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Warriors win a thriller at CSUN, 69-63

Bobbitt3_CSUN_Haraki

Stefan Jankovic scored a career-high 34 points to lead the University of Hawai’i basketball team to a thrilling 69-63 victory over CSUN on Thursday night at the Matadome in Northridge, Calif.

Hawai’i improved to 21-3 overall and remained in first place in the Big West Conference at 10-1. CSUN dropped to 9-17 and 4-8.

Jankovic connected on 12 of 13 field goals and 8 of 10 free throws. Quincy Smith added eight points and seven rebounds, and secured the victory with a highlight-reel putback dunk in the closing seconds.

Roderick Bobbitt had nine points and seven assists, and Mike Thomas had seven points and 11 rebounds as the Warriors won a school-record fifth consecutive road game.

The Warriors played without starting forward and second-leading scorer Aaron Valdes, who was in uniform but did not play due to flu-like symptoms. Freshman Sheriff Drammeh got his first start of the season in place of Valdes, and sophomore Isaac Fleming was the first player off the bench. Fleming missed the previous four games with an ankle injury.

Hawai’i stayed in front the entire first half, though the score remained close for the first 20 minutes. A 3-pointer by Drammeh followed by two free throws from Fleming in the late in the first half gave the Warriors a 32-24 lead – their largest of the half. CSUN scored on a layup just before halftime to make it 32-26 at intermission.

Jankovic scored 11 of his points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field in the first half. CSUN was also down a starter, as 6-11 senior center Olalekan Ajayi did not play due to a possible concussion.

A 3-pointer by Sai Tummala gave the Warriors a 43-34 lead with 12:36 remaining in the second half, but the Matadors responded with a stunning 16-2 surge over the next 4:35 to take a 50-45 lead.

Jankovic1_CSUN_Haraki

During the surge, Kendall Smith scored on a layup with 9:02 remaining to give the Matadors their first lead of the game at 46-45.

Jankovic countered by scoring nine consecutive points for Hawai’i during a 9-1 run that put the Warriors back in front, 54-51 with 5:44 remaining.

CSUN’s Tre Hale-Edmerson was called for a foul on a fastbreak, and was also assessed a technical foul for arguing the call. Bobbitt drained the two free throws for the technical, then Quincy Smith made two free throws for the foul, giving the Warriors a 58-53 lead with 4:10 remaining.

The Matadors managed to tie the score again at 60 with 1:44 remaining on a free throw by Aaron Parks. Jankovic responded with two more free throws to put Hawai’i back in front, 62-60.

CSUN regained a 63-62 lead, but Tummala made a 3-pointer with 51 seconds remaining to give the Warriors a 65-63 lead.

Quincy Smith then put in an emphatic putback dunk with 12 seconds remaining to secure the win.

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

(Game photos courtesy Warren Haraki)

16 Comments

  1. We got the W. That’s all that matters. Now on to UCI.

  2. Janks was unreal! Credit to MT for battling for tough boards– He was solid throughout. Huge shot from Sai to rise up and take the go-ahead 3 without any second guessing.
    A lot of UH’s turnovers came on 3sec calls, “traveling”, and tough box outs. Very strangely officiated game but that’s what happens when you’re the visiting team. Hope Valdes is ready to go on Sat.

  3. wow, i dont think i swore at my tv/ computer as much ever as i did tonight! haha good win but 20 turnovers to 12 assist is uncharacteristic of this team, coupled with missed easy looks makes me kinda worried for Saturday..

    We shot 46.7% from the field, but Jankovich himself accounted for 92% of that going 12-13…safe to say the rest of the team was a off from the field tonite, but glad thats over and on to Irvine now.

    Go Bows!

  4. It wasn’t pretty but 5-0 on the road…this team is special ..Janks held the team on his back even with foul trouble..Personally I think Sai deserves more playing time..He’s been crashing the boards just as hard as Thomas…Sheriff been playing good defense…Needs to work on his shot…it will come with experience…Love this team

  5. Janks came up huge tonight and seemed unstoppable. Sai with the clutch 3 and Q with the dagger to seal it! Awesome win, despite lackluster ball handling and horrid officiating. No way we would have beaten Irvine tonight so it’s a good thing we don’t play them until Saturday! Hopefully Valdes will be feeling better by then cuz it will take a heroic effort to take down Irvine at their home arena. I’m just hoping the warriors take better care of the ball and keep it close. Wouldn’t hurt to have a semi-decent officiating crew that night. LET’S GO BOWS!

  6. Janks scored half the points. Didn’t realize Thomas has 11 boards, until S23A mentioned him.
    This team is not only last year’s team members but had,for example, the crucial assist by Sheriff to Sai for the three, when we were down, 62 -63 . Then the drive by Sheriff off the backboard and rim, finished off by Quincy.

  7. We escaped again. Janks and defense got us the win. Lucky for us CSUN had an off night too. Because 20 some turnovers usually means lose. Valdes sorely missed. Looks like he did not take his Airborne pills.

  8. There are not a lot of words for 12 of 13 shooting, and 8 of 10 at the freethrow line. Congrats to Janks. And the exclamation by Q was for the whole team. One game at a time, and it was a good game. Go Bows!

  9. The better team won UH exploited the match up 12 of 13 is outstanding. Next up UC Irvin different game same results UH will be clicking on all cylinders. UCI better not extend that zone leaving driving lanes.

  10. Hopefully Valdes is back for Saturday, but I think getting Isaac back for Irvine is huge, he has the kind of agility and vision to really take advantage of Mamadou and Dimakopulous down low…they’re simply too slow to react. If we can get him in the paint, he could set us up for a lot of easy buckets inside off the dish.

    I was actually expecting that vs Irvine with Bobbitt last time, but we were lights out from three, and we didn’t need to do that.

  11. Exactly xer 21. Especially with Isaac. Mamadou will be angry and try to swat everything that comes near him. Isaacs’ ability to pass in traffic will have him spinning. Janks will not have to score like he did today. I believe the team will all step up.

  12. How many times has UH sports team had to deal with their bus breaking down? Is there any records of this?

    Good teams find a way to win. Congratulations and take care of business this Saturday.

  13. Love how competive game was! Jankovich finally huge

    Matchup problem for any Big West team. Irvine game

    for first and driver’s seat to Anaheim. Jankovic

    getting good looks from nba or overseas scouts? I

    would think so! Good game warriors!

  14. Wow! Yay! Awesome!

  15. ‘Way to go guys. A nice win on the road. 🙂

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