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Warriors wary of South Carolina State

Perhaps the entire working world can relate to the Hawaii basketball team this week. In between the festive Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties comes a necessary week of work.

The Warriors will have to take care of business on Thursday night when they host South Carolina State at the Stan Sheriff Center. The game is scheduled to start around 8 p.m., following a UH women’s basketball game.

The game comes less than a week after the Warriors scored upsets of nationally-ranked Xavier and Clemson of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and two days before a match-up with nationally-ranked UNLV.

“We’ve only talked South Carolina State,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said. “we know we’re not in a position to ovrlook anybody. We need to keep our momentum. We played some pretty good ball this last week and we need to keep that going.”

Hawaii has won five of its last six games, and is 7-5 overall. The Warriors are riding a wave of confidence following its victories over Xavier and Clemson.

Arnold has been relying on a rotation of 10 players, and all 10 have made key contributions in recent weeks. In fact, all 10 players have received a chance to start in recent weeks, as Arnold has used six different starting lineups in each of the last six games.

Four Warriors are averaging double-figure points, led by senior guard Zane Johnson at 15.5. Junior center Vander Joaquim is averaging 12.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, freshman point guard Shaquille Stokes is scoring 10.6 per game, and junior forward Joston Thomas is contributing 10.3 points per game.

“We just have to keep doing what we do,” said senior point guard Miah Ostrowski, who leads the team with 5.0 assists per game. “Execute well on offense, be patient, just play our game.”

South Carolina State, which is from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, has a 4-8 record with one of the most outrageous schedules in the country. The Bulldogs are 1-7 on the road, including losses at Baylor, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Oklahoma.

South Carolina State had six games scheduled in December (including the Hawaii game), and all six were on the road. The Bulldogs’ last home game was on November 29.

Arnold noted that the Bulldogs are “a very athletic team,” especially in the backcourt. Brandon Riley, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, is averaging 19.2 points per game, and has scored 20 or more points in five games this season. Khalif Toombs, a 5-9 junior point guard, is averaging 11.5 points and 3.8 assists per game.

“They got two really good guards that can take you off the dribble,” Arnold said. “We’ve played against good backcourts, and this is another one of them.”

Hawaii vs. South Carolina State

When: Thursday, December 29, 8 p.m. start
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
Tickets: $26 for lower level, $18 for upper level, $16 for upper level senior citizens, $5 for upper level students.
TV: Live on OCSports (channel 12 or 1012)
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM
Note: The UH women’s basketball team will play a game at 6 p.m. Fans can buy upper level tickets for $10 ($8 for senior citizens) and attend both the men’s and women’s games. However, the tickets must be purchased before halftime of the women’s game. Fans who already have a ticket for the men’s game can use that ticket to attend the women’s game.

1 Comment

  1. these are usually the scary type of teams that you never know what to expect..they go on big runs or might be cold…run and press the whole game and live and die by the 3..we’ll see what happens

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