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UPDATED: Warriors shoot down Anteaters for first place in Big West

Valdes2_UCI

On “Old Skool Rap Night,” the University of Hawai’i reached the top of the charts in the form of a 74-52 rout of UC Irvine.

A “Blackout” crowd of 8,578 (9,826 tickets issued) at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Warriors tie a school record with 14 3-pointers and move into sole possession of first place in the Big West Conference with the victory.

Hawai’i improved to 19-3 overall and 8-1 in the conference; UC Irvine dropped to 18-7 and 7-2. The teams will meet again in Irvine, Calif., on February 20.

“That was our most complete performance of the year, at the right time – the stakes were high,” Hawai’i head coach Eran Ganot said.

Hawai’i relied on a barrage of 3-pointers midway through the first half to build a lead, and then stayed in control the entire second half. The 14 3-pointers ties the UH record set twice during the 2001-02 season. That also happens to be the last UH team that started its conference season with a better record (11-1 in the WAC) and the last UH team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

“I think it was probably our best performance of the year,” senior forward Sai Tummala said. “Everyone was locked in, the scouting report was good, everyone was hitting shots, people were being aggressive, everyone was all in trying to win the game. I think it’s a testament to the way we work and a testament to the people who support us.”

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Numerous Warriors contributed to the victory, some in more subtle ways than others.

• Senior point guard Roderick Bobbitt was at his all-around best, recording 23 points, six rebounds, and seven assists with zero turnovers. He shot 6 of 10 from 3-point range to lead Hawai’i’s long-range barrage.

• Aaron Valdes had 16 points and nine rebounds. He shot 6 of 9 from the field, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range. He threw down a highlight-reel alley-oop dunk early in the game, and then helped seal the win with a driving dunk late in the second half.

• Sai Tummala shot 4 of 7 from 3-point range and scored 2 points off the bench. He also had four rebounds and three assists.

• Mike Thomas contributed seven points and seven rebounds.

• Quincy Smith scored just two points, but passed for five assists and had two steals.

• Stefan Jovanovic had six points, six rebounds and two blocked shots while playing 27 minutes off the bench because starting center Stefan Jankovic was limited to 13 minutes due to foul trouble.

• Reserve guards Niko Filipovich (two assists) and Sheriff Drammeh (three points, three steals) played extended and valuable reserve minutes in the absence of sixth man Isaac Fleming, who sat out a third consecutive game with an ankle injury.

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“Sheriff and Niko were huge off the bench,” Ganot said. “Sometimes it’s not just in terms of generating offense … I don’t think they gave up any points when they come in the game. They’re gaining confidence and getting more reps.”

UC Irvine entered the game as the Big West’s top statistical defensive team, but it was the Warriors who looked the part on Thursday. The Anteaters shot a season-low 31.3 percent from the field (20 for 64), including just 25 percent (4 for 16) from 3-point range.

Hawai’i shot 42.4 percent from the field (25 for 59), including 46.7 percent (14 for 30) from 3-point range. The Warriors also had 80 percent of their baskets come off assists (20 assists, 25 field goals).

“We’re a really good shooting team,” Bobbitt said. “We put up a lot of shots in practice. We knew they were going to zone us, so we played against a zone defense (in practice) and got up a lot of shots, a ton of shots, even in our off-time. I’m not surprised we shot that well.”

The score was tied at 11 early in the first half, then Hawai’i broke away with an 11-0 run. Tummala hit two 3-pointers and Bobbitt added one during the surge. The Warriors eventually took a 38-21 lead at intermission, with Bobbitt accounting for 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range.

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The Anteaters got as close as 12 early in the second half, but the Warriors put it away for good with another barrage of 3s. Bobbitt hit two more 3-pointers and Valdes added another during a 13-7 run that put the Warriors ahead, 51-33, with 12:15 remaining.

The victory ended a streak of four consecutive Hawai’i losses to UCI, including a loss in last year’s Big West Conference Tournament championship game.

“I thought about that every day,” Bobbitt said. “To get them here first in our home arena with all of these fans, the adrenaline starts rushing.”

Luke Nelson led the Anteaters with 11 points, though he shot just 4 for 12 from the field. Mamadou N’diaye, UCI’s 7-foot-6 junior center, finished with 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting and four rebounds. He entered the game averaging 12.3 points and 7.0 rebounds with a .660 field goal percentage.

Hawai’i will remain at home for another Big West game on Saturday against Cal State Fullerton.

“We still have seven games left, we have a ways to go,” Ganot said. “We’re going to continue to lock in and prepare for Saturday.”

