the ball, pass the ball … I’m willing to do whatever I need to do.”

Ganot added: “Credit him. Like I said the other night, he gets a lot of praise for his defensive skills and all that stuff, but he’s very underrated as a facilitator … he’s running the team, he’s controlling huddles, he’s getting better, he’s fun to watch as a coach. Credit him.”

Aaron Valdes added 12 points and five rebounds, Quincy Smith contributed 11 points and five rebounds, and Stefan Jankovic had nine points and eight rebounds.

Bobbitt scored eight points in the opening minutes, when Hawai’i raced to a 10-2 lead. He hit two 3-pointers in that opening stretch.

“We’re a really good shooting team,” Bobbitt said. “The (practice) reps are just getting us better. We have drills where we have goals of how many 3s we can hit and lately we’ve been going way past the goals and scoring high. This is going to be a way different year than last year as far as the 3-point shooting.”

The Warriors opened the game with a 20-5 lead and stayed in front the rest of the way. Coastal Carolina got as close as 33-32 late in the first half, but the Warriors eventually took a 41-33 lead at intermission.

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The second half was about defense and free throws for the Warriors. Coastal Carolina did not make a field goal for the first nine minutes of the second half, and Hawai’i increased its lead to 56-36 during that stretch.

“I thought the biggest key was the way we finished the first half and started the second half,” Ganot said. “It didn’t look like they scored the first 10 minutes of the second half, and that set the tone and created the separation.”

Hawai’i then secured the win at the free-throw line, hitting 21 of 32 in the second half alone. In contrast, the Chanticleers went just 6 for 11 on free throws in the second half. Coastal Carolina never got closer than 10 points in the game’s final 10 minutes.

Sophomore guard Isaac Fleming contributed seven points and four assists in 22 minutes off the bench.

“It felt good,” he said. “Also, I want to say me being away from the team for that week or so, but just coming back and getting back in the groove, it feels good.”

After the victory, the Warriors were aware that they had to prepare for the late-night championship game against Nevada on Monday. The Wolf Pack beat Montana State, 83-62, in Sunday’s first game of the Rainbow Classic.

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“We love it,” Fleming said. “The student section will be a lot more (livelier). It’s just a bigger atmosphere knowing that we play so late … it’s a lot of fun.”

For comparative purposes, Hawai’i defeated Montana State and Coastal Carolina by a combined 22 points, while Nevada defeated those same two teams by a combined 38 points.

“We’re going to have our hands full,” Ganot said. “But most of these guys have at least some experience playing in this (late-night) game.”

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Game photos courtesy Matt Osumi and Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)

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— — — — — — —

HAWAI’I VS. NEVADA
When:
Monday, November 16, 11:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
TV: Live on ESPN2 (channel 224 or 1224)
Radio: Live on ESPN1420 AM
Audio Webcast: www.espn1420am.com
Live Stats: www.hawaiiathletics.com
Tickets: All seats for this game are general admission – $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens (65 and older) and $5 for students (ages 4-18)
Parking: $6
Theme: Black-Out (all fans are encouraged to wear black shirts)

19 Comments

  1. stay healthy “the Seven Samurai” of servante fame, Rod, Q, Isaac, AV,MT , Janks, Stef… you all improving every day.. keep working, .. fun group to watch.. especially blessed to watch 3 year guys AV, MT, Stef and Q…Sai, good catch and shoot guy, and Bobbitt, what can you say? He has to be one of the better Point guards, or back in the day.. just a great guard..
    Go Warriors/ Bows !
    🙂

  2. FIRST BIG Test
    To Improve, THIS YEAR’S Team has to be about Winning Three of Three

    Nevada is Bigger, More Physical
    HAS an NBA Head Coach in Eric Musselman [Sacrament Kings and Golden State Warriors!)
    (Versus Our Rising Rookie!)
    He Probably has a Few PRO Level Tricks Up His Sleeve

    Good Test
    Great Test for Our Young Program
    And COACH and Staff…

    Late Night
    Students’ Frenzy
    Bright Lights, National Audience
    GO ‘BOWS!
    WIN ‘Bows!

  3. I really like the play of Sai Tummala. I think he’s an improvement over NWC.Better defense,rebounding and shot blocking! So far,better shooting as well.

  4. Yes Sai is a pleasant surprise I have to admit. There’s the one new guy that has risen from the bench. I think you need that every year to have one break out player. If Bobbit keeps up his stellar play he’s going to have scouts checking him out. His offensive game is starting to match his defense and now has that balance on both sides of the court. Still waiting for more defensive pressure as we just see tokens of it each game. And the free throw shooting needs to improve or it will cost us games down the road. The bigs are keeping themselves in the game by watching their tick tac fouls that used to plague them last year. Everyone’s game is coming around nicely. Hoping to see a more complete game against Nevada. They’re primed and ready to show us and world who they really are. We will see who this team is tonight. Happy days are sure to come you faithful fans of UH MBB.

