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Warriors look to break out of slump against UC Davis

The Hawaii basketball team – and Zane Johnson in particular – would like to relive some memories from last season this weekend.

The Warriors will host UC Davis on Sunday, December 11, at the Stan Sheriff Center. The game will start at 5 p.m. – two hours earlier than usual — and it is a “return” game from last season, when Hawaii won at UC Davis, 83-69.

Johnson drained nine 3-pointers and scored a career-high 32 points in that game last season.

“I hope Zane remembers that last game; he hit a bunch of 3s against them last year,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said.

Johnson and the Warriors could use a slump-buster, as they are coming off disappointing road losses at Pepperdine and Pacific. Johnson scored nine points in each of those losses, but still leads the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game.

“Just taking the open shots and the easy shots and not forcing, getting my teammates going early, and just staying in a rhythm the whole game,” is what Johnson said he needs to do this time. “And not getting frustrated with the double teams. Staying focused and engaged the whole game.”

Hawaii is 2-4, but its struggles are nothing compared to UC Davis. The Aggies are 1-7, with their only win against UC Santa Cruz, a NCAA Division III team.

UC Davis has a new coach this season in Jim Les, and the Aggies were picked to finish seventh in the nine-team Big West Conference.

UC Davis’ top player is 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Josh Ritchart. He was the Big West Conference co-Freshman of the Year last season, and is averaging 14.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season. He has reached double-figure points in every game this season, and leads the team with 20 3-pointers.

Arnold noted that Ritchart is proof that the big men for the Aggies like to shoot from the perimeter, making them a difficult team to defend.

“You got 6-9 guys that shoot 3s and 6-foot guys that drive, so it’s going to be a little inverted,” Arnold said.

Hawaii has been getting steady play of late from junior forward Joston Thomas, who is averaging 12.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in his last four games.

“I think we’re playing good basketball,” Thomas said. “It’s just certain times where other teams go on their run and we can’t stop it.”

The Warriors will get a boost in this game with the season debut of point guard Miah Ostrowski. The 5-9 senior out of Punahou School joined the team this week after completing the football season as a starting receiver.

Arnold has already named Ostrowski a tri-captain (along with Johnson and Vander Joaquim), and expects him to make an immediate contribution.

“He’s earned it, we’re going to try and get him in there,” Arnold said.

Hawaii vs. UC Davis
When:
Sunday, 5 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
TV: Live on Oceanic pay-per-view; free re-broadcast on Monday, December 12, at noon and 7:15 p.m. on OC Sports channel 12
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420
Tickets: $26 for lower level; $18 for upper level; $16 for senior citizens in upper level; $5 for students in upper level

6 Comments

  1. anything less than a 15 point win is a loss

  2. MIAH, BRING YOUR A GAME TONIGHT!!!!! THE PLAYERS NEED A SHOT IN THE BEHIND RIGHT NOW. GOTTA GET A WIN AGAINST DAVIS!

  3. Go Warriors! Let’s light up the boards tonight!!!

  4. It would not surprise me to see Vander coming off the bench…he could average 6-8 assists/per game if he looked to the cutter or open 3 when he’s doubled…but he has not yet.

  5. I really don’t know what to think for tonight. we should be able to beat them easily, but Zane and Stokes are shooting so horribly right now anything is possible. Our turnovers are killing us. we need to get this all figured out. If we can’t get zane open and hit some 3s, we don’t have any plays or anything to get someone a layup or a dunk.

    I wouldn’t be surprised with a loss tonight, we’re just not there right now. Hopefully we come out strong, but it’ll probably be close.

  6. Miah, has that something…hey he is tougher than the toughest of the other bballers because of strength, conditioning..and he has a high IQ basketball and football slot wise…He has that extra gear, plus humble…The team so far has a decent amount of talent…albeit, they gotta buy into
    TEAM,…defense, getting ball to open man, value each possesion…
    We got MIah, some 3 weeks earlier than last year…He can be a valuable asset to get the team rolling..

    Against UC Davis if they win by 1 or 100, at least get the win..We are with you MIah, why do you think Gib, put a walkon senior as a captain…he is a leader by example..Miah, get those basketball legs, and free throw focus ready, dish for assists, and scramble for steals…Put a few hundred more fans in the seats, cause you are worth the price of admission…You do it, and we know you can…Vander, Zane, Shaq , Tre, Bob, Hauns will follow…

    Hawaii, goes 18 wins 13 losses…regular season, and 10 and 6 in WAC, takes WAC tournament title and goes to March madness….\

    I know , I know…dreamer…hey when MIah joined team last year, UH was headed for a 10 and 19 season…they win 19 games and couldn’t 1 play, 1 stop away from finishing maybe 21 or 22 win season last year..

    Best Wishes …you made your family proud, you are no big ego ,..humble and hard worker…Come on UH get it going…Miah is hurt(ribs) but he will out hustle most ..

    Go get em Warriors/Bows…

    Aloha!!

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