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Warriors advance to championship game with 88-76 win over UCSB

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Stefan Jankovic had 24 points and six rebounds, and Roderick Bobbitt had 21 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals to lead the University of Hawai’i into the championship game of the Big West Conference Tournament with an 88-76 victory over UC Santa Barbara in a semifinal game at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday.

The Warriors, who improved to 26-5, will be playing in the conference final for the second consecutive season. Hawai’i will play Long Beach State in the championship game. Saturday’s championship game is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. (Hawai’i time) and will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

The Warriors again relied on a second-half surge to pull away from UCSB, which dropped to 18-13, including three losses to Hawai’i.

Hawai’i opened the second half with a 21-3 run to break open what was otherwise a close first half.

Aaron Valdes contributed 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Mike Thomas had eight points and three rebounds.

The Warriors shot 52 percent from the field, out-rebounded the Gauchos, 35-33, and went 27 for 37 on free throws to UCSB’s 16 for 27.

Hawai’i used a 13-3 surge early in the game to take a 25-11 lead with 7:32 remaining in the first half.

The Gauchos responded immediately with a 15-2 run of their own to cut the Hawai’i lead to 27-26 with 3:06 remaining in the half. The Warriors committed six turnovers during that stretch.

The Gauchos took a momentary 31-30 lead on a layup by Gabe Vincent with 1:40 remaining in the half, but Hawai’i took it right back with two free throws from Sheriff Drammeh.

A 3-pointer by UCSB’s Michael Bryson tied the score at 34, but Bobbitt then drained a long 3-pointer just before the halftime horn to give the Warriors a 37-34 advantage at intermission.

The Warriors rode the momentum into the second half, scoring on an alley-oop dunk by Valdes on the first possession, and then a 3-pionter by Bobbitt on the next possession.

Those plays were part of a stunning 21-3 surge in the first six minutes of the second half to increase the Hawai’i lead to 58-37. Bobbitt drained three 3-pointers and got two steals during the surge.

The Gauchos chipped away at the Hawai’i lead, and eventually cut it to nine several times in the closing minutes, and then got as close as eight in the final minute, but the Warriors held on for the win.

Hawai’i played the entire second half without starting guard Quincy Smith, who left the game in the first half with an apparent hip injury. He had two points, two rebounds, two assists and three steals in the first half.

Michael Bryson led the Gauchos with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

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

(Game photo courtesy Brandon Flores)

22 Comments

  1. Status on Quincy’s 1st half injury? The “Bows will need him tomorrow night in the title game versus the winner LBSU/Irvine game.

  2. Congrats Hawaii Rainbow Warriors!!!

    Made me nervous at the end there..but way to close it out!

    Hope Quincy is ok

  3. He may not play, per radio commentators.
    The UCSB press and traps really bothered UH today.

  4. islandman, the UCSB traps were bothersome because they started doing them with like 12 minutes left in the second half. I thought UH handled them quite well considering we were without Q.

    Sheriff plays for Sweden’s under 21 national team so he’s better than people give him credit. And remember that he’s a true freshman who has had to adjust to a new country and style of play. All this experience will make him an excellent player in the years to come.

  5. Seasider,

    I believe the final is on Sunday, not tomorrow.

  6. Seasider,

    My bad- final is tomorrow!

  7. Cheehuu!!

  8. BIG win getting in the finals !

    Hope Quincy Smith can play IF not then team has to hide Sheriff inabilities. Bobbitt is playing while Aaron Valdes is playing to his level when he was consider player of the year honors in the Big West!

    Jankovich comes on strong but with either Irvine or LBSU he has to be on the court for the team to stay successful. Janovich has provided quality play and this team is so RESILENT that their efficiency both offensively and defensively keeps them as the most BALANCE team in the tournament !

    Will be THERE at the Honda for both wahine and men’s team. Looking for some championship net cutting among some enthusiastic Hawaii fans !

    Its all about the BOWS !

  9. And now on to the finals. The job is not done yet. FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS.
    GO WARRIORS!!!

  10. The most valuable player for UH tonight and tomorrow will be the trainer. One way or another he needs to get Quincy patched up and ready to play in 24 hours. Hope he can do it.

