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Warriors looking for sweep of Gauchos

The Hawai’i basketball team will be looking to continue its upward trend on Thursday night. It would really help the Warriors’ cause if UC Santa Barbara can continue its own downward spiral.

The Warriors will host the Gauchos in a Big West Conference game at the Stan Sheriff Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Hawai’i has won six of its last eight games, and is 16-11 overall and tied for third place in the Big West at 9-6. UCSB has lost eight of its last nine games and is 8-18 overall and in eighth place at 4-10.

“This is very important for our team,” junior forward Christian Standhardinger said. “We want to have momentum going into the (Big West) Tournament … I think we have to get momentum, that’s why the next wins are important for our self-confidence, and we can get all the little mistakes out and we play together.”

The Warriors already own a victory over the Gauchos this season – a 78-73 win at Santa Barbara on January 26.

Christian2UCD

Standhardinger is having an all-conference worthy season, and his performance in the first meeting at Santa Barbara was his showcase game. He had career-highs of 31 points and 16 rebounds in the win over the Gauchos.

“I know that they will counter me; their coaches are not dumb, they are smart enough to find ways to stop me,” Standhardinger said. “I’m already thinking about if they stop me, what can I do to help the team.”

Standhardinger, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, leads the Warriors with 16.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Senior center Vander Joaquim is close behind at 13.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, and he had 17 points and 11 rebounds in the win at Santa Barbara.

The low post should be a bit more crowded this time, as UCSB’s Alan Williams is back in the starting lineup. He missed the last game against Hawai’i due to a leg injury. Williams, a 6-7, 240-pound sophomore, is the only player in the Big West averaging a double-double (17.0 points, 10.3 rebounds per game).

“He’s great at posting up, and they do a very good job of getting him the ball,” Hawaii assistant coach Scott Fisher said of Williams.

The big question surrounding the Gauchos is who is available to play alongside Williams. UCSB’s current slide has coincided with an onslaught of injuries that started with Williams and has spread to four other key players in recent weeks.

Hauns1CSUF

Most notable, junior guard Kyle Boswell has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury and is listed as doubtful for Thursday. He ranks second on the team in scoring with 12.6 points per game and is considered one of the conference’s top shooters with 64 3-pointers.

Reserve guard Nate Garth (hamstring), and reserve forwards Mitch Brewe (fractured finger) and Keegan Hornbuckle (ankle) have also been out recently. Those three combined for 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting in the loss to Hawaii last month.

The Warriors are coming off their largest margin of victory this season in an 84-50 romp over Northern Arizona.

In addition to solid performances from their “big three” of Joaquim, Standhardinger and Isaac Fotu (9.7 points, 6.4 rebounds), the Warriors have also been getting steady play of late from the senior backcourt of Jace Tavita and Hauns Brereton.

Tavita leads the Big West in assists with 5.6 per game, and Brereton is averaging 14.8 points per game over his last six games.

GAME INFORMATION: Hawai’i (16-11, 9-6 Big West) vs. UC Santa Barbara (8-18, 4-10 Big West)
When: Thursday, Feb. 28, 7:00 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: The California Hotel & Casino is the sponsor and will award a Vacations Hawaii trip for two (2) to Las Vegas at halftime. The student theme is Olympic Night with fans encouraged to dress in togas and bring flags or signs representing their favorite UH international player.

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Here is the latest video from UH Film Productions promoting the “Olympic Toga Night” …

4 Comments

  1. This game against Santa Barbara is a huge one. Have to get this win. UH will be going against an all conference player in Alan Williams, 6’7″ 250 pounds, legitimate post player, averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds, plus over 2 block shots per game. Last time on mainland, Alan was hurt. Once again Warriors, have to play even, better than against N. Arizona. Don’t let this game slip away! Shoot well, defend, rebound, pass well and take care of the ball, you should get the win. Never take any team lightly, or go half speed, you do, and you could lose!

    Give huge effort , 40 minutes of intense Basketball, get a good lead, and increase it. If game comes down to the wire, close out with good Free Throw shooting, and take care ball against their press, work ball into, Vander and Fotu, and Christian and Hauns will do their perimeter, mid range to 3 line game.

    Such a must, a weakness for Jawato, Standhardinger and Isaac. You three have to make 75% or better of your Free throws, since , things will get physical, and you three will be going to the line. Even Jefferson and maybe, they might chase after Jace to foul him, Jace, toughen up and focus, relax, bend knees, take a deep breath, good form, ball coming off of fingertips, nothing but net. Jefferson, and Jace, in fact, the whole team have to start shooting 75% or better for these last 3 BWC games and into BWC tournament. And of course keep turnovers to 10 or less per game. Also, play strong, the officials are letting a lot of physical contact go on, so be strong with the ball, beast on the boards, no weak stuff.

    The Poly game, mark on your calendar, that is one team , you want to get a return W against, send Hauns, Vander and Jace and whole team out with a win before going on the road against Northridge , then the tournament in Anaheim 2nd week in March!

    Go Warriors

    P.S. Aussie Mum, your son Michael, might have a career in entertainment, he is not shy, a real trooper and good sport!

  2. Don’t let up Warriors ! No Mercy ! 40 minutes of Mayhem to the Gauchos ! Last two games at home, WE NEED ALL THE WINS NOW!!! PROTECT THE HOUSE!!!

  3. Hey Roopi,
    Your idol Curry scored 54pts, can you do just 14?

  4. Vander needs a hit start… Pound it inside and need to attack Alan Williams. He’s the whole offense for UCSB because he’s a good post player and forces defenses to collapse, which creates open shots for the guards. Everything runs through Alan.

    Get Williams in foul trouble and UH will crush them.

    If Williams is allowed to go off, then it will be a very tough game.

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