Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors push No. 3 Oklahoma before falling short, 84-81


Going toe-to-toe and trading blow-for-blow with the No. 3-ranked men’s basketball team in the nation, Hawai’i came up just short Wednesday night against Oklahoma, 84-81, in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic semifinals.

All-America candidate Buddy Hield scored 27 points — including the go-ahead free throw with 1:28 remaining — and grabbed nine rebounds to help lift the Sooners (10-0) into the championship game vs. Harvard at 3:30 p.m. Christmas Day.

An electrified crowd of 4,828 at the Stan Sheriff Center and ESPN2 national audience watched the Sooners overcome a spectacular 32-point, six-assist, four-rebound, three-steal performance by Rainbow Warriors point guard Roderick Bobbitt as UH fell to 8-2 and into Friday’s 1:30 p.m. third-place game vs. Auburn (6-4). Both the title game and third-place game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

“I’m very proud of this group,” UH coach Eran Ganot said. “Today was a tremendous game between two great programs … I would hope the people who were here tonight and those who watched on TV are just as proud as we are.”

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 off the miss, was fouled and sank the first of two free throws to make it 84-81 with 2.7 seconds showing on the clock. He missed the second attempt and the Rainbow Warriors were awarded the ball after it skipped out of bounds with 1.2 ticks left.

After receiving the inbounds pass from Stefan Jankovic, Bobbitt launched a Hail Mary shot from halfcourt as time expired, but it was off the mark way to the left.

“We had a crack at the end,” Ganot said, “and that’s what matters.”

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.


“One thing I’m proud of is this team’s resiliency,” Ganot said. “(With Oklahoma leading) it could have gone the other way quick, but give our guys credit for giving us a heck of a crack at the end. There’s some hurting right now in the locker room, but that’s OK — I’d be more worried if there wasn’t. But we gotta move forward, because our resolve will be tested once again (on Friday).”

Oklahoma lived up to its billing out of the gates, racing out to a 17-4 lead after three straight 3-pointers by Hield barely four minutes into the game, and later stretching it to 25-9 after a layup by Akolda Manyang with 10:42 remaining in the half.

“We took a haymaker early, because of their whole package — their offense, their defense, their culture,” Ganot said. “We played hard, but we were out of sync, fundamentally we weren’t doing the things we were supposed to do. Offensively, we needed to weather the storm, because it makes it tough to get into the paint when you’re up against a really good team like that. And I think it affected us on the other side (on defense).”


The Rainbow Warriors finally clamped down on defense at that point, however, and suddenly 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.

“They’re a good ball club and we knew the start wasn’t indicative of how it would go for 40 minutes,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “They made their run and then it was nip and-tuck the rest of the way. I thought guys on both teams played really hard and it’s a game that could have gone obviously either way.”

Jankovic, who added 17 points, three rebounds, three blocks and two assists, said little things made a big difference.

“When we look back, we’ll see missed free throws, loose balls we didn’t get … we gotta make those plays,” Jankovic said. “Those are the kind of plays we need to make against a ranked team.”

Hield, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who was named a preseason first team All-American by Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports, scored 18 points in the first half but was held to one field goal and nine points in the second.


“We tried to limit his touches, and we threw different guys at him (Bobbitt, Quincy Smith and Fleming),” Ganot said. “I think that’s what helped.”

Kruger, the only coach in Division I history to take five different schools (Kansas State, Florida, Illinois, UNLV and Oklahoma) into the NCAA Tournament, came away impressed with Hawai’i.

“It was a really good ballgame,” Kruger said. “The crowd was really into it … and Hawai’i played great. They made shots when they needed to down the stretch. It was great to win and there were a lot of things to learn from, so you can’t beat that in nonconference play.”


(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.

— — — — — — —

BYU’s Fischer sets scoring mark in consolation game

Chase Fischer of Brigham Young established a new Diamond Head Classic scoring record in the Cougars’ 96-66 victory over New Mexico in a consolation game on Wednesday.

