comscore Rainbows put hurtin' on Utah | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Sports

Rainbows put hurtin’ on Utah

  • FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Hawaii center Douglas Kurtz slammed home two on Utah in the first half.
[ AD HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS STORY ]

One of several unforeseen events at the Stan Sheriff Center last night trumped all the rest.

And no, it wasn’t the fistfight in the stands between two Mississippi State teammates.

Senior point guard Hiram Thompson made a surprising and instrumental return to the court for the Rainbow Warriors in their 68-55 victory over Utah in the consolation semifinals of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

Thompson, who suffered a brutal fall on his back against Chicago State last week, scored 13 points in 34 long minutes and provided much-needed court leadership against the Runnin’ Utes of the Mountain West Conference.

TOMORROW’S GAMES

» Seventh place: Utah vs. San Diego, 9 a.m.

» Fifth place: Hawaii vs. Mississippi State, 11:30 a.m.

» Third place: Baylor vs. Florida State, 2:30 p.m. ESPN2

» Championship: Washington State vs. Butler, 4:30 p.m. ESPN2

"I felt OK out there. I’m still a little sore, but I just told Coach (Gib Arnold) I’ll be ready and I’ll give it everything I have. That’s just what I tried to do," said Thompson, who missed the tourney opener against Florida State. "The adrenaline, when it comes game time, it can get you through anything. … Getting mentally prepared, getting ready to do whatever I needed to do."

Against the Utes’ speedy guards, Thompson was a rock. With UH controlling a double-digit lead for most of the second half, the tri-captain, though obviously still hurting, eluded pressure and was a foul magnet. He delivered on nine of 11 free-throw attempts.

Zane Johnson scored 17 points and Joston Thomas added 15 for UH, which got a standing ovation from the crowd of about 5,000 at the buzzer.

UH (8-3) advanced to tomorrow’s 11:30 a.m. fifth-place game against Mississippi State (8-4), which keeps making news for all the wrong reasons. MSU forward Renardo Sidney — who was just reinstated to the team after a one-game suspension — went for 19 points in yesterday’s win over San Diego. But, just before the UH-Utah game started, he got into a fistfight with teammate Elgin Bailey in the Sheriff Center stands. It would seem extremely unlikely that the talented pro prospect will play against UH.

Not quite as shocking, but much more uplifting, was Thompson’s heroics in relief of starter Bobby Miles, who struggled early against the Utes’ quick guards with four rapid turnovers. So Arnold looked elsewhere among his (suddenly) nine active players, giving heavy minutes to Thompson, who was considered doubtful to play in the DHC at all.

Thomas gave Thompson, a tri-captain, a hug right after the final horn.

"That was big," Thomas said. "When Hiram stepped in the game today, that uplifted us as a team. He’s still hurt, and he came out here and told Coach he wanted to play. …

"It made our energy and intensity from seven to 25. I feel like that was a good thing, and he was productive in the minutes he came in."

Although UH was outrebounded 39-29 by a large team with two 7-footers, UH was effective defensively, limiting its former Western Athletic Conference rival to 33.3 percent shooting (compared to 41.9 for UH). Utah’s drive-and-kick game never really got clicking as the Rainbows collapsed on point guard Josh Watkins during his forays into the paint.

Watkins had two assists against five turnovers. As a team, Utah (7-5) had two assists against 18 giveaways.

UH turned a four-point halftime lead into a 46-34 advantage with a 9-1 run coming out of the break, and maintained a double-digit lead most of the way.

Another pleasant surprise was the effectiveness of backup center Douglas Kurtz, who went for seven points and six rebounds in offering a physical answer to the Utes’ height. Kurtz was playing against his former Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College teammate, Will Clyburn, Utah’s leading scorer who was held to 14 points, six below his average.

Utah went 1-for-15 on 3-pointers and allowed the Rainbows to pull away at the foul line.

"We made some poor decisions on fouling guys when they didn’t have to," Utes coach Jim Boylen said.

Arnold, fed up with officiating — especially when a goaltend wasn’t called on a Utah block of Vander Joaquim — was issued a technical foul with 8:59 left in the first half.

His passion had the desired effect, however, sparking his players on a 10-0 run. Kurtz crashed the boards twice for extra possessions and points on missed free throws.

UH gained the momentum back by the end of the first half with a Thomas monster dunk on the Utes, followed by a defensive stand and Bo Barnes’ block of a Utes 3 at the halftime buzzer.

