Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors pull away from Northern Iowa, 68-52


Aaron Valdes scored a game-high 15 points and Sai Tummala added 12 points tonight to help Hawai’i pull away from Northern Iowa, 68-52, in the opening round of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

A spirited crowd of 6,313 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched Isaac Fleming add 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench and Stefan Jovanovic contribute 11 points, nine boards and four blocks as the Rainbow Warriors improved to 8-1 and advanced to Wednesday’s 4 p.m. semifinal against No. 3-ranked Oklahoma (8-0). The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

Northern Iowa, which has already defeated two Top 5-ranked teams (North Carolina and Iowa State) this season, fell to 7-4 and into Wednesday’s 6:30 p.m. consolation bracket game vs. Washington State.

Last night on ESPNU, Hawai’i built a 34-25 halftime lead and then held on despite three starters saddled with foul trouble. Forward Mike Thomas picked up his third foul less than four minutes into the second half, starting post Stefan Jankovic was whistled for his fourth foul with 12:06 remaining in the game and starting point guard Roderick Bobbitt drew his third foul at the 11:08 mark with the Rainbow Warriors leading, 50-43.

But UH actually expanded that lead after that, with Tummala’s free throw putting the Rainbow Warriors ahead, 59-47, with 5:37 left. Hawai’i then broke open the game by converting three straight steals into layups, capped by Fleming’s three-point play at the 4:44 mark which made it 66-47. Jovanovic added a layup 17 seconds later to make it 68-47, and the Panthers could not get closer than 16 points the rest of the way.

Northern Iowa started the game with a quick 7-3 lead, but the Rainbow Warriors responded with an 8-2 run to lead, 11-9, after Stefan Jankovic’s layup off a spin move with 15:14 remaining in the half. The Panthers answered with a 10-3 surge capped by Paul Jesperson’s 3-pointer which dropped in at the 11:39 mark.

UH later took the lead for good at 26-25 on Quincy Smith’s layup with 4:59 left, and finished the half with eight unanswered points to lead 34-25 at the break.

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

(Game photo courtesy Matt Osumi)

Tuesday’s Results
Auburn 83, New Mexico 78
Harvard 85, BYU 82 (OT)
No. 3 Oklahoma 88, Washington State 60
Hawai’i 68, Northern Iowa 52

Wednesday’s Games
9:30 a.m. – New Mexico vs. BYU
11:30 a.m. – Auburn vs. Harvard
4:00 p.m. – Oklahoma vs. Hawai’i
6:30 p.m. Washington State vs. Northern Iowa


  1. Great game. Great game plan. Great effort by all the players !
    Go Bows !!

  2. Mr. Fleming is my name. Watch out Oklahoma!

  3. Totally awesome team win … playing in system and sharing the ball (17 assists on 25 field goals), but more important, playing devastating defense. And to those who lamented the lack of depth, consider that Fleming, Jovanovich and Tummala teamed for 34 of the 68 points and 21 of the 31 rebounds.
    Jovanovich deserves the heaviest praise for his defense and rebounding (9); his 11 points were an added bonus.
    For one night, at least, a well-deserved and well-earned victory.
    Oklahoma presents a whole different challenge. But that’s why they play the game.

  4. Warriors!! Warriors!! Warriors!! Warriors!! Haha just So stoked for this team that’s all

  5. Somebody had said awhile ago that Jovanovic was u_____. Well you have to eat your words. He had four blocks plus 9 rebounds, 11 pts. and 1 steal.
    I couldn’t see the game so well on streaming, but Fleming was amazing with 6 steals, 8 rebounds, 11 pts. 4 assists, zero turnovers.
    Plus all the other players, Valdes, Sai, Roderick, 8 assists, Quincy, Thomas and the others.

  6. All I want for Christmas is a diamond head classic championship! Let’s GO BOWS!!

  7. Wow what a stellar performance by the Bows!! I think they play better when they’re going up against a top notch team. Brings the competitiveness out of them and I love how they share the ball, and took their time on offense.

    Of course their defense locked UNI up, making them make bad plays.

    Everybody contributed! Hey Islandman.. yer right about Jovanovich! Best game I’ve seen him play so far.

    Go Warriors!

  8. Great win!! Way to step up and put away a good team! Great team play and great coaching! Let’s keep rolling tomorrow. Fill up the SSC!!!!

  9. Great win! Said it before, UNI are overrated. Two big wins against overrated teams – Iowa state and UNC, who were both without their best players. Also said that Washpun was overrated.

    Atmosphere at the SSC was electrifying. No doubt that it contributed massively to the win. Crowd was cheering non-stop.

    Fleming with those steals, Jovanovic with those blocks, but how about Smith with that 3 in the first half? Loved the composure. Loved the constant full-court pressure. Loved it all.

  10. Also, could it be that we missed just 1-2 free throws? Amazing improvement,

  11. UH knocks off Oklahoma and then wins the darn DHC.. you know what.. legitimate RPI goes up.. and UH will be knocking on top 25 ranking at 10-1.

    And who can we credit.. for that NEVER say die, back against the Wall, Us against the world?
    Yes, the guy who is smiling now.. though passed over.. Otto Benjy Taylor , maybe driving a nice, car too?
    Thankyou Benjy , for helping guide Isaac Flemming through some tough times.. and helping Janks, Valdes and company, most.. stay with UH. not go anywhere..

    Now UH Bows go get a very athletic, Big strong.. just as quick.. Oklahoma team

    You know. UH will never, ever lose a game at SSC this year. .they are NUMBER one in Manoa. for sure.

    On the road.. they go 7-1, and finish BWC SSC home record at 8-0.. sitting at 15-1 or 16-0 going into BWC tournament? NIT guaranteed. because of regular season title.. NCAA bound. by winning 2 or 3 games..

    This is Payoff year.. next 6 years.. a dud.. sad to say.
    anyway.. go Bows.. good job..


    GRINCH Steals DHC Spotlight Day
    AFTER WASTING A Year And A Half With B.S. “Violations”
    I WILL Give Them Credit for Calling Out UH Admin for Their FAILURE to Quickly Respond & Resolve Accusations

    TO KEEP The WHOLE TEAM Focused
    On WHAT They CAN Control
    AND that was a Dangerous UNI Team
    That could Never Find Enough Peace
    To NAIL Their Threes
    OR Catch An Offensive Rebound
    OR Avoid Numerous (19-20?) Turnovers

    Everybody Contributing What They Can
    THE BENCH Evolving Into A FORCE To Be Reckoned with
    They May Never Be The Same
    A BRAIN Once Expanded Never Shrinks Back to its Earlier (Smaller) Dimensions

    SO MANY Players UNDAUNTED By he Bigness Of The OPPOSITION
    JUST MIGHT Mean They Grow Even More, Even Faster Against OU
    AND NOW They ARE Forming ONE Game Plan
    NOT The Fractured Discombulated Almost Mindless Decisions
    They Displayed Last Year
    They Are Becoming A Cohesive, SMART Team…

    GO ‘BOWS!
    [Something They Could NEVER Do Last Year]
    GO ‘BOWS! Finally WIN A DHC?



    Finished Last Year Regular Season @ #134
    Post-BWC Tourney @ #116

    “Lowest” This Season @ #104
    NOW All the WAY Up to #77
    (UCIrvine Second @ #88)


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