Fischer scored 41 points, which included another tournament record of nine 3-pointers. The previous Diamond Head Classic scoring high was 36 points by Hawai’i guard Dwain Williams in 2009.

The 41 points by Fischer also tied a record for most points by a collegiate player in the Stan Sheriff Center. Cal State Fullerton’s Josh Akognon also scored 41 in a 2008 game against Hawai’i.


  1. Tough, tough game! I’m really proud of this team! I feel this guys can run with any team in the country when they’re firing on all cylinders!

    I hope they learn and move forward to prepare for Auburn.

    Hopefully Q’s injury isn’t too serious.

    Go Bows!

  2. Just one question to ask. Why didn’t the coaches go with the Stefans at the end and park one of the two ineffective starters on the bench? just like last year Jovanovic sits. Yes he makes mistakes, they all do but he gives his all while one starter seems to go thought the motions when he hasn’t been scoring.

  3. I like what Ganot has done with team. Wish UH had more games with ranked opponents

  4. Sickman UH have ineffective starters every game Ganot is going with who he likes except it and move on take Fleming for example. Bobbitt had a great game. Oklahoma had a good game plan do not let Valdes & Fleming ignite the team by over playing them so Bobbitt made them pay by torching them at the end UH was two plays short.

  5. Big Daddy, I get that but we have seen this before. The disappearing act, the lazy passes, the matador defenses. I’m just saying at the end of the game, last 5 minutes give me players that played with their heart and soul. I like to think that a players have 90% of a game to prove their “worth” and if not move on to someone that has, especially in close game.

  6. Sickman, I understand your pain my family and friends witness and been dealing with it all season. My suggestion to you support the players stay positive and don’t be like those bias dudes on that radio station. They are clueless my son better not do another interview on that station.

  7. Mental showboat gave away winnable opportunity!

  8. Isaac got a T for saying let’s go only in Hawaii lmao.

  9. bigdaddy gave you fans maybe a reason for Valdes not scoring too much, they were overplaying him. Near the end, UH had several chances after rebounding close to the basket, but the ball did not go in. Valdes, 6 and Sai, 5 were the leading rebounders for UH.
    As to depth, Oklahoma played only 8 players and one played only 9 minutes. They do have other players who get some minutes but they didn’t play last night. As to a muscle big man, i didn’t notice any too bulky big men on that team. Only when i checked their roster it showed a 7 ft No. 30, who played the nine minutes and had two blocks. Janks had three blocks and Stef had two steals. The box score says Roderick played the whole 40 minutes and Valdes, 36.
    Free throw shooting was exactly the same for both teams, 24 for 33, 72.7 %, Bobbitt made 13 of them at 81.2 %.

    Oklahoma starts three guards and two forwards. One guard, Cousins, had 6 assists and zero turnovers. Hield was their leading rebounder with 9. Cousins was shooting 45 % on FT’s but made 5 for 7 last night. Hield was 8 for 8.
    UH shot 45.5 % FG Pct and 35 % on threes. Oklahoma is holding opponents to 35.3 % and 27.2 %.
    CBS sports had an online headline saying this was Oklahoma’s toughest test of the season, so far. But note that they had to travel about 10,980 miles in about two weeks as they were here to play Villanova on Dec. 7.

  10. Isaac got a T because the ref’s didn’t want to let UH get back in it. That officiating down the stretch was atrocious, like the ref’s wouldn’t let OU lose. They ONLY stayed in it by making free throw’s on light touch fouls.

    In any case, I’m just glad we were in it until the very end. We were robbed, but that’s none of my business…

  11. Big Daddy

    No offense but I highly doubt “let’s go” was all that was said.
    The team really needed Isaac down the stretch and his mistake may have cost the TEAM the game.
    Everyone knows he has game so the jawing is definitely unnecessary.

