Monday, March 7, 2011

It's SJSU Wednesday at noon versus Hawaii

So did anyone expect host Fresno State to bop Hawaii 85-70 since UH was riding a five game winning streak and the Bulldogs had lost four consecutive conference contests? Can we get a show of hands? Yes, it's been that kind of season. We loved the opening line from Daniel Lyght's game report that night: "Fresno State's men's basketball players took the floor with a blaze under their butts Saturday night."

It was the second game for Hawaii since leaving the islands and they will not return home until their involvement in the WAC tourney concludes. Maybe some fatigue plus continual unfamiliar surroundings evolving into distraction will set in.

Now it's San Jose State matching (Wednesday, noon, Las Vegas) up with Hawaii for the third time this season opening up the WAC post-season action. Here are our game reports from the earlier contests between these two teams:

March 3, 2011

Spartans fall 77-71

Back and forth. Forth and back. The SJSU - Hawaii matchup was a veritable teeter-totter as neither team could sink the dagger and pull away from the other. One would go up followed by the other regaining ground and taking the lead. Eventually, a critical call took place, changing ball possession and offering UH a pair of free throws and that ultimately determined the outcome.

The final 77-71. Adrian Oliver led the way for San Jose State with 18 points. Justin Graham scored 15 and Keith Shamburger 14. At the forefront of the Hawaii offensive attack was Zane Johnson with 26 points and Bill Amis contributed 18.

Here's how it played out:

A Johnson trey cut the San Jose State lead to one.

Following that, Shamburger missed on a pair of free throws with 2:37 remaining.

Then at the shot clock buzzer, Amis caught net with a 17-foot fadeaway.

At the 1:46 mark and Hawaii ahead by one, UH freshman backcourter Bobby Miles was struck by an elbow went down. The referees checked the video to determine the consequences, if any. It was judged an intentional foul based on the rules established prior to this season.

In a no-brainer, Coach Gib Arnold inserted Bo Barnes for Miles. The sharpshooting frosh sank both free throws, putting the Rainbow Warriors up by three. UH also retained possession. The scoreboard: 71-68

Amis then fouled Wil Carter who sank the first but missed the second, with just over a minute left.

Johnson subsequently buried a long trey to make it 74-69 with 35 ticks showing on the clock.

Oliver was fouled and was good on both his attempts at the line. The scoreboard: 74-71

Amis proved to be a thorn again with a layup that put the Rainbow Warriors up by five.

Subsequently, Shamburger missed a trey attempt which Oliver rebounded but he missed the followup. Barnes rebounded and was fouled.

He was good on the first but erred on the second. Hawaii led by six and the remaining seconds didn't matter.

At the half, it was San Jose State with a one point lead at 37-36. Graham had 12 points and Amis 11 at that point.


January 22, 2011

Spartans fall to Hawaii 67-61

The Spartans wore blue and felt that way after giving Hawaii a run on the road before falling 67-61. Elvis was obviously not in the building. Otherwise, it would have been blue Hawaii.

With 11:25 remaining, the score was 47-42, with SJSU down by five.

Later, Justin Graham's jumper at the 6:33 mark cut the deficit to 53-52.

But UH then went on a mini-run, boosting the margin to 61-54 with 4:50 showing.

At that point, Adrian Oliver made one of two free throws but UH's Joston Thomas countered with a pair at the foul line. Hiram Thompson connected on 1 of 2 at the charity line to make it 64-55. An Oliver runner cut the lead to seven.

Bill "Famous" Amis then got free for a dunk and the contest was over minus additional trips to the foul line.

It was inconsistent free-throw shooting hindered SJSU.

Amis totaled 20 points and nine boards. Fellow frontcourter Joston Thomas put up a 14/14 double-double.

Justin Graham led the Spartans with 20 points. He also notched six rebounds and four assists with nary a turnover. Keith Shamburger totaled 12 points with Oliver and Wil Carter contributing 10 apiece. Matt Ballard led in rebounding, corralling 10 boards. SJSU shot 31% overall.

At the half, it was 31-24.

Adrian Oliver returned to the starting lineup tonight. He picked up a pair of somewhat early fouls, thereby missing some of his usual playing time early on. Rebounding totals were fairly even, it seemed like UH big Vander Joaquim was having a block-athon.and the teams went back and forth. Late in the initial 20 minutes, a 9-0 run pushed Hawaii to a 10-point lead until Graham's trey cut it to seven.

The Rainbow Warrior Starting Five (numbers are for WAC games)

* 6-foot-10 sophomore Vander Joaquim
-- 11.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest, 28 blocked shots, his numbers are improving as the season progresses

* 6-foot-9 senior Bill Amis
-- averaging 14.5 points and 7.9 rebounds a game with 31 shotblocks in 14 games

* 6-foot-7 freshman Trevor Wiseman
-- label him the Energizer Bunny as he averages just 3.3 points and 3.5 rebounds a game but brings a franticness to the court

* 6-foot-6 junior Zane Johnson
-- 15.9 ppg., THE long distance marksman on the team, shooting 41% on trey attempts, 120 of his 182 shots have been three-pointers

* 5-foot-9 junior Jeremiah Ostrowski
-- 51/27 assist-to-turnover ratio, can pop from three but is more of a dribble-driver penetrator, had 10 assists with zero turnovers the last time these two teams met

Again, 6-foot-3 senior Hiram Thompson, the normal starter at the point, is sidelined with an arm injury

Off The Bench

* 6-foot-7 sophomore Joston Thomas
-- 7.7 ppg and 5.3 rpg., is very athletic and best inside but sometimes tries to do too much and goes outside his skills zone

6-foot-1 freshman Bobby Miles
-- he's now the backup at the point despite his freshman status

* 7-foot-0 senior Doug Kurtz
-- the back-up in the middle, he can score inside

* 6-foot-4 freshman Bo Barnes
-- 5.6 ppg., 66 of his 77 shots have been from long distance

Forward Bill Amis was named a member of the All-WAC second team with wing/guard Zane Johnson landing on the Honorable Mention list.

In the most recent game (and loss) to Fresno State, the Bulldogs out-boarded UH 43-30. Will that play out again? SJSU out-rebou7nded UH 38-33 on March 3 but it was 38 apiece on January 22.

As a team, the Rainbow Warriors are shooting 44% in WAC play to 41% for opposing teams.

If Zane Johnson doesn't shoot well from outside, then UH suffers because his teammates, Bo Barnes excepted, don't possess that kind of range.

The UH Roster

Bo Barnes G 6-4 190 Fr.
Bobby Miles G 6-1 190 Fr.
Zane Johnson G 6-6 210 Jr.
Bobby MIles, G, 6-1 190 Fr.
Pi`i Minns G 6-4 180 So. (walk-on)
Jeremiah Ostrowski G 5-9 175 Jr. (walk-on)
Hiram Thompson G 6-3 175 Sr.

Bill Amis F 6-9 235 Sr.
Dominick Brumfield F 6-8 215 So.
Joston Thomas F 6-7 235 So.
Trevor Wiseman F 6-7 210 Fr.

Vander Joaquim C 6-10 245 So. (Angola)
Douglas Kurtz C 7-0 265 Sr. (Brazil)
Davis Rozitis C 7-0 230 So. (Latvia) (redshirting)

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