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UPDATED: Warriors increase win streak to eight with win over UC Davis

Smith3_UCDavis

Holy Jeepers, Batman! The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team is officially now in “Fabulous Five” territory.

Stefan Jankovic scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Quincy Smith added a career-high 18 points, four steals and three assists Saturday night to help Hawai’i pull away from visiting UC Davis, 78-62, in Big West Conference action.

A spirited Stan Sheriff Center “Superhero Night” crowd of 8,114 watched Isaac Fleming add 13 points and four assists as the Rainbow Warriors improved to 16-2 overall — the program’s best start since the “Fabulous Five” era 44 years ago — and 5-0 in league play. The Aggies fell to 7-11, 2-3.

The last UH team to start 15-2, back in 2001-02, lost in its 18th game at San Jose State. That was also the last Rainbow Warriors team to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The last Hawai’i team to start better than the current squad’s 16-2 was the legendary “Fabulous Five” of 1971-72 which started at 17-1. That team also advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Smith, a senior guard, said this year’s group is trying to stay focused on the next game as opposed to the next invitation to the Big Dance.

“If we keep winning,” Smith said, “everything will work out.”

The Rainbow Warriors have stayed on track despite missing starting forward and second-leading scorer Aaron Valdes (14.8 points per game) for the third straight outing due to a “turf toe” type injury.

On Saturday it again was Jankovic, Smith and Fleming who picked up most of the scoring slack, and the team shot 54.2 percent overall including 37 percent (10 of 27) from 3-point range.

UH, which came out dressed in black warm-up shirts with a yellow Batman logo across the chest, also overcame a 25-point performance by surprise nemesis Josh Fox, an undersized UC Davis power forward who scored 18 in the first half on 8-of-11 shooting.

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“All league games, every league game is tough — if you look around the country, it’s like that — and so we were very fortunate to win tonight,” Rainbow Warriors coach Eran Ganot said. “UC Davis is a team that is used to winning, they won the conference (regular season) last year and they came in here playing well, they had a big win (vs. UC Riverside) on Thursday.”

The Aggies took a quick 4-0 lead Saturday night but Hawai’i answered with a 7-0 run sandwiched by Jankovic’s slam dunk and 3-pointer from the left wing, and the Warriors never trailed again. But UC Davis hung tough throughout the first half and after UH went up, 35-25, on Jankovic’s reverse layup with 4:09 remaining, the Aggies finished with a 10-2 run to close it to 37-35 at the break.

“My concern was we didn’t close out the half strong, and that’s usually one of the things we do well,” Ganot said.

A large part of the problem was containing Fox, a rugged 6-foot-6, 215-pound senior who plays much bigger than his size. During that last 10-2 run in the final four minutes of the first half, Fox converted a layup, later put back his own miss in traffic and then converted a three-point play to close it to 37-34 with 32.8 seconds remaining.

“He hit tough shots,” Jankovic said of Fox. “We knew they had two good bigs (Fox and 6-10 post Neal Monson), and sometimes we played good defense, but he just hit some tough shots and there was nothing we could do.”

Ganot said the Aggies presented an inside-out challenge that made it tough to pick a poison.

“I think we were so locked in because they’ve got three guys on the outside who are shooting 39 percent (from 3-point range),” Ganot said. “But that’s the danger, because now if you’re one-on-one (with Fox), he’s tough to cover and I thought we left him out on an island too much (in the first half).”

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Fox tied it at 37-37 on a layup 21 seconds into the second half, but Rainbow Warrior reserve forward Sai Tummala later broke a 41-41 tie with a 3-pointer from near the top of the key to put Hawai’i ahead for good with 15:59 remaining, and Fleming followed that with a 3-pointer from the right corner and a baseline layup to make it 49-41 with 14:11 on the clock.

UC Davis closed it to 51-46 on Brynton Lemar’s baseline floater with 12:53 left, but Smith answered with a 3-pointer from the left wing 30 seconds later and the Aggies never got closer than eight points the rest of the way. Fleming effectively sealed the victory by swishing a deep 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 73-57 with 3:24 remaining.