  12. Valdes last night was into the game the same way he was into the Northen Iowa game and every game he’s played this year and last. Like Bigfaddy said the game plan for OK was to keep Valdes, Flemming and Janks from beating them. Rod played a heck of a game first off and we are proud of him as we are of everyone on the team. It was a little hard for Valdes to get freed up when he is asked to play in the corner and very little or no offense run his way. 2 shots in 1st half and 4 shots in second of which 2 were in final minutes of game. He did have to guard 24 of OK and pretty much kept him in check after his early game outburst. He did have 3 blocks in the game and 6 rebounds. This was a very winnable game and last nights game was a great game. We are not happy with the outcome of this game and are not satisfied with a loss as I assume neither are the guys. We were close last year at this point and again we came up short.

  13. Missed some crucial scoring chances at the end. That isaac T was bogus. Personally, I’m a huge isaac fan. He matured so much in just one year and is the only one besides bobbit that I trust handling the ball. All you guys hating on his attitude are the same ones that are standing up and screaming when he’s telling the crowd to make noise.

  14. Great effort by the team. Obviously we came up a bit short but taking the #3 team in the nation down to the wire shows the potential is there.

  15. A little perspective: Hawaii just took the No. 3 team in the nation to the wire. Yes, the loss hurts — but no more than to the team. Why pick apart (and pick on) a player doing this, and a player not doing that? Damn, the team nearly beat a very talented Oklahoma team with a likely Hall of Fame coach. They should be proud of their effort, and fans should be, too. I take it as something positive to build on, not an outcome to negatively over-analyze.

    Time to move on. There’s another challenge ahead … a very angry SEC team that took it on the chin yesterday. Hawaii has shown resiliency through the past couple of seasons, it needs to put the loss behind and come out with the same energy and effort against Auburn as it did against OU. To finish 2-1 and take third in this tournament would be a great way to end the year.

    On another note: Interesting to hear ESPN’s Roxy Bernstein rip the NCAA for leveling its penalty on the opening day of the DHC. He, like others, says the NCAA intentionally timed its announcement to make an example of UH “when the eyes of college basketball” was on Hawaii for this tournament.

  16. fans should be supporting all players remember they are young men who are not professional paid athletes the attitude and commitment from every player on the team should be commended it takes a team to win and the team both on the court and on the bench show great passion and commitment make comments about the coaches if you want, at least they are paid employees and adults but lets leave the players alone

  17. Clyde & senst23 I agree with both post for a blogger to say Isaac cost them the game who ignited the comeback who made big shots with limited touches who sacrifice ther game for the sake of the team ask yourself. Now let’s get this win on Christmas and finish 2n1 like I posted on a previous topic.

  18. So Despite Any and All Criticisms
    Oklahoma of course Did Not Play Perfect, Either
    (When they do it should be Quite a Sight…)

    UHMBB with Fresh NCAA Sanctions
    Tortured Intentionaly over Two Years
    THEN LEVIED TO Steal the Spotlight
    And Make ‘Em “Sound Worse” than they are
    AS IF The NCAA IS Doing Anything GOOD In THIS Process

    AND their Third Coach in Three Seasons
    Could Play TWO (Hopefully Three)
    Tough Teams — Really Tough Teams
    ON Back-to-Back Nights

    Plenty of Room to Improve
    Agree NO NEED for Criticism
    The Coaches And Players WILL Do A Better Job of it
    Than ‘WE’ Even Can…

    Ideally Bounce Back EVEN STRONGER
    For Having Learned Some BIG Time Lessons
    The Past Couple of Days

    ‘cos These Guys Have NO IDEA What Their Limits Are Yet
    And BE Ready To Face And WIN Against
    UNI & UO Type Teams On NEUTRAL Courts

    IF And When They EARN That Opportunity…

    GO ‘BOWS!

  19. Very, Very Proud of our BOWZ. You fought a good fight with a lot of heart against one of the best teams in the country…the season ahead looks bright.