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

(Game photos courtesy Matt Osumi)

Thursday’s Big West Results
at Long Beach State 73, Cal Poly 70
UC Santa Barbara 72, at UC Davis 66
at Hawai’i 74, UC Irvine 52

Saturday’s Big West Games
Long Beach State at UC Davis
CSUN at UC Irvine
Cal Poly at UC Riverside
Cal State Fullerton at Hawai’i, 7:00 p.m.

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30 Comments

  1. So I’m still up because I still needed to watch the replay.lol Come on facebook and this is posted. Credit Dayton and whoever assists him in getting this out. Mahalo nui.

    Regarding the game….BOWS brought it tonight! Nuff said. Go Bows!!

  2. I’m happy.Hawaii finally beat Irvine.way to go.now Hawaii is in 1st place all alone.Hawaii deserves to be in top 25 and make it to the big dance.

  3. Yes they did bring it last night, Rod and A V with the alley gotta love! Great Game Team!! Great Game Son !!

  4. We were on fire last night. 14 3’s and holding Irvine to 16 pts below their conference avg is how you show up to a first place showdown game. Rod got the party started on the offensive end but guys like Niko and Shareef really gave Ganot good minutes to help get some guys rest. We are building depth.

  5. First off, WHAT A PAIR OF GAMES!!

    I have to say that Sheriff has come a long way. I give all the credit to Ganot and his faith in him and getting him the playing time (I guess the injuries forced his hand somewhat). Regardless, all the credit to Ganot. Not saying he’s (Sheriff’s) great, but he’s certainly playing and holding his own with the big boys. I am, once again, reminded of what my kids tell me when I voice my opinion: “Seriously, we love you, but just shut up, Mom!”

    That was a tremendous all around team effort. They came to play. They were locked in. And they stayed that way from start to finish. There is nobody in the country who would want to face what Hawaii brought last night. It’s pretty unstoppable. A special shout out to Rod Bobbitt who had, in my opinion, may have had to gain back some Stan Sheriff fans after his antics at the last home game. Since then he has been poised and led with his example on the court. Great job.

    The alley-oop (sp?) was spectacular! Aaron lost no height with the hair.

    Megan Huff finally came out like I expected her to all year. She killed it last night.

  6. Hawaii put on a crazy shooting clinic! The Bows definitely wanted it more than uci.

    I got a little nervous because Hawaii started racking up fouls.. But did a great job
    Staying poised! Such a treat to watch!

    Let’s bring that focus and tenacity into Saturday’s game against Fullerton!

    Way to win warriors!!!

  7. “Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
    Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird.
    It’s a plane
    It’s Aaron Valdes ! ” and the rest of the team.
    Besides the high flying dunks Valdes made a soaring shot inside over and out of the reach of Mamadou who tried to block the shot.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    Commentator mentioned it looked like the Golden St Warriors shooting last night. Saw Rod crack several smiles after the game shaking hands with the team and the fans.
    Besides Sai, Sheriff and Niko’s contributions, Stef played 27 minutes, had 3 FG’s, 6 pts, 6 rebounds, 2 blks and 1 steal.
    Ndiaye had 3 FG’s, 4 FT’s, 4 rbs , zero blocks and 4 turnovers, one each caused by Niko and Sheriff. He went out of the game after only 53 seconds when he fouled Valdes who was getting an offensive rebound and shot.

  8. KO -Good Point on … No One In The Country….

    THAT OKLAHOMA-KANSAS #1 VERSUS #2 (BOTH of them Ranked #1 in One of Two Polls)
    That went Triple O.T Had Similarities …
    BOTH OU & UK shot 49% Threes, A Little Bit Better than our ‘Record 47%’

    Of Course Most Years, Comparing US to The #1 / #2 Teams would Raise a Rancor of ‘Ridiculous’ Objections
    Except This Year ‘Everyone’ SAW THIS TEAM DO IT for 40 Minutes Versus OU

    Glad The Fans Are Recognizing –1100 Students 8,9, 10,000 ‘Fans — ALL Getting to See This…

    —————

    I Like The HARD LINE Punch-in-the-Face NCAA Appeal
    ‘Played th ABUSE Card: Yellow, RED (?) Card
    Some of the Language …
    IF Appeals Can Take 5 to 8 months
    One More Round of Fight-Back ‘Should’ Defer ANY Possible Post-Season Ban PAST Next Season
    Of Course, Ideally Wipe Out Any & All
    So We Can Enjoy Another Season with Yanks- Stefan- MT-AV-Isaac, Purchase-PLUS…
    WIPE Out The Total Possibility of PSBan
    Then We Get to See Staff’s Ability to Recruit

    ——————-

    REALLY Gonna Miss Rod & Q… Now Sai, too
    Also Lookin’ for Q to Continue His Solid Free-Throw Shooting, Solid 2 for 2
    TOUGH TEAM To Beat
    Complete The Week SWEEPS Saturday
    TWO 5-0 Teams @ Saturday’s Game [HAWAI’I 5-0 Cast Joins UH]
    GO ‘Bows!

