Warriors looking for road success at Cal Poly
Three weeks ago, the Hawai’i basketball team was tied with Cal Poly for first place in the Big West Conference.
This Thursday, the Warriors and Mustangs will meet at Mott Gym in San Luis Obispo, Calif., with both teams needing a victory to stay in the upper half of the Big West standings.
The Warriors are 10-8 overall and tied for third place in the conference at 4-3. The Mustangs are 7-9 and 3-3, but they have two significant victories on their resume – a 70-68 upset of UCLA in Pauley Pavilion back in November, and a 79-73 home win over Long Beach State on Jan. 3.
The Mustangs are the only Big West team to own a win over Long Beach State this season.
Cal Poly is 5-1 at home this season. However, the Mustangs enter the game against Hawai’i on a three-game losing streak, with all three on the road.
Cal Poly’s top player is Chris Eversley, a 6-foot-7 junior forward who leads the team in both scoring (15.4) and rebounding (7.4). He has five 20-point games this season, and five double-double games.
Dylan Royer, a 6-1 senior guard, is averaging 10.4 points per game and is the team’s top shooter with 40 3-pointers and a .426 percentage from beyond the arc.
However, the Mustangs are most known for their team play, particularly their ability to protect the basketball. Cal Poly is averaging just 9.4 turnovers per game, which ranks second in the country for fewest turnovers (in contrast, the Warriors lead the Big West with 16.3 turnovers per game).
Hawai’i’s advantage should come on the boards. The Warriors lead the Big West in rebounding with 41.1 per game, while the Mustangs rank last with 30.6 per game.
Vander Joaquim, a 6-10 senior center, ranks second in the Big West with 8.7 rebounds per game and is second on the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game. He will likely be matched against Brian Bennett, a 6-9 freshman, who is averaging 9.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Christian Standhardinger, a 6-8 junior forward, leads the Warriors in scoring with 14.7 points per game, and is grabbing 7.5 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Isaac Fotu is adding 10.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, and leads the Big West in field goal percentage at .635.
The game will also feature the Big West’s two individual leaders for assists. Hawai’i senior Jace Tavita leads the conference with 5.1 per game, while Cal Poly junior Jamal Johnson is second at 4.7.
GAME INFORMATION: Hawai’i (10-8, 4-3 Big West) at Cal Poly (7-9, 3-3 Big West)
When: Thursday, Jan. 24, 5:00 p.m. (Hawaii time)
Where: Mott Gym (3,032) – San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Streaming Video: Live video streaming is available on BigWest.tv.
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM will carry the game. 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