    Like it or not, I thought the officiating was very consistent and the box scores actually show almost identical stats for both teams. The Sooners planned to shut down our lead scorers and did a good job of that. Bobbitt and Janks recognized it and did what they do. I THOUGHT OUR DEFENSE WAS GREAT once again.

    Game is now behind us, but it did not do any good for our next year’s schedule…what Top Tier Team in the nation would want to risk playing us here…the word it out even more so.

    Fleming, Bobbitt and Quincy are 1, 2 & 3 in Steals in the BWC.

    SEC’s Auburn tomorrow and at least we get to sleep in our own beds. Finish strong BOWZ.

    MELE KALIKIMAKA n HAU’OLI MAKAHIKI HOU to all who read this site.


  20. bigdaddy:

    UH will go 2-1, and of course beat Auburn in a good game.. probably a blowout win for UH.
    love All of the core guys who returned this year. that heart and soul.. from the returning guys. is the reason why UH is playing so well at home..
    Next thing. they take their play out on the BWC road. BWC play another story, different animal.
    interesting. it does not matter the coach, Otto or Eran..it is the guys who win or lose games.. great effort.
    taking on number 3 and possibly a number 1 ranked team this Sunday RPI..
    is fantastic. ganot.. new to him, this big stage, and what he has to deal with now.. He has a ready made core that is continuing what coach Otto helped them with. that back to the wall, fear no team, we can win every game mentality. love it.

    bigdaddy, the skill of your son. is incredible.. Coach Ganot learning too.. he is darn fortunate that Isaac Flemming stayed with team this year . and we appreciate that Isaac stayed with team last year too.
    He, Quincy and Flemming really disrupt any team at SSC.. in starting their offense.. then they settle into their base D, and the other team rushes their shots. misses and UH is off and running.

    Thanks for your perspective bigdaddy, AND TribeVx4 , Aaron’s dad..
    support them.. this IS THEIR YEAR.. NCAA or bust !

  21. In the video, Oklahoma’s big man, for most of the night, looks razor thin, 6-9 Lattin, 208 lbs.
    At about 4:04 in the video, it shows the ref right there when Isaac said something.
    But on the radio later, Eran said he (Eran) talked with the ref after that to “fight” for his player (Isaac).
    I hear the theory that you aren’t supposed to leave your feet when you make a pass but that is baloney. Like Rod jumped at about 4:00 to pass back to Isaac.

  22. we all saw the play an replay of that Techfoul. Issac said nothin to anyones face. I like the fact Ganot’s Staff had a good talk with Issac on the bench. I guess it was high emotion time for Issac but Issac said nothin to anyone’s face or the opposing bench! You saw the replay, Issac barked at no one! I think the officiating was pretty good on both sides, very ticky tacky fouls at times.

    Was a terrific game UH being down early and I thinking they were going to cave and get routed and seeing them coming back to trail only one at the half. UH went cold at the end moreso than Oklahoma

  23. Happy Holiday, everyone. Go Bows!

  24. Uhfan: it’s Issac Fleming with ONE ‘M’, not two. His name is spelled and has always been spelled correctly throughout the articles and interviews posted with him in um on this here warrior insider. So lemme just say c’mon man!

    Have to admit I actually read your run on novels in order to know that, however please spell his family name correctly! He is, after all, the most talented sophomore we’ve had in recent memory, and is going to WIN this team several more games in his career, hands down.

    Heck, I’ll say it, Issac could lead this team in scoring, assists, steals, 3-pt shooting, you name it but instead is showing his maturity by being a team player coming off the bench! Coach Ganot mentions impacting the game by rebounding, playing defense, and taking care of the ball… All 3 of which Isaac does spiritedly and he STILL looks to pass before just stopping and popping.. Of which he’s only getting started I might add.

    Gotta say though, that Bobbitt dude is one bad dude. Glad they both on our team not any other.