“I’m pleased with how we played in the second half — our offensive and defensive execution, and our work on the glass,” Ganot said. “In the first half, we gave up close to 60 percent (field goal shooting), but in the second half we held them to 43 percent. And on offense, we were just moving the ball, and that’s always the hardest thing to defend.”

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As for defending Fox, Hawai’i adjusted by getting help from the guards whenever he got the ball near the paint. Fox managed just four field goal attempts in the second half, making two, and was just 3 of 6 from the free throw line.

UC Davis head coach Jim Les said of his team: “These guys battled their tail off tonight … I could not ask for much more. These guys gave me everything they had, I’ll go to bat with this group anytime. For the most part, we handled their pressure well. We wanted to attack the paint, did that, and shot a good percentage. Give them credit, (Hawai’i) made some tough shots.”

Meanwhile, the Rainbow Warriors’ surprise weapon was Smith, who had struggled with his field goal and free throw shooting for a few weeks over the holidays but scored a career-high 17 points at UC Riverside on Jan. 14 and then topped it Saturday with his 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range.

“I’m feeling pretty good, I’m getting more shots and the ball’s been dropping,” Smith said. “They were sagging off me pretty hard, so I just shot it.”

Ganot said he has confidence in Smith’s offense, and so does Smith himself.

“He’s gotta believe, and we’ve gotta believe,” Ganot said. “The first thing you need to do is put in the work, and Quincy has certainly done that, so you feel like you deserve it. Quincy has put in the extra work, and now he’s seeing the fruits of his labor, and it’s good to see. I think we’re at our best when we’re aggressive, and you need to take what the defense gives you.”

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UH showed more of its versatility early in the second half, when Jankovic picked up his third foul and was soon replaced by reserve post Stefan Jovanovic, who then contributed six points, four rebounds and one block in 14 second-half minutes.

“I wasn’t worried at all — we are a deep team,” Jankovic said. “Stef can come off the bench and bring energy, Q hit some shots and Rod (Bobbitt) controlled the tempo.”

The Rainbow Warrior fans — many of whom came dressed in their favorite Super Hero costumes — also did their part with vocal cheers after every big play.

“Without question, it’s worth points,” Ganot said of the nearly packed house. “That was nice to see. Not just the crowd, but the arena itself is a crown jewel, and when it is rocking, it is a special place, electric. The fans always rally behind us and always appreciate the team as their own. They appreciate the effort, because this team works its tails off, the way we play offense and defense and on the glass. The home crowd is huge at a lot of places around the country, and we need to be one of those programs.”

Jankovic’s said UH already has “the best crowd in the Big West, by far.”

The Warriors and their fans will get another chance to prove it at the next game, vs. Long Beach State at 7 p.m. Saturday, January 30. Hawai’i will take an eight-game winning streak into that game; the last time a UH team had an eight-game win streak was to open the 2004-05 season.

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

Game photos courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com

Saturday’s Big West Results
Cal Poly 83, at Cal State Fullerton 75
at UC Santa Barbara 74, CSUN 61
at UC Riverside 74, Long Beach State 72
at Hawai’i 78, UC Davis 62

Screen shot 2016-01-24 at 4.02.23 AM

43 Comments

  1. Thanks for taking good care of business.

    You guys got it right – one take each time!

  2. Batmen beat superman and Janks remembers TJ with a sign after his basket.

  3. Good coaching in college is worth a lot of wins. Players play. Coaches know the players and what buttons to push and see how the game is flowing. Coach also know the psychology with each player. He know from practices and now 18 games. I had no doubt that we would win this game after a tight first half. Happy to see Q do so well. I like his attitude. Jovanavic came in again and did a great job in the 2nd half. Just taking care of business!!!!! Now, let’s get Valdes back for Long Beach.

  4. Got a week to prepare for LongBeach!

    Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows! Let’s Go Bows!