  5. So far so good. I want them to win the Rainbow Classic. How long has it been since they last won it?

  6. As our humble, realistic HC comparatively stated: we’re 22-38 underdog…

    Can we lead by double digit for all game long this time?

    Definitely, just utilized your talents; Defiantly defend your RAINBOW CLASSIC HOME.

    Warriors PLAYING WITH SWAGGER are CHAMPS!

  7. I did not get a chance to see this game but it sounds like a good performance by the Bows. It looks like this team putting a lot in the hands of Bobbitt and he being consistent good like he is so far going be a big key to this season. If I had to pick one guy to lead this team I would pick him too.

    Nevada going be another big test but have to expect a win for UH as the home team. Us die hard fans saw too much football losing to Mountain West teams. Time for us to get payback in hoops!

  8. I see more than seven samurai, saw 9 last night and 10 the other night (plus the other team members).
    Think Roderick should take a rest during the games. If not, it may catch up with him in the later parts of games,tournaments and the season, with say opposing players getting past him on drives, etc. The other point guards can then gain experience. He may get rest in blowouts, though. Dellavedova averaged 36.4 minutes in his senior year at St Mary’s, Mills 33.3 in his last year.

    Fleming, as others mentioned, showed some really good passes, 4 assists plus should have been one more. Strangely UH had “only” 10 assists and 13 turnovers last night, but caused 20 turnovers last night and 21 on Friday.

    Commentators said watch out for Nevada who is big and athletic. AJ West, 6-9, averaged a double-double last year, one of top rebounders and shot blockers in the nation. A 6-8 freshman forward. And top five scorers return from last year plus one of top California freshman point guard recruits (per warrior insider, Nov. 10).

  9. Hopefully UH wins the Rainbow Classic, and gets to keep the trophy this time.

  10. Can’t get excited. It’s a long season, things happen, slumps happen, the road is not kind. If we’re undefeated after the New Year I would get a little excited. But, that is unlikely. 2-0 so far so good. That’s all. Just try to get better every day, even in a loss.

  11. Aloha, basketball fans:

    We’re so blessed to have a TEAM which has group of special, talented young men and their competent, dedicated up and coming coaching staff, all working hard to glorify Hawaiian Warrior basketball 24/7…

    Really deserving your presence and support at the game (if possible).

    Mahalo a bunch (making yourselve a winner by helping TEAM win)!

  12. islandman:
    cool, I was just alluding to the fact that the high PT guys from last year returned, really bought in, and stepping up, really Mature group now.. after one year together. and getting structure half court sets…addition of Sai, spot time from Sheriff to help guards…that IS a good group of nine..this season, since we know so critical, keep that core front 8 including Sai, and 9th guy Sheriff, all primed and HEALTHY.. UH can make a run.. I am very happy with the play of team, Eran , now I understand better the 4 out 1 in offense..it works for this team…islandman, hey ALL 14 guys, the fantastic Fourteen, even the bench are part of this excitement ! Go Bows !
    🙂

  13. servante :
    , I know what you talking about .. that pressure, trap, and go after it with back line help D ..so the whole game can blow up teams.. early and often..It is still there. . think Eran, has them drop back into man to man, the base defense. .keep guys on board.. that D team, we know. we love em !
    Go Bows.
    🙂

  14. Derek…

    . best and most realistic post of the day, hands down.

    only going into 3 games of season, still long way to go.. UH will be tested. has some very good teams,as good if not better they will face till Dec 31.. then we see.. if they are 13-0, well that is a top 40 team for sure !

  15. islandman – well said anyone who has played at this level knows it takes an enitre team to win on game night need to keep supporting all players as if one does get injured another has to step in I am sure trainings are competitive with them all going at each other hard That can only mean everyone will be improving! Also can we have one post where we dont mention ‘last year”!

  16. senst23,

    I think DM will not ban the L. Y. words. or alluding to former. hey he posts things write-ups from former players, and even what previous coaches are doing. WI ALL things MBB news and comments.. tribute to team, that returned.. they have bought in, improved.. and doing well so far.
    see comment from Derek.. that is the REAL time, truth.. too early to judge entire season or potential on Two games. we shall see , I agree, this offense, I like it.. and guys are really running it well, Rod, where did he come from? Indian Hills JC.. from past year right? Bobbitt having great year so far.. even Eran is on Big movement to recognize past great MBB , teams, staff players the legacy he was and is part of. he is doing good job.. peace bruddah senst23 and islandman.

  17. senst23… I think the answer is no. LOL

  18. okay Kaimiloa.. we stick to THIS season.. it is going to be fun.. Start of new year, new staff. and hopefully more will attend the games in house.. I am on board.. love the staff and the players.. the top level people? ahhh.. well move on..right? Hope for great year. and next 3 to 5 years for Eran Ganot .

  19. Finally! Go Bows!

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