  25. We had plenty of opportunity to win this one and no one player should be blamed. It takes 5 to play and their supporting cast as starters need time to rest or get into foul trouble.

    Such harsh words for players who played their hearts out.

    Go out and get a win tomorrow, get some rest and heal some injuries, play a couple of more tune up games before we start conference play on 1/6.

    Speaking of injuries, anyone have any “ins” on Q’s injury?

    A bit disappointing is the fan base. Where are they?

    Go Bows!!!

  26. chocolate thunder:

    Hey brother, sorry, Isaac Fleming with ONE “M”, apologize to bigdaddy94 too.
    Yes, sorry about the novel write-ups.. just so passionate about MBB.. and sorry to see it going through NCAA deal part II, .. well hope everything in next couple of years gets straightened out from Top of UH admin to the great student athletes and coaches.
    hoping Eran will invite or actually recruit some Local HS athletes.. chance to play ball for next season. that would be fun ! The Howie Dunhams, Tim DeSilvas, Dennis Sallas’ , David Hallums, Kalia McGees, etc.. Dan Hale, Brad Pineaus. etc.. would be fun.. and of course UH should have recruited Derrick Low ! chocolate, yes, thunder away.
    Go Bows/ Warriors, !!

  27. Brian McInnis ‏@Brian_McInnis 2 hours ago
    #HawaiiMBB guard Quincy Smith (ankle) looks good to go at practice today.

  28. I had the perfect angle to see the T play. And yes, Isaac did say something right after he made that shot. But I thought that his head was pointed a little down and not really directed towards the opposing player. It looked like something a player would utter to pump himself up. Was surprised that he was T’d up. Glad that Eran said he was fighting for Issac on this one.

  29. Some local talent that played DI ball, away or for UH..
    would have made competitive team.. some shooters and playmakers..
    6’9″ Red Rocha -Oregon St.(Hilo)
    6’9″ Julian Sensley-UH(Kalaheo and Prep academy mainland)
    6’10” Brad Pineau-UH(St Louis School)
    6’11” Craig Bell -Utah(University High)
    6’7″ Bobby Nash-Hawaii(Iolani)
    6’6″ Dan Hale-Hawaii(Punahou)
    6’5″ Howie Dunahm-Hawaii(St Louis School)
    6’2″-Alika Smith-Hawaii(Kalaheo)
    6’1″ Kalia McGee-Hawaii(University High)
    6’1″ Derrick Low-Washington St. (Iolani)
    6’0″ Jarin Akana-Hawaii(Molokai)
    6’1″ David Hallums-Hawaii(Pearl City)

    Eran.. take Close look around Hawaii, seriously for a couple to six HS recruits, who you can bring on board to play next season or 3.. maybe the next group who will play for NCAA will have
    Hawaii HS talent for sure..

  30. Damn, so proud of the team! To keep the #3, possibly #1, ranked team in the nation to a close game until the end is just incredible! Love the team so much! Get that W against Auburn.

    Isn’t Jack Purchase an Auburn transfer?

  31. Red Rocha, there’s your big man, 6-9, 185 lbs, All-American, 1947, at Oregon St, first player from Hawaii to play in the NBA and won an NBA championship, 1955. He had a deadly hook shot.
    “Rocha played in the early days of the NBA (he also coached the Detroit Pistons from 1957-60) when games were low-scoring, there were very few dunks, players drove to the basket at their own risk, and punching someone in the mouth was a defensive technique.
    Rocha was around when the shot clock was introduced (1954-55) and he played for one of the early NBA’s real characters, Al Cervi.
    Red and former teammate Earl Lloyd were described as the “enforcers’’ on Cervi’s title team, which had just one ‘superstar’ in Dolph Schayes.”

  32. We were sitting in great position to read Isaac’s lips. This is what he said.

    “Right there, boy! Right there.” Nothing derogatory about this. Do you think that Isaac could’ve been psych-ing him ownself up? Likewise, the OU players were jawing too.