  5. Perhaps Cal Davis shouldn’t have shed the superman shirts in the second half (just kidding).Love it when the crowd is in the game from the start of the game (that’s what 8,000 + will do). Can’t say enough about the play (I will be watching this one over again and maybe again). Super chemistry between all the players and the coach (they listen to him and then they execute). I am sure AV is itching to get back into the game. Next Saturday, be there or nowhere. Long Beach has always given us trouble (time to repay). All WI contributors. Have a great week and get to the game early.

  6. There is only one team (SMU) in the COUNTRY that has fewer losses than UH at this point… Amazing! Say what you want about the schedule, but with all the upsets in the college hoops world this year, winning alone is impressive.

    I was among the group of people who questioned the hiring of Ganot over Benjy. But I’ll admit I was wrong — Ganot is a great coach. What I’m most impressed with is the way he has developed players. Janks, Fleming, Thomas, Q, and Jovanovich are all significantly better players than they were last year. If Ganot can keep this one game at a time mentality, there is no limit to what this team can achieve this season.

  7. Fox played like superman in the 1st half. Kryptonite got to him some in the 2nd.
    All the Batmen played well overall including Janks 22 pts., 8 rebs, 1 blk, 1 steal. Quincy 18 pts, 3 assists,1 blk, 4 steals. Isaac 13 pts, 4 assists. Roderick 9 pts, 7 assists, 4 steals. MIke 4 pts, 4 rebs, 2 steals.
    Stef played more minutes in the 2nd half than Janks with all of his 6 pts, 4 rebs, 1 blk, 1 asst in that half. Sheriff hit a 3 in the 1st half and Sai one in the 2nd. Niko subbed for Rod in the 1st half for awhile.
    Batmen Roderick and Quincy were stealing superman crazy. Isaac made unreal batman assists and 3 pointers.
    This team reminds of the 1970-72 UH Fabulous Five ( so far). Many fans and the UH Head Coach weren’t born yet at that time.

  8. UH MBB is #3 trending on Twitter for the past 12 hours beating out #blizzard2016. People are excited about UH BBall. Hope some of those 400K tweets are possible recruits to keep this going.

  9. Like anything else, there are always tendencies. In the case of Josh Fox he always tries to make at least 1 fake, maybe 2 at the most before he shoots so never leave your feet on the first fake. If you leave your feet he will make a short move and then shoot. Sometimes he’ll get a call for a foul. In the second half, UH did a much better job and he oftentimes passed off to a teammate as he didn’t have the right positioning or space on the floor. That was key is holding down Davis.

    Here’s another exampe of tendencies. Melo Trimble, a very good player at Maryland who scored 24 points yesterday. Whenever he shoots a 3 attempt he always from the center of the floor, deep from the top of the key. He hardly shoots from the outside from the corners or angles. Of course, he can do other things but you can always stop him on certain things.

    Then, take Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield. You don’t know where he’s going to shoot from, because he will shoot from any place on the floor. That’s hard to guard. I would say Buddy Hield right now is the National Player of the Year, he’s so versatile and does everything well. He would be perfect for the Golden State Warriors!! Hehe!

  10. #SELLOUT. That would be awesome. I think it might happen. With Wahine game first, that’s a good thing so arena will be open early. Opening arena at 6 pm too late for such a big crowd.

    Finally when great crowd, team wins, and wins big. And plays like a team. Talked to Aaron after game and he said he’ll definitely be back next week. Hope if Isaac doesn’t start that it doesn’t get in his head. Hope he knows it doesn’t matter, it’s the time he plays that matters. Quincy on defense was driving number 5 insane last night. Best overall TEAM game I’ve seen. Assists to points was some ridiculous number, I don’t remember but amazing.

    Great coaching. Great athletes. Great effort. Great attitude. Good fun. Go bows!

