Warriors looking to rebound at UC Santa Barbara
The Hawai’i basketball team is hoping the road to recovery begins in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Less than 48 hours after a disheartening 88-59 loss at Cal Poly, the Warriors will play at UC Santa Barbara in another Big West Conference road game on Saturday afternoon. The game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. (Hawai’i time) and will be televised on Fox Sports Prime Ticket.
Hawai’i is 10-9 overall and in sixth place in the Big West at 4-4. The Gauchos are 7-11 overall and tied for seventh at 3-4.
The Warriors had their worst showing of the season in the 29-point loss at Cal Poly and will need to rebound against a UCSB team that is also coming off a disappointing defeat. Cal State Northridge scored its first Big West win of the season with a 75-69 triumph over the Gauchos on UCSB’s home court on Thursday.
UCSB was without its top player in sophomore forward Alan Williams, who sat out with a hamstring injury. He suffered the injury last week, and is listed as “out indefinitely.” The 6-foot-7, 240-pound Williams leads the Gauchos in both scoring (17.4) and rebounding (9.9), and also leads the Big West in rebounding and blocked shots (2.4 per game).
Without Williams, UCSB’s top scorer is Kyle Boswell, a 6-2 junior guard who usually is the first guard off the bench. He is averaging 13.1 points per game and ranks second in the Big West with 51 3-pointers.
Taran Brown, a 6-8 freshman forward, is averaging 12.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and is close behind Boswell with 46 3-pointers.
Just a week ago, the Gauchos defeated Cal Poly, 83-81 in double overtime.
UCSB is one of the few teams in the Big West that can match Hawai’i’s size, although the loss of Williams is a significant one for the Gauchos. In the loss to Northridge, UCSB started a frontline of 6-10 Sam Beeler, 6-8 Brown and 6-7 Lewis Thomas, although Northridge won the rebounding battle, 43-31.
The Warriors had their worst rebounding game of the season in loss at Cal Poly, getting out-rebounded by the Mustangs, 38-21. They will especially need center Vander Joaquim to return to form.
The 6-10 senior had just two points and one rebound, and was limited to 12 minutes due to foul problems, in the loss at Cal Poly. Joaquim currently ranks third in the Big West in rebounding with 8.3 per game, and is also averaging 13.8 points per contest.
Junior forward Christian Standhardinger leads the Warriors in scoring with 14.7 per game, and is also grabbing 7.3 boards per game.
The Warriors have been using a backcourt-by-committee throughout the season, and the first seven guards may again have to rotate against a UCSB team that ranks second in the Big West in 3-pointers (8.7 per game).
The Warriors are also looking to end a couple of unwanted streaks. They have lost two straight, and have not lost three in a row this season. They are also 0-4 on the road this season.
GAME INFORMATION: Hawai’i (10-9, 4-4 Big West) at UC Santa Barbara (7-11, 3-4 Big West)
When: Saturday, Jan. 26, 2:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: The Thunderdome (6,000) – Santa Barbara, Calif.
Television: Fox Sports Prime Ticket (Oceanic ch. 228 or 1228)
Streaming Video: None
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 UCSBGauchos.com
UCSB video highlights and interviews from the loss to Cal State Northridge: