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UH men's basketball team claims Rainbow Classic title

By Brian McInnis

LAST UPDATED: 01:30 p.m. HST, Nov 13, 2012

The Hawaii men's basketball team stood tall in keeping the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic title home.

Vander Joaquim and Christian Standhardinger posted double-doubles to lead the Rainbow Warriors to a 73-60 win over Houston Baptist in a midnight contest at the Stan Sheriff Center.

UH (3-0) used its size to great effect in prevailing in the ESPN-televised contest as part of the College Hoops Tip-off Marathon. Joaquim had 20 points and 10 rebounds in his first start of the season, earning him tournament MVP honors.

"I just would like to thank my teammates ... we played great team basketball tonight," the 6-10 senior center said. "My teammates just kept finding me.

"I'm taller than (HBU), I felt like I was a little stronger than them," Joaquim continued. "We're big and strong, we're all stronger than them. That's why we had to go inside, inside more."

Standhardinger had 14 points, 11 boards and five steals, while shooting guard Brandon Spearman added 15 points and small forward Hauns Brereton 11.

Those three were named to the all-tournament team alongside Joaquim. Point guard Jace Tavita had eight assists against six turnovers.

About 2,000 black-clad fans showed up for the 11 p.m. overnight tipoff. They saw UH win its 13th overall title in the OHRC, and the hosts' second since the event went to a four-team round-robin format in 2009.

"My family (in Chicago) woke up at 2, 3 in the morning just to watch me play," Spearman said. "I got like 100 messages back on my phone right now, I promise you."

UH also improved to 4-1 in Tip-off Marathon games.

Coach Gib Arnold's teams are unbeaten in the event in three years. However, the OHRC was scrapped last year because of scheduling difficulties. The coach seemed pleased to have it back.

"I'm really happy I got this new hat," Arnold said afterward while sporting a cap bearing the longstanding rainbow logo of the OHRC. "It feels good for us to win the championship. It's important for us to learn how to win."

UH last started 3-0 in 2010, Arnold's first season, when it won its first five games. Up next is Illinois (2-0) on Friday at the Sheriff. 

The 'Bows shot 49.1 percent from the field, despite going only 2-for-13 (15.4 percent) on 3-pointers, compared to 37.9 percent for HBU (2-1). UH held all three opponents in the Classic to under 40 percent shooting.

HBU (2-1) of the Great West Conference was making its first appearance on ESPN's flagship station. After trailing by 15 at halftime, the Huskies hit two 3-pointers and drew two charges to cut a 20-point UH lead to 12 midway through the second half.

UH countered with a 9-0 push to make it 66-45 with 6:30 to play. By the time the Huskies cut the lead to 12 again with some fullcourt pressure, they were nearly out of time with 1:45 on the clock.

The visitors struggled all night to contain UH's big men. Joaquim, a questionable participant going into this weekend because of a preseason knee injury, was dominant from the outset. The Angolan tallied 16 points and seven rebounds in the first half.

"The big boy, we had no answer for," HBU coach Ron Cottrell said. "We had trouble keeping him out of his comfort zone. And any time we tried to double him, they've got shooters, too."

Joaquim made his first start after coming off the bench in wins over Maryland-Eastern Shore and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He shot 8-for-13 from the field and 4-for-5 at the foul line.

"He's a load down there. We've gotta keep feeding him. He's our go-to guy, the anchor of this team," Arnold said. "A healthy Vander is a lot to deal with."

When it wasn't Joaquim, it was Standhardinger and freshman Isaac Fotu doing damage inside. It was a boon for UH on a night where the 'Bows top perimeter player, Brereton, was off the mark (2-for-8) from the field.

Spearman connected on four of his first five shots — including several fast-break layups — for 10 points in the first eight minutes.

"I gave the team the push that they needed and my teammates helped me out," Spearman said. 

UH continued to build a lead with its size, which fueled transition points off quick outlet passes or mismatches in the halfcourt when the 'Bows slowed it down.

At the end of the half — at which UH led 38-23 — UH tried out its biggest lineup for the first time this season. Joaquim and forwards Standhardinger and Fotu (nine points, six boards) all played at once.

The teams traded baskets to open the second half. UH opened up a 53-33 lead on a take by Spearman set up by backup point guard Manroop Clair.

Cottrell said afterward the setting and his program's first appearance on ESPN may have factored in to their slow start.

"Our guys played as if they were in their first game on national TV and against a very good opponent," he said.

Forward Art Bernardi scored 22 points with eight boards to lead the Huskies. He and teammate Marcus Davis rounded out the all-tournament team.