  11. KellyO,: glad you enjoy the games ! can almost hear you cheering !

    Nice crowd…. been there when had Standing Room Only, for NIT games at Blaisdell for MBB first second round games.. and near 10,000 sell out.
    KellyO, that MISSING in house, attendance.. turnstile 8114, is great , However still short by 2186 empty seats.. and about 1030 seats not purchased.. still that group, which is me too, disabled. we watch warriors on TV or online, listen to radio.. Some families. not able to dish out near 100 dollars on Thursday of Saturday nights.. maybe Next Season, when UH plays UNC. might have sellout ticket sold plus, turnstile.. those days. are sadly gone..REAL TEST? UH last 10 games of BWC season, 6 out of the 10 games including final 2 , ON the Road.. should be great. !
    🙂

  12. Still TOO many threes taken.. Coaches are right.. LIVE BY THE 3.. win by the 3 if falling.. jack a lot.. and miss a lot.. plus miss from FT line.. the other BWC teams WILL finally beat Hawaii. .on the road in Cali.. they are waiting for the Warriors.. so important.. go INSIDE.. then out. take the great shot, near basket as opposed to the good shot from 25 feet out..Go Bows !
    🙂

  13. So similar with Different Millenial Attitudes. this warrior group to the Fab Five.. who went into NCAA tournament ranked, and if they Got Past Weber St. whom Fab were favored by at least a dozen points or more in Pocatello , Idaho.. UH was at, I think 24-2 and ranked … if they got past 17-9, Bob Davis 6’7″ 230 center, they had a 2nd round date with Bill Walton and the UCLA Bruins ! result:March 11 1972, with tens of thousands from Hawaii watching on national TV.. a Saturday..
    UH lost….vs. Weber State L 64-91.. took UH MBB fans, 27 years to get over that.. until Wallace NIT team of March 1989..Hope team, Warriors, will go undefeated and reach elite eight. !
    🙂

  14. I am sorry , UH Fab Five, like this year’s Warriors.. did really well, ended up final regular season ranked? I think and at 24-2.. We, UH MBB fans were devastated for some 17 years until UH Wallace team went to NIT.. in 1989.. took some 17 years to get back to post season.
    This team.. AT HOME.. they cannot lose.. IF they go INSIDE first.. and go to FT lines. all guys hitting 80 percent or better, from first minute till the last.. Anaheim? Greatness? or Grief? Hope the best for Warriors.. the next 13 games.. They have to win them all, enter NCAA tourney at 30-2 !

  15. For that missing 2000 plus in house? either doing something else, watch. broadcast or delay DVR. or for those 1200, non sold tickets.. ? For fans, with hard economic times.. and inconvenience.. will stay away.. some, I know, like UH MBB, however they are at gym. or park playing BB themselves.. the younger people. UH should just open doors.. after walkup sales. PA or social media the students on campus.. To walk in, and Fill empty seats.. free hot dogs,.. drinks. anything.. just to have 10400 SRO in the house..

  16. I don’t understand it, RealtimeRpi, men basketball as of Sunday Jan 24 2016 , with UH at 14-2 overall against DI schools, they don’t recognize the DII wins UH had.. they Drop to number 85? And Irvine holding at 41? crazy, UH just has to win out. undefeated all the way to ncaa.. otherwise No respect. and always be that 3 votes for AP top 25 on Sundays

  17. At Blaisdell, the capacity was around 8,000, i think. The average attendance ( tickets issued ?) was 7,495 in the last year of Fabulous Five and 1st year of the team with Tom Henderson and 7,517 in his 2nd year.

    When the SSC opened in 1994-95, the attendance figure average was 8,457. The best attendance looks like in 1997-98 with the team of AC Carter and Alika, 9,615, from glancing at the UH website. So last night’s 9,289 (tickets issued) is very close to that high, 8114 turnstile.
    UHf1, are you jumping back on the bandwagon some again, so far ?

  18. islandman:

    Sorry.. you are right HIC/ Blaisdell was actually about 7800 plus max for BB.. setup.. they would squeeze in extra folding chairs on floor level or concourse and then it WAS about 8000.. fire and building codes.. of course safety first..

    That was neat, even watching Henderson led teams, against smaller schools.. near 8000 sold out. SRO crowd, everything was cheaper.. and even with live TV. the ONLY game in town.. magical !
    I don’t think will ever have 10300 SRO in Stanley again.. just that TV factor.. unless they black out the UNC game or Irvine.. just the times we live in. and students on campus? who can get in? they playing video, or frat parties. just living and having fun.. they are not interested in UH sports. that is okay..
    I know a lot of us older fans. or little older guys. wish we could go.. however. TV or radio, livestats next best thing !

