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Warriors host familiar foe in Pacific

The Hawai’i basketball team may be new to the Big West Conference, but if there is one opponent the Warriors are familiar with, it is Pacific.

The Warriors and Tigers played a rare non-conference home-and-home series last season. They’ll meet twice again this season, with the results counting toward the Big West standings. The first meeting for this season will take place Thursday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Hawai’i is 9-7 overall and 3-2 in the Big West after two road losses last week. Pacific is 9-7 and 3-1 after having won its last three conference games. The teams split the series last year, with each team winning at home.

Vander1ETSU

“They’re playing their best basketball of the year right now,” associate coach Benjy Taylor said of the Tigers. “I think as much stuff as they run, it takes some time to get into their system. Now they’re pretty much running like a well-oiled machine and we have to do a good job of trying to limit some of the stuff they do.”

The Tigers will also look familiar because they return virtually every key player from last season, when it finished 11-19 overall and in sixth place in the Big West at 6-10. Just like last year, the Tigers rely on a balanced attack, and they often use 12 players or more in a game.

However, Taylor cautioned that Pacific’s returning experience has allowed it to install several new schemes.

“They’re a little different,” Taylor said. “They played a little more zone last year … they’re running a lot of different things this year, but they still want to run a lot of half-court sets.”

The leading scorer is Lorenzo McCloud, a 6-foot senior point guard who is averaging 11.6 points and 3.8 assists per game. He had 32 points and 11 assists in the two games against Hawai’i last season.

McCloud is the only Pacific player averaging double-figure points, but they have several other options. Khalil Kelly, a 6-8 junior, is averaging 5.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, but he had 15 points on 7-of-7 shooting and 13 rebounds in Pacific’s 64-54 win over Hawai’i in Stockton, Calif., last year.

Kelly is the tallest starter for the Tigers, although they also have 6-10 Tim Thomas (3.5 points, 1.8 rebounds), 6-8 Tony Gill (5.8 points, 2.4 rebounds) and 6-7 Ross Rivera (9.2 points, 3.6 rebounds) in reserve.

Pacific has earned several upset victories already this season, including Xavier, Saint Mary’s and Nevada.

The Warriors defeated Pacific, 75-70, at the Sheriff Center last season. Garrett Jefferson scored on a putback with 3.1 seconds remaining to give Hawaii the win.

GarrettJefferson_UOP

“It’s a new game, new season, so you just have to try and move on from every game,” Jefferson said.

The Warriors also have been using multiple players in games, but its strength remains in the post. Hawai’i is again expected to have a size advantage with 6-10 senior center Vander Joaquim (14.3 points, 8.5 rebounds), 6-8 junior forward Christian Standhardinger (14.9 points, 7.7 rebounds) and 6-8 freshman forward Isaac Fotu (10.5 points, 7.1 rebounds).

The Warriors have received a recent boost of outside shooting from freshman Brandon Jawato, who is averaging 13.8 points per game in Big West games. In the four conference games so far, he is 19 for 30 (63.3 percent) from 3-point range.

Joaquim is nine points away from becoming the 15th player in the program’s history to score 1,000 points. He also ranks fourth in UH basketball history with 703 career rebounds.

“Pretty much I’m not thinking about it, I’m just thinking about the victory,” Joaquim said. “It will be great if I can get the 1,000 points and the victory. That would be awesome.”

GAME INFORMATION: Hawai’i (9-7, 3-2 Big West) vs. Pacific (9-7, 3-1 Big West)
When:
Thursday, Jan. 19, 7:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, HI
Television: Live statewide on OCSports – Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD).
Streaming Video: Live video streaming is available on ocsports.tv.
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM will carry the game live. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona, and KTOH on Kaua’i.
Audio Webcast: Live audio streaming on espn1420am.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Information: $26 (lower); $18 (upper-adult); $16 (upper-sr. citizen); $5 (upper-youth, ages 4-HS); UH Manoa students free with validated ID. Parking $6.
Promotions: First Insurance is the sponsor of Thursday’s game and will distribute 500 basketball drawstring bags The student theme is “Green & White Night” as the first 200 students will receive a free t-shirt to create a green-and-white stripe effect in section F.

9 Comments

  1. I apologize, I believe, Spearman’s sprain occured this week at practice. I thought I saw him come down hard on ankle during LBSU game, and he was limping, well, either way, Hope Brandon gets well, if severe sprain, or even mild, have to let heal properly so not lingering . Need him for Big West run.

    However, pretty sure, guys, Jace, Ozren, Jawato, Clair, Harper, Hauns will step up on the perimeter, and hopefully Jace, Hauns, Jawato, Clair will attack the hoop at times, will make UH very hard to defend, Bigs that can score, and perimeter guys that attack and finish or dish. And perimeter, guys that hit 3 pt shots. Team has to shoot FT’s well too.

    Should be excellent game. The same 4000+ will be there at SSC tonite. Hope Maniacs, come out, part of student athletic event package, might as well come out UH fans, team needs a solid couple hundred fellow students and peers of UH BB team to cheer them on. Promise that UH will play better and get 2 wins, with UH student support, the athletes love it,and you Maniac fans!!

  2. Per Brian McInnis, Spearman’s back at practice and expected to play.

  3. We need 7000 plus Maniacs in every seat tonight, forget your ipads, iphones , tweeting,this is D1 BB,folks ,its going to be a War on the Floor , so students need to come in force. Every game from now is Crucial for our seeding in the tournament , we need this win , be at the Stanley with the rest of us Maniacs tonight!!

  4. bballbows,

    that is good news about Spearman. Hope that Brandon let’s it heal well, so not injure more. I think Hawaii has can use a lot of players now, which is good . Should be great game.

    And as Jjay says: Manoa Maniacs, UH students, come out in force, it is a great eviroment, one of the best college MBB venues in the Big West, and the games are exciting an fun, just 6 more BW home games, so need All of your support, would be great if 7000+ come out tonite. I know the core 4500 will be there!

  5. Jjay, I hope for 7k, but when the sponsor is only allotting only 200 T-shirts for students, that’s not a great sign.

    UH will need to play well to beat Pacific. They are a very good shooting team. They have several good 3pt shooters and the team is shooting 39% from deep.

    With lots of 3pt shots, there will be lots of long rebounds, so it’s imperative that UH do a good job in limiting 2nd chance points. You can’t give a good 3pt team 2nd chances and they will burn you.

  6. Also, did anyone catch the UNLV vs San Diego St game? It was awesome and UNLV pulled it out at the end. The SDSU student section was insane. They were chanting in sync, almost like the crazy English soccer fans.

    Best Student Sections in the West Coast:

    1. New Mexico
    2. Gonzaga
    3. SDSU
    4. St Mary’s
    5. BYU
    6. Utah St
    7. Arizona
    8. UNLV
    9. UCLA (too fair weathered to be any higher)
    10. Washington St

  7. And yes Vander…..We know..

  8. There’s 500 back packs courtesy of First Insurance Co tonight to the first 500 into the arena in addition to the other goodies. Announced today on 1420am radio. Get to the Stanley students early if you want a backpack

  9. Play to protect your house.
    Go Warriors!!!

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