 

YESTERDAY’S BOX SCORE

HAWAII 68, UTAH 55

runnin’ utes (7-5)

  fg-a ft-a rb pf pts a to min
Hines 3-7 2-2 0 1 9 0 3 22
Jo. Watkins 8-15 0-0 3 4 16 2 5 32
O’Brien 2-4 0-0 1 5 4 0 3 13
Clyburn 2-12 10-15 6 2 14 0 1 37
Washburn 0-1 0-1 2 5 0 0 0 19
Ja. Watkins 3-6 2-4 4 3 8 0 1 25
Kupets 1-6 0-2 0 2 2 0 1 16
Dimaria 0-1 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 3
Glover 0-3 0-0 9 1 0 0 0 12
Foster 0-2 2-2 9 3 2 0 3 21
TEAM     4       1
Totals 19-57 16-24 39 27 55 2 18 200

Rainbow Warriors (8-3)

  fg-a ft-a rb pf pts a to min
Miles 0-0 2-2 0 3 2 1 4 14
Johnson 6-10 1-2 3 4 17 1 2 35
Thomas 4-10 7-10 4 3 15 0 1 37
Joaquim 1-7 1-2 7 2 3 0 0 17
Barnes 2-8 2-2 0 0 7 2 0 33
Thompson 2-3 9-11 2 2 13 2 1 34
Wiseman 0-2 4-6 3 4 4 1 3 20
Kurtz 3-3 1-2 6 4 7 0 1 10
TEAM     4 1      
Totals 18-43 27-37 29 23 68 7 12 200  

Key — fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fouls; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.

Halftime — Hawaii 37, Utah 33

3-point goals — Utah 1-15 (Hines 1-3, Dimaria 0-1, Jo. Watkins 0-2, Glover 0-2, Kupets 0-2, Clyburn 0-5), Hawaii 5-9 (Johnson 4-5, Barnes 1-3, Thompson 0-1).

Technical foul – Hawaii coach Arnold.

Steals — Utah 1 (Hines), Hawaii 8 (Miles 3, Johnson 2, Barnes 2, Thomas). Blocked shots — Utah 7 (Foster 4, Washburn 2, Glover), Hawaii 5 (Barnes, Joaquim, Miles, Thomas, Thompson). Officials — Terry Moore, John Stigliano, Sean Cassady. A– 6,667.

 

WEDNESDAY’S BOX SCORE

Florida State 70, Hawaii 62

seminoles (10-1)

  fg-a ft-a rb pf pts a to min
Gibson 2-4 1-2 5 1 5 0 0 16
Dulkys 0-8 0-0 2 5 0 1 0 19  
Snaer 2-5 2-2 2 4 7 1 3 22
Kitchen 5-8 7-10 4 2 20 2 3 34
Singleton 2-12 0-0 12 2 6 2 3 30
Jordan 0-3 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 5
Loucks 0-2 3-6 0 4 3 4 2 15
James 1-3 1-4 4 0 3 0 1 13
White 6-9 3-4 6 1 19 2 1 25
Shannon 2-6 3-3 4 1 7 0 1 12
Kreft 0-2 0-1 4 0 0 0 2 9
TEAM     4
Totals 20-62 20-32 48 21 70 12 16 200

Rainbow Warriors (7-3)

  fg-a ft-a rb pf pts a to min
Miles 1-3 0-2 4 4 2 6 6 40
Johnson 6-12 6-6 4 5 24 0 6 36
Thomas 4-13 4-7 5 4 12 4 5 30
Joaquim 1-7 0-0 7 5 2 2 0 25
Barnes 5-13 2-2 3 3 17 2 3 35
Wiseman 1-2 3-3 3 4 5 1 1 24
Kurtz 0-1 0-0 1 3 0 0 1 10
TEAM     6       1
Totals 18-51 15-20 33 28 62 15 23 200  

Key — fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fouls; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.

Halftime — Florida State 33, Hawaii 25

3-point goals — Florida State 10-27 (White 4-5, Kitchen 3-5, Singleton 2-4, Snaer 1-2, Loucks 0-1, Jordan 0-2, Dulkys 0-8), Hawaii 11-27 (Johnson 6-11, Barnes 5-12, Joaquim 0-1, Thomas 0-3).

Steals — Florida State 14 (Kitchen 5, James 3, White 3, Singleton 2, Snaer), Hawaii 7 (Miles 3, Barnes 2, Wiseman 2). Blocked shots — Florida State 7 (James 3, Kreft, Shannon, White, Gibson), Hawaii 1 (Johnson). Officials — Terry Moore, Brad Ferrie, Winston Stith. A– 8,544.

 

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up