  19. Josh Fox reminds me of that 6’5 guy that transferred out—Reyes. Wonder if he has second thoughts now about leaving?

    What excites me most about this team is the improved play of Quincy Smith. He knocking down those outside shots (and free throws) with consistency will become another nightmare match up for visiting teams. Now they won’t be able to sag so much off him. And that means he will have a better angle driving to the hoop. They know everyone else on this team. But Smith they don’t know much and will be our X factor. He is now the most complete player on this team. He belongs in that starting five.

  20. Good job guys. One game at a time. Good crowd.
    Go Warriors!

  21. If I’m not mistaken Fox was recruited by UH and took an OV to the islands. He started his career at UCR before transferring out to CCSF and then headed to UCD.

  22. I like Fox’s skill set, but damn is he a whiner.

  23. Uhfanzonly1 why so negative? A LOT of students go to these games, more than there is student seating for actually. The ones who don’t show up are the corporate sponsors who have tickets in lower bowl but never give them to anybody or something, very irritating. Those corporate sponsors should donate to the boys and girls club or something. Also, a lot of young kids come to the games which is awesome. I see no reason this team cannot have SRO crowd at games. You said before we’d never get 8500 without local boys but guess what…had 8100 show up last night!! 9100 tickets sold. Next Saturday I think we will have at least as big a crowd if not bigger. I hope these guys keep their focus.

    Go bows!

  24. Despite being the largest crowd of the season, it definitely wasn’t the most energetic or the loudest. In any case, nice to see more fans jumping on the band wagon. Kinda bummed about the lines for the beer and bathrooms being ridiculously long.

    Also nice to see an extra turnstile was put in place!

    Echoing KelleyO… we won’t see a full house unless the corporate sponsors ticket holders show up. Also, the coaches and players get a set amount of tickets they can give out…I believe in lower AA…those need to be released to the public if coaches and players don’t have anyone to give them to.

    Awesome to see Riley Wallace at the game! I bet he’s proud of Ganot.

  25. 9,289 (tickets issued?) beats last year’s highs of 8,448 for Nebraska and 8,761 vs UC Irvine. However, average attendance to date is at 6324 compared to last year’s 6434.

    Last night had incentives for fans (young ones and young at heart) to attend such as superheroes and autograph night. Next men’s game starts at 8 pm, one hour later than usual.

  26. Average attendance at this point in the season is always lower than final numbers because many of the games still occured over the break when attendance is always lower. It evens back out over the rest of the year.

  27. Hawaii fans want winners regardless of where the players are from. If they are from the mainland they will be adopted as sons of Hawaii and if they are local they will live on as local heroes. I predict we’ll get a packed house before the season ends. The excitement around the team is building and Ganot is urging fans on twitter to pack the house on Saturday. UH has the best home court advantage by far in the BW so let’s use it by packing the house to help Eran and the boys.

  28. WE CAN Get a FULL HOUSE by Invoking The UH Baseball Strategy of Selling SRO Standing Room Only Seats…

    So That the Sleeping (But Committed BEFORE The Hype) Corporate Sponsor
    and Season Ticket Holder Seats Can Be Used …

    WHAT a Concept !
    Sell the Seats TWICE!

    LET The Bandwagon Fans Enjoy THIS Team, too!
    SOME Will Stick Around!

    FULLY FUND These Programs!
    Governor, THESE ARE Voters!

    GO ‘BOWS!
    Deserving Of A Full Electric House!

  29. Sorry KellyO:

    It will be hard for that feeling of the hard times with MBB recently, the investigation, the loyalties and disloyalties to go away. I have followed UH MBB since young, early sixties. Through Coach Roach, to Coach Benjy, appreciate the guys.. they have been through so much.
    One thing I will NEVER ever forget, the way, with high character and Class, Benjy dealt with his treatment as interim HC, and just fought, helped team, and won. He left Eran with a great group of guys. Hope they do well. I am old and disabled now,however one day I hope that MBB and All UH sports will be champions !

