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Warriors in need of a win at home

Not every road game has been a forgettable one for the Hawai’i basketball team.

The Warriors defeated Idaho, 76-70, on January 28 in Moscow, Idaho. Hawaii would like to duplicate that performance on Thursday night when it hosts Idaho in a Western Athletic Conference game at the Stan Sheriff Center.

“We just have to play defense; we haven’t been playing defense lately, the past three games,” sophomore forward Trevor Wiseman said. “If we get our defense part down, we can score the ball easily.”

Hawai’i is 15-13 overall and tied for fourth place in the WAC at 6-6. Idaho is 16-12 overall and in third place at 7-5.

The Warriors are on a three-game losing streak, with all three losses on the road. A victory over the Vandals would put Hawai’i in a tie for third and give the Warriors the tiebreaker edge over Idaho.

“It’s a big game,” Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold said. “But they’re all big games from here on out, so we have to play a lot better and take care of business here at home.”

The Warriors shot a season-high 56.3 percent from the field in the win at Idaho. Junior center Vander Joaquim led the way with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Joston Thomas and Zane Johnson added 16 points each, and Hauns Brereton scored 15.

“We get our sixth man back, which is our crowd,” Thomas said. “We had a tough road trip (last week). We hope nobody gave up on us. We’re going to try to flip it. As long as we come out with the fire that we always come out with at home, I think we can take it.”

The Vandals have won five of their last six games, including upset victories over first-place Nevada and second-place New Mexico State in that stretch.

Much like Hawai’i, Idaho relies on a balanced attack. The five Idaho starters average between 7.0 and 12.9 points per game.

The key individual match-up could be in the post, as Hawai’i’s Joaquim will be up against Idaho’s Kyle Barone, a 6-10 center who leads the Vandals in both scoring (12.9) and rebounding (8.2). Joaquim also leads the Warriors in scoring (14.8) and rebounding (9.8).

There will also be a crucial focus on each team’s top shooter, although the two are not likely to defend each other. Hawai’i’s Johnson is averaging 14.0 points per game and has made 77 3-poimnters this season; Idaho’s Deremy Geiger is averaging 12.7 points per game and has 75 3s.

Since returning from a 10-day road trip, the Warriors have held three intense practice sessions in the Sheriff Center.

“Just in practice, I feel like … I don’t know if we’re more motivated or something, I don’t know,” Wiseman said. “I just feel everyone is running around way faster and feel way more mobile.”

HAWAI’I VS. IDAHO
When:
Thursday, March 1, 7:05 p.m. start
Where: Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu
Tickets: $26 lower level; $18 upper level adults; $16 upper level senior citizens; $5 upper level students. Parking is $6.
TV: Live on OCSports (channel 12 or 1012)
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM
Internet: Live video streaming available (pay per view) at www.ocsports.tv

(WarriorInsider.com file photos courtesy Brandon Flores)

5 Comments

  1. Apologies to those who may have experienced some technical difficulties with this site in the past 24 hours.

    Everything appears to be running properly again.

  2. Dayton,

    Could you pass on to Coach Gib that Senior night would be the best night to bring in the recruits. As Jim Leahey says, “Nobody sends their seniors out better than Hawaii.” Show them the Ohana they join when they come here.

    Thanks!

  3. Thanks, Dayton
    Trevor: Good Noticing … Hard to Deny the Excitement and ‘The Privilege’ of still having Regular Season Big Games right down to the Wire…
    Likely, That’s also the Feeling of Having Your Legs Back …
    (That we need to Prevent Losing on Future Road Trips…)

    FOR The Remaining Regular Season:

    LAST CHANCE to FLIP IT !
    As In, Catch & Pass IDAHO (with the Tie Breaker of The SWEEP !)

    I’m Sure We’ll See their Best …
    AS When they were the only WAC Team to Beat Nevada —
    …Therefore the Whole League Wants/Needs them in The Four Spot so they can Ditch Nevada in the Second Round …

    ALL THAT Makes for an Outstanding Game Tonight …

  4. We’ve been beaten up badly the last 3 games—so bad that fans turning against fans haha. But a good win can wright all things right? Hope all bring their mean streak to the game and destroy the opposition. They did not have mercy on us on the road. Poi pounders here ready to geevum!!!

  5. This Idaho game would be a good time to start a late run through the WAC Tourney.
    Go Warriors!!!

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