    Jason (ref) just had it in for Isaac and Hawaii. Shorter blonde haired dude. This was quite obvious. How could he make calls against the #3 team in the country? Lots of contact made by Oklahoma, yet they were not called. Calls made by other refs when Jason was right there and should’ve made the call. It like they waiting for each other to make the call.

    I guess we could be fortunate that we did not have Mr. Terrible ref our game.

    Go Bows!!!

  33. Uhfanzonly1,

    don’t forget about Miah Ostrowski. One of the better guards in recent Hawaii history.

  34. UHFans1 – You missed Miah Ostrowski. Played football and worked his way onto the starting lineup.

    All of these names bring back some good memories. Thanks.

    Go Bows!!!

  35. Speaking of Miah. When John Ursua signed his FB letter of intent a few years ago, I came across his highlight video in basketball. He’ll be a redshirt freshman (top scout player) slotback next year. Think he has Chad Owens-like potential (OK, maybe that’s too much), but I like his hoops skills, too. If you’ve got nothing better to do, check his hoops highlights. Any thoughts? Could he be the next Miah? (Assuming, of course, that he’d even think of trying to play two sports).


  36. sorry guys.. Miah O.. great, great 2 way sport..

    That was one of my favorite teams, with Bill Amis having great senior year, with Miah running the point. That team, from Nash last year, of 3 year losing span.
    won 19 games , GA first year.. and almost beat USF dons at SSC to go to 20 wins and third round of CIT.. with blessing from Riley , who helped get UH into that pay tournament..
    Miah O. playing after passing of his dad. great game against USU. aggies.. WAC.. what a gamer

    Miah O. still great connection. he goes to Basketball Banquet too !!

  37. did I say Great enough times? yes..a lot.. however Miah was all out effort.. his speed matched a lot of DI point guards,.. just wish he shot a little more. will always remember Miah, .
    other two way guys , Mike Among on loan from MVB team help out Riley first year..Chris Roscoe from FB team help UH MBB too. .. and Chris Walz from UH BB team, a mini Kevin McHale.. those up and under moves and deadly 18 foot turnaround jumper.. plus 2 man game with Tim Shepherd.. finally SOME good memories of UH MBB past few decades !

  38. If we can recruit a stretch 4 like Fitzner or Pineau like Eran did at St Mary’s this team will be tough. Pineau is the real deal over there at St Mary’s.

  39. It was a team loss. If everyone played at their best Warriors win. Support the team tomorrow. It’s early so plenty time to go home and get ready for a great Xmas dinner. Protect the House Warriors.

  40. Check this out!

    Miah shredding it up. Local boy showing how it’s done.


  41. Why are my simple and true comments being flagged? This site is,a real joke if I can’t say what I said. No curse words or anything. Flag this….

  42. You are proving it may be true….. Bigdaddy is a personal friend of yours…..

  43. good win by Bows.. wonder how Auburn would have done, if PG not hurt? oh well, good comeback
    and Rod Bobbitt is the MVP of this team so far..
    Great job..guys..

  44. The #3 team in the nation, OU was behind HARV 37-31 @01:27 remaining of the 1st period, only managed to catch-upped 4pts as 37-35 @ 1st-00:18, then nobody score as 1st-ended – made some people disappointed!

    But, once the 2nd period started, OU scored 23-pts streak, as 58-39 @ 2nd:15:11: lead by 19, which HARV failed to overcome, lost to OU 83-71 as F.

    OU should be in the Final Four 2016 strong!

    UH Warriors made some corrections, turning into a comeback-team, finished as a 3rd-place winner, earning some respect as the 2nd best team in this tournament (wow)…

    IIIFFF TEAM (players plus coaching staff) all-in and work-hard on improvements – 2016 might
    bring the Championship Hawaii crazed for; make your own memory time!?

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