Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors look to get back on track against Northern Arizona

Before the Hawai’i basketball team can make its stretch run in the Big West Conference, it will first try to get back on the winning track with a non-conference opponent.

The Warriors will host Northern Arizona as part of the final ESPN BracketBusters event. The game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Hawai’i is 15-11 overall and tied for third place in the Big West at 9-6. The Warriors are returning to the Sheriff Center after two Big West road losses last week. Northern Arizona is 10-16 overall and tied for fifth in the Big Sky Conference at 7-9.

“It’s important to gain momentum,” senior wing Hauns Brereton said. “This is an important game for us.”

After Saturday’s game, the Warriors have three Big West regular-season games remaining, and they could finish anywhere from second to seventh in the final standings, depending on the outcomes of those games.


By coincidence or not, the Lumberjacks have a style and lineup similar to other Big West opponents Hawai’i has faced this season.

“Fullerton is one team that reminds me of NAU just because they have some talented guards that can score which ever way,” Hawaii assistant coach Brandyn Akana said. “They’re not as big as Fullerton, but they have those type of guards that can score a lot of points.”

Northern Arizona’s top player is Gabe Rogers, a 6-foot-2 senior guard who is averaging 17.7 points per game and leads the team with 70 3-pointers. Rogers has already attempted 424 field goals, including 205 from 3-point range. By comparison, Christian Standhardinger leads Hawai’i with 299 field goal attempts, and Brereton has 91 3-point attempts.

“Basically the scout on him is that he shoots it anywhere at anytime,” Akana said. “When ever he has the ball, he’s looking to score. That’s what makes him dangerous.”

The Lumberjacks also have a dynamic freshman in 5-11 DeWayne Russell, who is averaging 14.7 and 3.2 assists per game.

“He more so is an all-around player,” Akana said. “He can take it to the basket, he can shoot 3s, pull-up jumpers, floaters. Those two guys take majority of the shots.”

Northern Arizona normally employs three small guards and two forwards. The starting post players are 6-8 Max Jacobsen and 6-6 Gaellen Bewernick. Jacobsen is averaging 8.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, while Bewernick is contributing 6.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

In contrast to the Lumberjacks, the Warriors get most of their points from their big men. Standhardinger, a 6-8 junior, leads the team in both scoring (16.0) and rebounding (8.1), followed closely by 6-10 senior center Vander Joaquim at 13.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, and 6-8 freshman forward Isaac Fotu at 9.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

“We’ll look to dominate inside – they’re not as big as us,” Akana said.

The Warriors will even have a size advantage in the backcourt, with 6-6 Brereton, 6-4 Jace Tavita, and 6-4 Brandon Jawato expected to get most of the playing time.

The Warriors will also play without junior guard Brandon Spearman for the first time this season. He will likely miss the rest of the season with an injured left ankle.

Of note, Northern Arizona defeated Big West member UC Davis, 85-82, back on November 18 at Davis, Calif. The Warriors have lost twice to UC Davis this season, including an 89-65 loss at Davis last week.

GAME INFORMATION: Hawai’i (15-11, 9-6 Big West) vs. Northern Arizona (10-16, 7-9 Big Sky)
When: Saturday, Feb. 23, 5:00 p.m.
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: Bank of Hawaii is the game sponsor and will distribute 1,000 chip clips and award a $200 gift card to the winner of the halftime promotion. Bank of Hawaii will also toss Beanie Babies and mini-basketballs into the stands at halftime. Saturday is Star Wars Night. Dress up as your favorite character or take a picture with one on the many Star Wars characters in attendance that night.


  1. Go Warriors!
    Channel Your Inner Spearman!

    When a Good or Best Teammate Would Go Down or Missing,
    i would Make Sure i was doing “All The Extra” Things i knew i could usually rely on my teammate to naturally handle,
    SO… Harass their Guards, Lock Down the Three Point Line, Cut Off the Drives,
    Get those Extra Long Rebounds, BEAT ʻEM to the 50-50 Balls
    Give Brandon S. something to Stand-Up and Cheer For from The Bench! OFTEN!
    Thereʻs Few Things Worse than having to sit sidelines and Watch Your Teammates Struggle with something You Know You Can Do… SO Play All Out Like ʻBʻ Would…
    From Signing Day, i thought ʻBʻ would ʻEarn” (Deserve) His Own “Spearman Hawaiʻian Heiraglyphic
    ʻThe SPEARMANʻ

    Those Skills ARE Learnable and Transferable…
    Thatʻs What Coach was Counting On with Point Guard, Backcourt and Defensive Skills…
    DO ʻEm Proud

    Harass the Shooting and Passing Skills Right Out of N.Arizona
    Then Blow Up the Backboards
    Practice Winning Going Away …
    Get Better at That
    AND Do That Every Opportunity for the Next Few Weeks
    (Never Stop…)
    And YOUʻLL Have A Season To Remember

    Do That Now and You May be Experiencing
    A String of Great Seasons
    The Dawning of a New Golden Age of Hawaiʻi Basketball

    The WAY MIAMI and Illinois have Elevated or Resurrected their Programs with Seniors
    Hawaiʻi CAN DO with Seniors & Sophomores
    IF You Start This Year like your Fans are Prayinʻ
    ALL The Better

    Go ʻBows!`
    Win Warriors!

  2. LUMBERJACKS Stephen F. Austin of the Southland Cnf., defeated LBS @home 68-60.
    LUMBERJACKS Northern Arizona of the Big Sky Cnf., defeated Davis @home 85-82.
    Broncos Western Michigan of the Mid American Cnf., @home beat Pacific, 67-62.

    Warriors out-cut the LUMBERJACKS; Solved the ills of superior guard, 88-77!
    Facesaving for BWC!

  3. UH MBB team , you are correct eagle, clyde, DK, Derek and others, N. Arizona are not an inferior team. Their perimeter guys are as good if not better than the BWC guards!. That one point guard, averaging, insane assists per game!, The drive and kick teams, that give UH MBB a hard time. UH has to, just has to, win by 1 or 21 , no slacking, N. Arizona, can win at the SSC!

    Gib get your guys ready, the Bracket Buster game is a VERY important game, the W. for morale, getting guys ready to replace B. Spearman, and overall record for UH MBB and potential recruits looking at scores in Sunday paper, better 16-11 then 15-12 for sure.

    UH, may the BB force be with you. Should be fun game.

    Hey Jamie Smith, and crew, and Dayton, you do a great job, hope there are 800-1000 UH students in attendance tonite. Know it is rough, tonite, early game Sat party nite. here at SSC, UH students can party SAFELY.

    Go Warrior, uh, Bows, uh Rainbows, uh go UH MMB team, give em!!

  4. correction , N. Arizona has a good little pg averaging over 14 pts, and a little over 3 assists a game. still dangerous, quickness small vs slower, perhaps stronger Bigs! UH has to play Big Boy Basketball, the only way. Let the Bigs beat the smalls. If have to slow down and pound inside, do so. Protect the ball, limit turnovers to 12 or less, shoot 75% or better from FT line, over 50% from field, and 40% from 3 line. Outrebound, a must, N. Arizona on O and D glass by double digits. , you guys can win. If UH comes out flat, and a guard for N. Arizona, goes nuts with 11-12 from 3 line and gets 36 pts on Hawaii, UH could lose.

    Win the game guys, play hard and smart, just win !!

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