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Well-rested Warriors ready for Nevada

The Hawaii basketball team will return to the Stan Sheriff Center on Monday night, well-rested and well-motivated.

The Warriors will host Nevada on Valentine’s Night, intent on breaking the Wolf Pack’s heart. It will be Hawaii’s first game since Feb. 5, and the first home game since Jan. 29.

“I definitely feel good,” junior guard Zane Johnson said. “We had four or five days off of practice and I feel like a new man.”

Hawaii is 13-10 overall and in seventh place in the Western Athletic Conference at 4-7. Nevada is 10-4 overall, and in third place in the WAC at 7-4.

The Wolf Pack won a road game at San Jose State, 84-76 in overtime, on Saturday night, and is just a half-game out of second place. Nevada already owns a 17-point victory over Hawaii (on Dec. 31 in Reno, Nev.).

“They’re the same team – they got four really good players and some talented freshmen,” said Hawaii assistant coach Benjy Taylor, who scouted Nevada. “Once they got rolling, we had a hard time stopping them at the end of the first half and start of the second half.”

Hawaii is not the same team that lost at Nevada some seven weeks ago. For starters, starting forward Bill Amis did not play in that game due to a foot injury. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 14.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

“We were awfully small when we played them the first time … but we only got out-rebounded by two,” Taylor said. “We feel like we’re a much different team with Bill.”

Also, junior point guard Miah Ostrowski was in his first week with the basketball team at the time, and was not part of the regular rotation. He is now sharing time with starter Hiram Thompson, and averaged 10.7 points and 5.7 assists per game in the last three games.

“We’re definitely a different team now,” Johnson said.

Johnson leads the Warriors in scoring with 14.3 points per game and is second in the WAC with 64 3-pointers. Sophomore forward Joston Thomas is contributing 10.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, and sophomore center Vander Joaquim is averaging 8.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Nevada has one of the top post players in the WAC in 6-8 junior Dario Hunt. He is averaging 13.2 points per game and leads the conference in rebounding with 10.0 per game. He had 23 points and nine rebounds in the victory over Hawaii earlier this season.

The Wolf Pack’s leading scorer is sophomore guard Malik Story, who is averaging 13.9 points per game and ranks third in the WAC with 57 3-pointers.

Olek Czyz, a junior transfer from Duke, is averaing 12.9 points per game, and scored 23 in the win over Hawaii. Deonte Burton, a 6-1 freshman point guard, is averaging 12.8 points and 3.6 assists per game.

2 Comments

  1. OK, come on guys. It’s revenge time! We’ll see if the rest did any good. Go Warriors!

  2. the rest was key, we gave ’em!!!

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