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No. 3 Oklahoma holds off Warriors, 84-81

Jankovic1_Oklahoma

All-America candidate Buddy Hield scored 27 points — including the go-ahead free throw with 1:28 remaining — and grabbed nine rebounds tonight to lift No. 3-ranked Oklahoma to a pulsating 84-81 victory over Hawai’i in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic semifinals.

An electrified crowd of about 6,300 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Sooners overcome a spectacular 32-point, six-assist, four-rebound performance by Rainbow Warriors point guard Roderick Bobbitt to improve to 10-0 and advance to the championship game vs. Harvard at 3:30 p.m. Christmas Day. UH fell to 8-2 and into Friday’s 1:30 p.m. third-place game vs. Auburn. Both games will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

Hield’s free throws broke a 75-75 tie and Jordan Woodard added two foul shots with 37 seconds left to make it 79-75. Bobbitt made the second of two free throws to close it to 79-76 nine seconds later, but Woodard added two more free throws with 23.9 ticks showing to push the lead to 81-76.

Bobbitt then swished a high-arching 3-pointer from near the top of the key to close it to 81-79 with 13.3 seconds remaining, but Hield responded by sinking two more free throws with 11.6 ticks left to push it back to 83-79.

Bobbitt made two of three free throws with 4 seconds left to close it to 83-81, but Khadeem Lattin grabbed the rebound, was fouled and sank the first of two free throws to make it 84-81. He missed the second attempt and the Rainbow Warriors were awarded the ball after it skipped out of bounds. Bobbitt launched a Hail Mary shot from halfcourt as time expired, but it was off the mark and short.

Oklahoma led, 65-58, with 11:18 remaining after Dante Buford’s layup, but the Rainbow Warriors clawed back and eventually tied it at 71-71 on Jankovic’s transition slam dunk with 6:08 left. The Sooners twice took the lead back, but UH answered each time, with Isaac Fleming’s layup tying it at 75-75 with 4:24 remaining.

The Sooners raced out to a 17-4 lead after back-to-back 3-pointers by Hield barely four minutes into the game, and later stretched it to 25-9 after a layup by Akolda Manyang with 10:42 remaining in the half. But that’s when the Rainbow Warriors clamped down on defense and caught fire from the perimeter on offense.

Fleming and Sai Tummala swished back-to-back 3-pointers to start UH on an improbable 18-1 run emphatically capped by Jankovic’s baseline drive and slam dunk which put the Rainbow Warriors ahead, 27-26, with 5:48 left. Oklahoma quickly took the lead back and went up by four points four different times, but Hawai’i answered each time, including a 5-0 run capped by Tummala’s free throw which put the Rainbow Warriors up again at 40-39 with 24 seconds remaining in the half.

Isaiah Cousins then swished a jumper from the right wing at the buzzer to give the Sooners a 41-40 lead at the break.

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

(Game photo courtesy Matt Osumi)

Wednesday’s Results
BYU 96, New Mexico 66
Harvard 69, Auburn 51
No. 3 Oklahoma 84, Hawai’i 81
Northern Iowa 63, Washington State 59

Friday’s Games (Dec. 25)
Seventh place: New Mexico vs. Washington State, 8:00 a.m.
Fifth place: BYU vs. Northern Iowa, 10:30 a.m.
Third place: Auburn vs. Hawai’i, 1:30 p.m.
Championship: Harvard vs. Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m.

13 Comments

  1. Love how the kids battled in this game. Long season ahead just gotta improve stay healthy and win that big west tournament for a chance to dance.

  2. Tough loss Close game Will be there to support them on Friday 1pm game. Go Warriors. Bobbit was a Ironman tonight. Valdes had a poor showing needs more consistency that goes for Tumala as well. Q getting hurt at the end is a concern could be an ankle thing. Short on quality reserve guards especially after Fleming fouled out and Q injured.

  3. Yes great effort.. having Flemming get Teed up, the tech that hurt.. and Q injury.. we shall see. Plus the off shooting night or non factor for Sai and Valdes..
    against number 3 team, second best DI MBB defensive team in land thus far 10 games in.. great job MBB team..
    Team, as I have noticed.. so Fragile.. thin.. hair thin.. that edge, the depth. ONE or two guys out with fouling out, foul trouble.. or off shooting. . or hurt.. can mean difference between.. winning BWC tournament and losing..
    hope Quincy is okay
    take nothing away good showing on National TV..

    THIS IS the year.. so happy for.. and I am going to say It for Otto.. Sr..great job by your guys Otto. great job.. you guided them well, now Ganot is reaping benefit from your keeping core guys here..
    They if healthy can go to NCAA dance.. I know they can.. and Otto? You are smiling I know you are.. Your guys.. thanks ..

  4. We had some good open looks down the stretch. Just couldn’t convert. And the missed free throws didn’t help either. The game, like Wichita St, was there for the taking. Aside from that it just goes to prove what some of the guys here saying; we got a solid core of veterans that can compete against the best. Bobbitt seams to rise for the big games. Valdes seems to sputter. Don’t know what it is. So close again and a bitter pill to swallow.

  5. Team played well…still another wing and big who can play away from beating top 30 and above teams
    Sad part..this IS perhaps last chance in for we makule, ole fans to see UH make ncaa tounament first time in near 14 years
    Afraid…thin depth, Flemming foul trouble and costly technical like last year , just short
    Sai and Valdes..maybe level of play..coach before wanted Aaron go gor it, not hitting outside shots, attack rim, score or make free throws
    Kind of disappeared
    Hope AV bounces back against Auburn..b r t that will be awesome game!!

