Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors lose big at UC Irvine, 84-56


A forgettable road trip ended with the biggest loss of this season for the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

The Warriors struggled on offense again, and had their worst defensive showing of the season in an 84-56 loss at UC Irvine on Saturday night at Irvine, Calif. A crowd of 2,539 at the Bren Events Center watched the Anteaters avenge two losses to Hawai’i last season.

UCI improved to 9-9 overall and 2-0 in the Big West; Hawai’i dropped to 6-9 and 0-2, with both losses on this opening road trip of the season.

The Anteaters took control midway through the first half, and then ran away in the second half. It was Hawai’i’s largest margin of defeat of this season, and the largest margin of defeat since a 29-point loss at Cal Poly in January 2013.

The 84 points is the most allowed by Hawai’i this season, and UCI’s .571 field goal percentage is the highest allowed in head coach Eran Ganot’s 49-game tenure at UH. Only one previous opponent (UC Davis last season) shot better than 50 percent since the start of last season.

“Our calling card is our ability to defend and rebound, especially defend this year,” Ganot said in a post-game interview on ESPN1420 radio. “I know in the last year-and-a-half, we allowed maybe one team to shoot over 50 (percent) from the field and today it wasn’t even competitive.”


Hawai’i once again struggled offensively, connecting on 36.2 percent of its shots (21 for 58), including just 12.5 percent (3 for 24) from 3-point range. In contrast, the Anteaters shot 57.1 percent from the field (32 for 56) and 35 percent (7 for 20) from 3-point range.

A bright spot for the Warriors was freshman point guard Matt Owies, who scored a season-high 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting in 21 minutes off the bench. Gibson Johnson added 11 points and five rebounds, Sheriff Drammeh scored 10, and Leland Green contributed nine points and four rebounds.

“Hopefully this is a spark in the right direction for him,” Ganot said of Owies. “He’s been preparing well, and he was rewarded for that. … It was nice to see him perform and perform on the road and play right.”

The Warriors actually opened the game with a 9-2 lead, with Johnson scoring seven of the points, but it was all Anteaters after that.

A 7-0 run by UCI tied the game at 9-all, and then the Anteaters took the lead for good with an 11-0 surge that gave them a 24-16 advantage. Another 11-0 run moments later increased the lead to 35-18, and the Anteaters eventually took a 39-20 lead at intermission.

“We came with a great focus again, and couldn’t sustain when we went to our bench,” Ganot said. “I have to do a better job, obviously, of preparing guys for a 40-minute effort. It’s a recurring theme.


“Early, we didn’t handle success well, and then we didn’t handle adversity well. We started playing straight jack ball again. You can stop runs with getting good shots, getting inside, getting to the line … and then it was a free fall.”

UCI out-scored the Warriors 26-4 in the final 11 minutes of the first half. Hawai’i shot 1 for 17 from the field, and 2 for 4 on free throws during that 11-minute span.

The Anteaters scored the first six points of the second half to make it an insurmountable advantage at 45-20. Hawai’i never got closer than 22 points in the game’s final 15 minutes.

The Anteaters scored the first six points of the second half to make it an insurmountable advantage at 45-20. Hawai’i never got closer than 22 points in the game’s final 15 minutes, and the Anteaters led by as many as 29.


Noah Allen, the Warriors’ leading scorer and rebounder prior to the game, finished with zero points and one rebound in eight minutes of action. He did not play at all in the second half.

“He’s had opportunities to get to the line, around the rim, and I think flipping things up is not helping him,” Ganot said. “He’s got to go strong. He’s got to keep working.”

Jaron Martin and Ioannis Dimakopoulos scored 12 points each to lead the Anteaters. UCI used 13 players in the game, and all 13 scored.

The Warriors are scheduled to return to Honolulu on Sunday, and will next play a home game against Long Beach State on Saturday, January 14. It will be the first of five consecutive Big West home games for the Warriors.

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

(Game photos courtesy Warren Haraki)

CLICK HERE to view photo gallery

Saturday’s Results
at Long Beach State 70, UC Riverside 64
at UC Davis 68, Cal Poly 64
CSUN 68, at Cal State Fullerton 65
at UC Irvine 84, Hawai’i 56

Wednesday, January 11
CSUN at Long Beach State

Thursday, January 12
Cal State Fullerton at Cal Poly
UC Irvine at UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis at UC Riverside

Saturday, January 14
Cal State Fullerton at UC Irvine
Cal Poly at UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis at CSUN
Long Beach State at Hawai’i


  1. What is Ganot’s vision for this team ?

  2. There’s so much to say about this team, but not necessarily in a good way. We score 9 points in the first 3 minutes then proceed to score just 11 points for the last 17 minutes of the first half…just, wow. Meanwhile, the entire team just keeps passing the ball around cuz no one wants to shoot.

