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Warriors looking to end cold streaks

The four-game losing streak of the Hawaii basketball team has been well documented and much talked about.

Now it’s time to play.

The Warriors will try to end their losing streak when they play a Western Athletic Conference road game at New Mexico State on Thursday. It is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. (Hawaii time) at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M.

“We’re going to fight through this,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said. “No one’s giving up. We’re going to turn this thing around, and now is as good a time as any.”

Hawaii is 9-7 overall and 0-4 in the WAC. A victory over the Aggies would end several unwanted streaks for the Warriors. Hawaii has lost its last 14 road games, and is also 0-5 all-time against New Mexico State in the Pan American Center.

The Warriors are also looking to break out of a shooting slump that has resulted in three consecutive losses by double-digit margins.

“I’ve said before that we’re a shooting team,” Arnold said. “Sometimes shooting teams go through slumps. The key is to find other ways to score until you get that feeling back, and that’s what we’re working on doing.”

Junior guard Zane Johnson leads the balanced Hawaii offense with 14.5 points per game. He also leads the WAC with 45 3-pointers and a .895 free throw percentage.

Three other Warriors are averaging double-figure points: Bill Amis (13.0 per game), Hiram Thompson (11.7) and Joston Thomas (11.1). Also, sophomore center Vander Joaquim is contributing 7.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

New Mexico State is 8-9 overall and 2-1 in the WAC. The Aggies have one of the most talented players in the league in 6-foot-8 junior forward Troy Gillenwater. He is averaging 19.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

The Aggies also have a quick point guard in 6-1 Hernst Laroche, who is averaging 11.2 points and 4.6 assists per game. Also, 6-11 center Hamidu Rahman is contributing 8.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

“They’re a very talented and athletic team,” said Hawaii assistant coach Benjy Taylor, who scouted the Aggies. “They got off to a little bit of a slow start, but they’re starting to play well in conference.”

The Aggies played a tough non-conference schedule, with losses against Arizona, USC, Saint Mary’s and New Mexico.

Win or lose on Thursday, the Warriors will have to travel even farther east on Friday, when they make their way to Ruston, La. Hawaii will play a WAC road game at Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

The Bulldogs will host San Jose State on Thursday. Here is assistant coach Brandyn Akana’s scouting report on the Bulldogs:

1 Comment

  1. Granted that it’s only halftime of the NMSU game, but it appears that even with all the squawking about playing with heart and turning the corner, it was all same old s***, just on a different day..

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