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Warriors staying positive

Two games does not a season make.

That’s the approach the Hawaii basketball team is taking after opening the Western Athletic Conference season with road losses at Utah State and Nevada last week.

There is consolation for the Warriors in the fact that road success was rare for every other team that traveled during the first weekend of WAC games. The home teams went 8-1 in WAC play.

What’s more, the Warriors have 14 WAC regular-season games remaining, starting with a two-game homestand this week. Hawaii will host Idaho on Thursday, then Boise State on Saturday. Both games will start at 7:30 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.

“Road games should be fun, you should go in there and really have no pressure … just go in there and have fun and hope to get a win,” junior guard Zane Johnson said. “But home games, you have to win home games.”

So far, the Warriors have been following the plan. Hawaii is 8-1 in the Sheriff Center this season, and 9-5 overall.

“It always feels better here at home,” sophomore center Vander Joaquim said. “When we play here, it’s our arena, our fans, we’re more comfortable. But that’s no excuse for the road. We have to win at home, but we have to start winning on the road, too.”

In truth, there is no easy road trip in the WAC, but the Warriors may have gotten one of the tougher ones out of the way already. Utah State has the best home-court winning percentage among WAC teams in recent years, and Nevada is now 14-0 all-time against Hawaii in games played in Reno.

“We’re not going to hang our heads after two games, we’ve worked too hard this season to do that,” Johnson said. “We’re going to keep working and we’re going to hopefully push for this WAC championship.”

NOTES

Senior forward Bill Amis returned from the road trip with strep throat and was not able to practice with the team on Monday. The illness could provide yet another delay in his return to action.

Amis has already missed the last 10 games due to a stress fracture in his foot, but was hoping to return to practices this week. He continues to lead the team in scoring with 15.8 points per game and is second in rebounding with 6.8 per game.

Freshman point guard Bobby Miles underwent a dental procedure on Monday that prevented him from practicing. He is expected to be ready to play by Thursday.

Zane Johnson leads the WAC in 3-pointers made with 42. He also leads the WAC in free throw percentage at .882.

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