    We were much more aggressive in the second half but unfortunately we had dug ourselves into too much of a hole, and Irvine got hot. They were hitting from all over the floor. Meanwhile, we can’t hit layups, much less free throws.

    This is a season to forget. I understand the fallout from last year’s success combined with this seasons punishments, but I didn’t think it would be THIS bad! Auwe…

  3. Owies showed something last night.
    On shooting, some have the touch like a Tre’ Coggins and some don’t have it much. Although Tre’ was off in the game vs. UH.

  4. Ayi Yai Yai. This was a major blowout. Noah was our best offensive weapon pre season. Totally regressed. Our offensive plays need some tweaking If that’s possible at this point idk but this season is going down the toilet fast. Will attend the games this home stand and see if this team has shut itself off from he coaches or if they are true Warriors. The bar has been set , we should always be gunning for conference champion not mediocrity.

    Matlin made a big mistake by jacking up season ticket pricing after last season , well knowing that we were under sanctions and you don’t want to discourage and pee off the fan base by easing prices. You don’t raise prices in a down year that you knew about. It hurts the fan base. And after this season there will be disenchanted fans who don’t renew. I can see a increase after repeated succcxessful seasons. We are already taking a beating at the walk ups and fair weather fans What was 5000 -4500 is now 1800-2500.
    Many of us were surprised how the AD snuck in the increase on our renewals. Not a good idea Dave.

  5. Another hard game to watch. Noah still not there. Nice to see Owies and Green improving.

    This style of offense that Ganot runs… designed to break down the defense ain’t breaking nothing if you’re not passing it inside and out quickly and swinging it around on the weak side. Or drive and kick out but not to much driving but Leland and Brocke. Sometimes Sheriff. Noah used to drive.. had a good game against North Carolina.

    This team is still learning and I do see a lot of potential but they need to get it together.

  6. We all know the deal, Ganot inherited a load of experienced talent from previous years. That team was ready to do some damage not only in BWC , however also one or two wins in NCAA’s which they did. Ganot dealing with talent no where near what he had last year. He knows it, we all know it.
    However we want to see improvement. Ganot has to go Defensive minded, rebound , scrap for every loose 50-50 ball. Maybe talk to his mentor Riley Wallace about a flex motion offense, .. ? come to think of it.. 4 out 1 in, 1 in 4 out, or Louisville Pitino 40 minutes of defensive hell on the court to get turnovers and runouts for layups…? No.. if you don’t have the horses, the guys that not only defend, ALSO able to shoot near 50 percent from the field, and 40 percent from the 3 line.. Team is going to struggle.. Young team, inexperienced team. Good students and guys though. What happened to Noah Allen? GOOD NEWS.. Five, count em, Five Home games in a row.. UH goes 4 and 1, and goes out on next road trip at 4-3, they are in the middle of the pack again. Takes time, however, we give Ganot 2 years, to get better shooters, and athletes, ..Know he wants to tap, good JC players, however, sanctions, and post season ban, or maybe style of play and program factor in.. the good ones, have so many options.
    Me? I am optimistic, however Matlin raising prices and extending contracts.. maybe jump the gun too quickly. Hope for the best. In Meantime, the Men Volleyball team looks like could be Final Four team, they keep improving. GO BOWS !

  7. Regarding volleyball, how many seasons they look good , but then fade during the MPSF season ?

  8. First of all agree on VB – vibe is so much better at SS because they have brought in real talent and are really well coached. They will have a real good chance to advance farther than last season in the playoffs. Come out and watch ex-Moanalua freshman Austin Matautia, Patrick, the beast of a MB as well as prodigal Tui!