  9. A steamroller ran over the anteaters last night. A close to perfect game in all aspects of the game. I haven’t seen it mentioned but Stefan Jovanoic did a awesome job along with Mike Thomas both rebounding and keeping the ball out of the paint and challenging the ones that got in. It is hard to give props to all of the teammates who have improved and stepped up but these two are making a difference. Rod was at his best. I just love to see him operate. We are going to sorely miss him. Hope we can extend his stay by getting to the “big dance”. I noticed that Arron was working the refs the whole game which was a first. Fourteen 3’s is not likely to happen again but it sure was nice to have been there and enjoy the excitement.

  10. Crazy, awesome game! Too many awesome plays to list them all. Warriors need to keep this momentum going. No sense in winning against Irvine but then losing to Fullerton.

    Mamadou losing tip-off to Janks was awesome. Earlier in the season, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon aired this clip of Mamadou tipping off against 7’6″ Tacko Fall: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=14165104.

    Seeing the frustration on the face of the Irvine head coach every time our guys made a three was awesome. Anyone else see Mamadou kick the chair the second time he was subbed out?

    Credit to our guys, especially Janks and Jovanovic, for keeping the Irvine bigs out of the game. The 3/4 front worked well.

    Nelson and a couple other Irvine players are great at fadeaways and relied on them quite a bit. Our guys really couldn’t defend against them and seemed surprised by them, as if those ‘plays’ weren’t in the scouting report.

    3:30 minutes worth of highlights from last night’s game are here: http://hawaiiathletics.com/news/2016/2/12/MBB_0212162307.aspx?path=mbball

  11. I’m still on a high from lastnight’s game!!

  12. Sherriff has made enormous progress. He started the season timid offensively and didnt play well in the flow of the game, and now he’s a trustworthy spot off the bench for 10+ minutes. He’s more confident offensively (that ugly drive was…ugly, but that’s a skill he can improve on) and defensively, he’s way ahead of what i’d expevt from a freshman. He’s quick and active, very disciplined (I swear he takes a charge ever other game), has good intuition, and isn’t afraid of anyone despite his slight build. I love his defensive game, I think he might turn out to be a huge recruit long run.

  13. Should be another fun game against Fullerton!

    If Warriors defend and shoot really well, they are un-

    beatable! Should be another good crowd!

  14. Lost in all the numbers is the work Jovanovic put in against Mamadou. Bodying up against someone 7 inches taller and 70 pounds heavier — trying to keep him from establishing post position — is grueling and he did it for a lot of the 27 minutes he played.

    Also, how the heck didn’t Jovanovic get credit for an assist when he went to the floor near midcourt and scooped a back-handed, no-look pass to Bobbitt, who went in for a dunk. The crowd ate that up.

  15. I had it 75-69, but 74-52! Wow! Actually Irvine have a number of shots that just didn’t fall that were qin and out or rolled out and that was tough for them. It was just Hawaii’s night. It will be different at Irvine in 8 days. Credit the coaches and the players.

  16. Whatever this team did in practice as far as working on their 3 point shots, do it over and over again. Because this game is what it will take to march into the Dance and beyond. I’ve never seen a Hawaii team totally demolish a zone like they did against Irvine. Fact the Anteaters had to break out of their usually collapsed zone to the point where their back court seemed to be in man coverage to contest the shots. I can see how they got beat by the better teams that can shoot the ball from the 3 line. They will eat most weak 3 shooting teams but can’t do anything in that zone to defend when teams making their shots. And of course our defense really frustrated them especially the big mama. Disrupted their entire game. This is championship basketball baby!

  17. Great win from top to bottom. Players, coaches and the support staff. Let’s not forget the fans who attends the games live. Ingredients that bake up a successful program.

    The specialness of this team is how every player picks up their game when another teammate is out due to fouls or injury. Also, having a bench (5-0) sparks a positive energy that has not been seen very often. Continue working hard one game at a time.

  18. Wanted to comment on the school fighting for justice against the NCAA. Pull out all the stops and create new precedence and laws that will override some of the bias and archaic ways of this corrupted organization. Laws broken by coaches and administrators should not be overlooked meaning those things that has taken place at Louisville and North Carolina.

    As some has mentioned before the mid majors should start looking to pulling away from the NCAA and create their own organization. Find that leader who can accomplish this.

  19. Just the way we like it. And as far as recognition in the polls, we don’t need it. Just keep on playing solid ball as we have all season.