  6. Another great effort, particularly keeping their poise after falling behind 21-6. It’s a testament to this team and not only its on-court leadership (Bobbitt was a beast), but to a coaching staff that had them well-prepared. Great game plan both nights.

    Some Hawaii teams have not played well on national TV (can you say: football), but this team sure has and got a lot of positive comments from a neutral broadcast team. Great exposure.

    Depth might be a little concern going forward, but it’s a pretty solid eight-man rotation. When a player or two has an off night, it seems another one or two picks up the slack. Any team that can go eight-deep will do fine. Oklahoma only went eight-deep, too.

    The concern for Friday is: putting this loss behind them (finishing 2-1 and in third place would be a great accomplishment), and the availability of Q.

  7. servante…as Otto told him..don’t let game come to him..he has to attack all the time
    Go to rim, defend , assist , go to free throw line
    If AV wants to go pro..has to go 100% all the time if not hitting outside shot
    If he hit 18 pt average UH wins by 10
    Not many chances left ..season will fly by fast
    If Q okay and now refs are perking ears to hear Issac ad T him., Flemming has to be careful
    Wha a talent , needs more vert for pro ball
    Would play euro pro and dominate as would Rod

  8. This game was so heartbreaking to watch. Not because UH lost by the slimmest of margins. But because they played with heart, like true warriors and were robbed in the end. Any time UH seemed to get any momentum going, the ref’s totally killed it w/stupid calls in OU’s favor. There were many instances of this. One of the more obvious ones was when Fleming sunk a 3 to cut the lead down and was called for some kind of phantom technical. Worst call I’ve ever seen, but I feel bad for Isaac more than anything. In the waning minutes, any time UH made a go ahead or tie basket, those whistles went off….never failed.

    By the end of the game, the Warriors were too gassed to and missed 7 or 8 FG’s in a row. So many missed opportunities but at the same time, I couldn’t help but feel like the ref’s were in total control of the game. No DHC title this year but I’ll be rooting for the boys come Christmas day. Let’s GO BOWS!!

  9. team played well and should be proud of themselves stefan jovanovik has played two solid games he might have made a difference toward the end in defense shooting wasnt good tech was bad and hurt big not sure if we are thin in depth as bench really not used not sure with so many shooters why we did not use them for a minute of two to get a few more threes up as out % is not that good with some good drives and dishes to fresh legs we could make some big shots

  10. The boys were awesome!!! Tough loss, but OU has been in these situations before against very good teams… UH not so much. Eran and the team will learn from this and move on and up. And UHF, yes, we can be thankful to Gib for getting most of these boys. However, Ganot is actually coaching them and making them better players. Go Bows!

  11. true Ganot is good tactical coach, knows his X and O’s, has to reel in guys, the emotions. that T on Isaac killer, and some missed Free Throws.. no question, same team Core.. and they continuing what they did last year.. A little more depth at wing and guard.. UH would have won.

    Great game..
    Very sure former coaches are very proud of their recruits doing well.. they wanted so bad to get them to NCAA tournaments.. consecutive. maybe 3 years in a row.. however.. THIS might be the ONLY chance, in several years to come..
    Do I blame former coach? No.. the bosses at UH? yes..
    The fans have something to cheer about. just the lack of depth.. front 7 guys can tire out.. they have to play even better in BWC if that is possible. said it before.. I am NOT fan of Admin, compliance person, who made things so difficult for MBB program.. if GA were still coach without question 2 years running with NO sanctions.. this group would have broken into NCAA tournament last year with Nevels.. and this year too.
    Go bows.. and Ganot is fortunate to HAVE ONE year with great recruits from Otto and Gibson.. who can play.. after this season , who knows. I hope the guys at least two,. will stay and play for most wins in season. the RBC and DHC titles at least..

    Go Bows.

  12. UHF – You could be (Almost) Right
    Cal-Poly and Irvine by 1-2 points ONLY Predictive Road Losses

    1 – Bobbitt’s Court-Length Drive to Beat ‘Reno’ (To WIN)
    (Whose Only Losses have been on the Road, like @ UH)

    2 – A Similar Instructional Road Defeat @ Texas Tech
    (A Game They Shoulda and Probably WILL WIN Most Times the Rest-of-the-Season)

    AND

    3 – A TRUE Top-FIVE National Team in Oklahoma (Respect)
    Right up to the Precipice, BUT NOT YET Good Enough…

    4 – ALL BWC Road Games –ALL @ RISK
    TWO @ 1-2 point dogs up to Favored BY 9
    Can they Win ALL their Faves PLUS Two ‘Upsets’
    NOT YET Likely, So Three to FIVE Losses (?)

    THAT Would Be 22-7 Plus Whatever They Pick Up @ BWC

    AND
    – BWC Regular Season Champs? (NIT)
    OR
    – BWC Tourney Champs(?) NCAA
    OR Last Chance (For Two Years To ‘BUY’?)
    – CIT/CBA

    THEN TWO YEARS OF DARKNESS? (MEDIOCRITY)
    MINUS TWO Scholies, One (Less?) Post-Season
    WE Haven’t Had Any ‘Cept CIT

  13. The players fought to the very end. As they shared the little things are magnified in a loss like this. Need to mention that Valdez’s mind seemed to be somewhere else or was he playing with some sort of pain. Also Thomas needs to play under control. Continue to improve on the little things and this team will make the NCAA tournament.

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