    KellyO, you carry the mantle, WI. will let you have your say. Very inclusive they are, or try to be, and we love WI staff for that !

  30. Coach ROCHA not Roach, sorry to Rocha family !

  31. I echo Tav’s remark that it was nice to see Riley Wallace in the stands. Camera caught him. And oh, what a job Coach Ganot is doing! Great! Go Bows !

  32. Agreed that the crowd wasn’t as loud and lively as might be expected for one that size, but it was great to see so many people in the stands. Hoping for 9000+ this Saturday!

    We’ve been getting there early to avoid the rush, but as Islandman noted, the game will be starting closer to 8pm than the 7pm stated, although I’m sure the Wahine will appreciate any and all early birds.

    GO WARRIORS!!!

  33. Hawaii received 9 votes in AP Coaches Poll, equivalent to about No. 34 in the poll. Up from 3 votes last week.

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/rankings/_/year/2016/poll/1

  34. correction, it’s the AP Poll, not the Coaches Poll.

  35. Thanks for the update on the poll, islandman. Pardon me for being anal on this, but it’s safer to say Hawaii got 9 points instead of 9 votes. There’s a difference.

  36. its only from 2 voters. gotta keep winning. should we beat LBSU and then sweep a very difficult road trip, 19-2 would be much harder to ignore.

  37. Coaches Poll still leaving out Hawaii. They don’t want to admit that they were wrong in not keeping Hawaii in the poll. They’re thinking that Hawaii should lose anytime now and that should bail them out for their inability to select the right teams. But they are very good at playing merry go round with the same ole Pac 12 teams. And Duke that lost 3 straight is still ranked 20. Won lost record don’t mean anything anymore. Only the power conferences. It’s ok to lose there because you lost from a top team. In my eyes there are no power conferences this year. Every single team is weaker this year. No marquee teams. It’s a big joke and I hope that mid-majors will steal the show this year and prove to the so called experts that they don’t know what they’re talking about. And coaches should stick to coaching not ranking teams. They don’t have the knowledge or the time to do it right.

  38. xer 21: Thanks for the insight. I was hoping it was from at least 3 or 4 voters, but at least two voters have taken notice. One game, one win at a time. Tough conference games coming up.

    I mentioned this the last time UH had a basketball doubleheader, but just a heads up for anyone who plans to buy tickets on game day. In the past, if you bought a ticket BEFORE halftime of the Wahine game, you can get one for $10 that will allow you to see both games. You can sit anywhere for the Wahine game, then move to your assigned seat for the men’s game. Quite a bargain, but you can only purchase on the day of the game.

  39. Regards to recruiting…check out someone with a real UH lineage, KYRIN GALLOWAY.

    http://hoopseen.com/index.php/news/hoopseen-20/item/3907-coaches-coming-in-to-see-galloway

  40. UHF1 give it up now. I liked Benjy’s personality, but he was not high character himself. Do we need to go over his personal problems again? You’re the one who keeps bringing this up to try to find anything good about the Gib era. You can thank Gib next year when UH is barred from postseason.

    He had a nice personality, but he sucked as a coach. I for one prefer winning with class, over losing “with class”. So glad UH took the chance on a young coach.

  41. Agree with all comments Great win, great team from 1 – 15 Every player puts in on and off the court This is what make a team great The Hawaiii 50 guys are adding as much energy on the bench as the guys on the floor Great chemistry Wello done to all and nice to see coaches rewarding the bench with a few minutes or seconds Not sure why Jakob is not getting on Maybe coaches are not happy he did not red shirt. Great to see his attitude on bench does not change Well done to all

  42. Jakob Cornelissen doesnt always make it nto games at the end because we have 6 people who dont really play major minutes and he’s the odd man out.

  43. Fair point re Jakob I guess Thought when you were up by 30 points you could get everyone one Me thinks there is more to this story!

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