    Rod – Your 3’s and dunk were consistent with your high school highlights.
    Janks – Did well with the limited time that you played. Not sure about a couple of those fouls that were called against you. Don’t hesitate
    Mike – Still the rock. Great contributions
    Q- Mr. quiet and effective
    AV – More of the high flying Sh*# please
    Niko – good minutes
    Shareef – with more playing time comes more confidence
    Stef – Keeping blocking those shots. Take those 14 footers!
    Isaac – Yo Yo Yo…you going show up

    Read the entire appeal. Thought that it was well written. Problem is that the decision may come too late and by then some of the players may have transferred out by then.

    Go Bows!!!

  20. All great comments and on the nose. What a great basketball season and we needed it the way our football season went. Props to the Wahine too.

    I just wish that this game was the league championship. It would have been a great ending.

    Go Bows.

  21. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I have to come out of hibernation to congratulate the TEAM on last night’s domination of UCI.

    Offensively, it was a shooting display like no other in UH history. The shot of the night goes to Drammeh on his rainbow 3 from Steph Curry territory. Defensively was equally impressive with UH’s quickness on the perimeter disrupting UCI’s guards from running their schemes with any consistently. UH did an awesome job of making big Mamadou catch the ball outside the paint and make him work to shoot over the defender, which is about all you can do. Mamadou still does not possess any ball handling skills to be a threat of advancing his position if he can’t catch the ball within 5 ft of the rim.

    The Bows just need to hit the reset button and get back to the basics vs CSUF. UH must realize that last night’s 3 point barrage was an aberration and should not rely heavily on the 3 point shot unless it’s a designed play, or open and in rhythm looks. UH will not have that type of shooting night again. The shooting really bailed out the fact that Jankovic was in foul trouble was completely ineffective.

    On the return trip to Irvine, UH will get much more attention on the perimeter and UCI will have to extend their zone much further than what they did last night. This should open more looks in the 12-17ft range and will be easier to get the ball in the middle, which is the key to breaking down the 2-3 zone. Back when UH beat UCI in 2012-13, UH tore up UCI’s zone by working the ball to Fotu in the mid-post/baseline area and getting a ton of open mid-range shots.

    Again, UH needs to get back to basics, and get their mindset back to being a tenacious defensive team and attacking the paint on offense… that will generate open looks from outside.

  22. Great game last night by this special team. Let’s be honest with ourselves and understand that this year is turning out to be a real special year and because of the NCAA Bullsh$t we may not see something like this again. My plan is to try and be at the remaining games for these guys and support them all the way. Let’s just understand that next year will be way different from this year. Enjoy every chance we get because once the season is over this magical ride will end and it will be a wait and see for us and the team.
    This team has brought such joy to our hearts. We have all formed a special bond with these guys. Let’s rock the Stan Sheriff for the last 3 games and support these guys all the way to the end. They have through all this adversity hung with us here on the island, the least we can do is rock the final 3 games here with the hope the kids leave here with a little piece of our hearts and soul.

  23. DaBoyz808 … add Sai, 4 for 7 on 3’s, 4 rbs,3 assists, 1 steal.

  24. As it was said, the season still have a ways to go. AC and Alika teams were famous for the letdowns after big wins. This team can not let that happen especially against the lower teams like Fullerton St.

    The SSC is the place to be! The student section was awesome but they need to learn some chants and cheers to get in the heads of the other team. They could also learn some coordination with the glow sticks to make it even harder for the free throw shooters.

  25. Geez. Didn’t people say were weren’t deep. I think we deep enough. Especially when we get Isaac back.

  26. People don’t know what they’re talking about. So many complained when we had an 8 man rotation like…so? that’s standard. and now because Valdes and Flemming have been out, Niko and Drammeh can count themselves as reliable parts of the rotation too. that’s ten deep.

  27. When I attended CU Boulder, the athletics department sent out – via email and pamphlets – the CU fight song and other cheers. Jamie Smith could email the students the instructional videos he made – like the Shaka hammer (whatever it’s called), roller coaster, etc. A somewhat choreographed student section would make the SSC extra special.

  28. He hands out flyers with chants and stuff, actually. the students just dont follow along unless he’s physically there.

  29. On Old Skool Rap Night….
    Wahine beat LBSU by 18…
    Rainbows beat nemesis UCI by 22…
    And I didn’t even have to use my AK…

  30. Oakland510, you raised one helluva son and he is the glue for the team. Rod will be sorely missed and will be remembered as one of the best regardless of how the season pans out. I know your proud and be reassured that all of Hawaii fans are so proud of him to have him represent Hawaii’s team.

    Side note, I’m one who enjoys his serious and “quiet” demeanor on court. He plays with a humble confidence with laser like focus like no other.l

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