1114 uhbkb

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lamedeer2011 wrote:
Who are the 3 teams they beat? Your Rainbow Classic has no integrity. Hope they play some Division 1 schools next year.
on November 13,2012 | 05:22AM
kp3409 wrote:
maybe u shouldve watched...u sound stupid..
on November 13,2012 | 05:43AM
allie wrote:
True..the "tournament" is a joke. Chaminade Maui Classic is far, far better.
on November 13,2012 | 06:36AM
derek_millennium wrote:
Good warm-up classic. Cant wait to see how we fare agains D1 schools AND on the road.
on November 13,2012 | 05:27AM
walaau808 wrote:
The three teams we just beat ARE D1.
on November 13,2012 | 10:12AM
EastOahu wrote:
Had a great time at the game. They really set a fast pace up and down the court. HBU was small and it showed. The backcourt is going to kill us but that is what we have and perhaps they will get better but I question why Jefferson didn't get any minutes.
on November 13,2012 | 05:31AM
allie wrote:
Gibby always shines against no-name schools. We need real competition. Fans see through this kind of thing.
on November 13,2012 | 06:36AM
Isaac wrote:
tune in on friday to watch a big ten team go down...BOOOOM!!!!
on November 13,2012 | 12:34PM
squidman22 wrote:
Cupcake basketball.
on November 13,2012 | 08:52AM
Pocho wrote:
Nash backer right here
on November 13,2012 | 06:50PM
ski3779 wrote:
Hawaii plays Illinois, this Friday, a decent Big Ten team. This game will be a good test to see exactly where the Hawaii team is really at. Even tho, these last 3 teams were, as people say, cupcakes. The fact that Hawaii did not play them close, but blew each team out, is a good omen, In the past, these are the kind of teams, Hawaii would beat, but struggle to do so. But that is not what happened, in these 3 games.
on November 13,2012 | 09:00AM
derek_millennium wrote:
Eastern Shore, Pine-Bluff and Baptist...not exactly teams to get excited about, however, its a good start. I believe we play Univ of Illinois next. That would be a better indicater where we stand. Looks like this year schedule is very "home friendly".
on November 13,2012 | 09:09AM
allie wrote:
on November 13,2012 | 09:28AM
Watamura wrote:
Finally a team that can execute team defense. Big men with good hands, a point guard with court vision, and great shooters in Brereton and Standhardinger. I'm excited!!
on November 13,2012 | 09:32AM
entrkn wrote:
Gib Arnold is one of the best coaches in UH history if not the best and now he has assembled a terrific team that is going to get better and better...
on November 13,2012 | 09:42AM
kauaiguy wrote:
Basketball is going to be great fun this year, I love the new guys we got!!........It was a blessing to lose those 4 guys last year (some of them "head cases"), the new guys we got are better!!!
on November 13,2012 | 09:50AM
Hiroaki23 wrote:
"One of the best coaches in UH history" entrkn says. Wow, I guess you must be a Punahou alum or something. I agree with the other comments, lets see what happens when we play some "real" teams although the first three games show a dramatic improvement from last year; at least it appears this team is willing to play as a team and not as individuals.
on November 13,2012 | 11:33AM
BTO wrote:
I saw some new sets last night --nice. I like the inside post up feeds to Vander and Fotu. I would like to see Jace post up the mismatch too sometimes. Hans looked out of sync. Must be the haircut. Stanhardinger is a natural scorer, will get better when he can grip the ball tighter and strengthen his fingers.
on November 13,2012 | 02:56PM
lowtone123 wrote:
Next game at home against Illinois. Decent Big-10 opponent. Should be a good early season indicator on where this team is and what needs work.
on November 13,2012 | 03:34PM
islandsun wrote:
The opponents were weak but its still a win as it should be. Time for Gib to earn his raise. They seem to be making adjustments a little faster now rather than waiting for the bleed.
on November 13,2012 | 05:07PM
jimmyhouse67 wrote:
North Carolina first three games: Gardner-Webb, Florida Atlantic and Long Beach St.; UCLA has Indiana St, Cal-Irvine, James Madison; Indiana University opens with Bryant University, North Dakota St, Sam Houston St; Pittsburgh's first ELEVEN games are Mr. St. Mary's, Fordham, Lehigh, Oakland, Howard, Detroit, Duquesne, North Florida, Bethune-Cookman, Delaware St, and Kennesaw St. So I say to all you haters....WHAT? Here are your REAL TEAMS allie, lameassdeer, squidman and anyone else who wants to comment. You know so little, but talk so much. BTW, unlike you all who comment behind an anonymous screen name, I am James and my email is JimmyHouse67@aol.com. I'll back up my comments, how about you.
on November 13,2012 | 05:22PM
jussayin wrote:
Congrats! Great start to the season.
on November 13,2012 | 07:04PM
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