    Re: our hoops dilemma: That was a major embarrassment on Saturday night and to think a little more than a year ago, the Bren got quiet in a hurry when we were able to knock off the ʻEaters there. Problems as we have all noted have to do with some major recruiting miscues. No excuses please about sanctions etc. Beyond the lack of talent is a system that is not suited to the players on hand. We donʻt have a good perimeter game period with no real shooters except Purchase at times. First a profusion of threes and now the coach says we were just jacking up threes against UCI. We donʻt have much of an inside game either sad to say even though Johnson can score a little with his YMCA moves. Zone us and weʻre in trouble, and also most teams with decent players and on ball man-to-man defense skills are going to defend us as well. Ganotʻs handling of Allen is really disturbing, and he has managed to turn a good player with some skills into a tentative player who is uncertain about where he fits in this “offense.” The comment in the write up above is pretty ridiculous i.e “Flipping things up is not helping him, etc.” His scoring is way down as is his confidence (primarily because of Ganotʻs rigid structure and attempts to make him a rah-rah go to player) but his other contributions in making good passes and rebounding plus his experience and good attitude deserve some props. Both Allen and Drammeh plus Green at times need to take it to the rack when the opportunity presents itself and not settle for another pass or a shot clock forced off balance three. Can you say pick and roll? How about a three quarter trap at times to pick up the tempo once in a while? Letʻs get some transition buckets instead of another walk it up letʻs show off our 4 out and 1 in stagnant offense! Please no more Raimo except garbage minutes! Limit Owies because he is overmatched against athletic guards! And give Lewis more run! As a former college player, I canʻt help thinking, “Would you want to play for this guy and this system? And the answer so far is a big fat NO. Within reason, you have to let players play and enjoy the game. Sorry to be so harsh but I just plain donʻt like what Iʻm seeing at this point and feel for the players.

    All this vent being said, the BW is so down that even this yearʻs team has the potential to pick up some wins at home against
    Fullerton, UCSB (although they are better than their record shows so far) and UCR and maybe even spring an upset against someone like the Beach who have skilled players but can be really, really bad especially on the road.

  9. Put Noah inside, he’s a good rebounder,still the leading rebounder despite not many in the last two games.
    St Mary’s has 7 of its 15 players from Australia. Gonzaga has 5 from other countries( Denmark, France,Poland,Canada and Japan). 6-8 Rui Hachimura from Japan, mother is Japanese, father from Benin. UH has four.

  10. that shows the four we got are the bottom tier

  11. I feel for the team. It’s gonna be a rough year.

    We have to remember we’re playing with 4 less scholarship players than most teams. On top of the two scholarships we lost due to the NCAA ruling, we’re also playing without Thomas and Buggs. Very tough situation.

    Just imagine how strong this year’s team would be with Janks, Jovanovic, Valdes, Thomas, Fleming, and Webster-Chan.

  12. Baby hook has got it accurate We can’t look at what ifs at this point The program has taken a giant step backwards and it’s incumbent upon the staff to make sure next season is quite the opposite of this. The fan base will be lost $$$$ if there is any resemblance of this years team and next years.

  13. I agree with those who say Noah Allen should have a chance to shoot his way out of a slump. He is the only guy on this team capable of scoring 20+ points against top level teams and he already showed it earlier in the year. Leaving the most talented player on the bench for attitude reasons is fine if the team is winning but I don’t think its coincidence that this team started struggling even more when Noah started sitting on the bench.

  14. Bangkok and warrior4eva….you are right…we are not being hard on team or because of circumstance. Coaching and managing people skills important too. Maybe Aaron would have been back one more year IF Janks, Thomas healthy, maybe Fleming stayed on, Stef Jovanovic stayed.. however it is what it is…remember Larry Little had Gavin Smith, 1977 UCLA transfer for his senior year..it was fun..Gavin was a gunner from 35 feet out.crowds were decent..tickets reasonable and it was a blast watching that team that won about 7? Games.this year No Gavin. No Chris Gaines or Reggie Cross to make it exciting to watch.

    Ganot has to be on trail of 3 or 4 star recruits..start recruiting them as freshman. Know that Ganot only 2,nd year full time D1 coach.. we shall see.
    Tune into Men Volleyball..they improve and get on a roll..could be great year.
    You all think warriors can beat LBSU? UH has to defend and shoot well.if not….buck stops with Matlin and Ganot. Hope for the best!! Just my 2 cents for what it is worth..

  15. Sorry babyhook … auto spell printed Bangkok not Babyhook..sorry man..
    Good honest and realistic comments
    Ganot owns the team and success or failure. Just wish Matlin did not extend until 2020 contract. Maybe to 2018…wait until 2016_-2018..see if Ganot can recruit, coach and win…like 19 wins a year before the 4 year deal..just a thought

  16. Hey RunBows, good memories. I remember the year with Gavin Smith. Some fans didn’t like him because he was “hog cheese” but he was fun to watch. Like you say he was a gunner. I remember him launching and the crowd going ooooh and then swish! This was before the 3 pointer came around so he could of scored even more.

    This is why I say they should just let Noah Allen shoot his way out of this slump because at least would be fun to see if he can get hot again. Without him this years offense is very frustrating to watch.

  17. RunBows, when have we ever had a 4 star recruit ? Stanhardinger, Janks, Thomas and Green are rated 3 star, Lewis 3.3 .

  18. Also Allen, 3 star .

  19. Uh oh, the return of Runbow aka Gib.

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