  11. Hawaii Mongoose, that will be Jason Goo as he was a young student trainer when I was playing back in 1976 !

    GREAT trainer that has paid his dues and aided many players with various injuries. Jason will have Q ready !

  12. Just Win Bows!!!!!!

  13. Quincy banged up his hip tonight. Will need to get some treatment tonite and tomorrow by Jay Goo , trainer Emeritus. He was walking better after the game when we saw him come up and visit with his family Go Warriors! Biggest game of the season. The Hawaii fans will be there in force at the Honda Center tomorrow !!

  14. Quincy banged up his hip tonight. Will need to get some treatment tonite and tomorrow by Jay Goo , trainer Emeritus. He was walking better after the game when we saw him come up and visit with his family Go Warriors! Biggest game of the season. The Hawaii fans will be there in force at the Honda Center tomorrow !!

  15. These guys came ready to play today! They are on a mission and are one game away from accomplishing their goal. I cannot imagine a more deserving group. Rod Bobbitt was phenomenal tonight (I believe I predicted he would have a Diamond Head Classic-like Tournament). Aaron, so steady again. Janks scoring strong underneath while getting mauled, no fouls called, but he still manages to get the ball in the basket! Great combination of strength and finesse, nailing some threes.

    I have to vent a bit about the coaches. The team was really struggling with the trap, clearly, repeatedly. Why no time out to help them, give them some X’s and O’s on breaking it down? That bothered me a lot. Also, Ganot didn’t notice when Mike got his 3rd foul. He took Janks out and not Mike. Then, when Mike got number four he turned to his assistant and put up four fingers with a questioning face like “he’s got four fouls?” I knew he’d missed it. Why didn’t one of the coaches question why he hadn’t pulled Thomas? And then Q. It was so obvious how hurt he was. I couldn’t believe Ganot called him back into the game. Doesn’t anyone talk to each other or pay attention to these kids? And I’m sorry to bring this up but I thought about Isaac Fleming and his ankle and how he was made to feel bad about not playing on his ankle do he went back in that game and limped around on it and was never the same after that. So poor Quincy tried to go in the game and couldn’t go at all. And Ganot looked irritated. Just saying what I saw. BUT ANYWAY…the coaches obviously do a great job at halftime because these guys really turn it around in the second half and turn in up a notch…or two or three!

    This year TWO TITLES!! These kids deserve it!! I love them and thank them for so many great moments, so much pride, so much fun. GO BOWS!!

  16. So much for Portnoy, he said he thought UCI would beat LBSU, being too disciplined or something. He said he preferred UCI to LBSU vs. UH because he thought that the 49ers are athletic and a hard matchup for Hawaii.

  17. Great win Team! One more!

  18. I’m glad Long Beach won. The size match up is good for UH. I felt Irvine’s size would dominate inside and we would have gotten into serious foul trouble with our big men. Now it’s going to be who’s going to shoot the ball better and who is going to win the rebounding battle. We owe them one and I also think UH really want to get the Beach bad. I hope Q can go tomorrow night, but if not Drammeh will have to give us good production to make up for it. Tummala needs to have a good game. He can be the X factor. We must stay out of foul trouble.

  19. LBSU is the real deal as UH is the ‘green machine” !

    GREAT championship game between two quality teams.

    Bibbins and Bobbitt match up will be a classic duel between TOP two point guards !

    Nick Faust, Aaron Valdes as that speaks for itself !

    Bottom line Jankovich has to play up to LBSU athletic bigs as they WORE him down physically. LBSU trying to beat UH three straight times as this game will be for all the marbles !

    LBSU bench is deep as Drammeh and Tummala has to have quality minutes. Will be THERE !

  20. Let’s go bows. If we stay out of foul trouble tomorrow we’ll be fine. The boys will bring it.

  21. The key to the game will be how the ref’s will be calling the game. so far they have been letting them play.Just as long as they are consistent and call it for both sides!

  22. Tonight will be a tough game with LB uptempo style of play. We’ll need good games from everyone!

    Q’s injury is said to be a soft tissue injury. Maybe a cortisone injection and he’s all good?

    UH fans are awesome and well represented.

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