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Warriors begin Big West quest against UC Irvine

ANAHEIM, Calif. – After waiting a full week for the Big West Conference Tournament, a few extra hours won’t hurt the Hawai’i basketball team.

The Warriors will face UC Irvine in a quarterfinal game of the BWC Tournament on Thursday. The game is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. Pacific Time (5:30 p.m. Hawai’i time) at the Honda Center.

“We’ll do some film session and we’ll do a pre-game – we’ll have a 30-minute practice time (in the Honda Center) where we can shoot some shots,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “And we like to get them outside, out of the hotel, go for a little walk. It is a late start, but probably good for us because of the time difference.”

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The Warriors are 17-13 overall and the No. 5 seed at 10-8 in the Big West. The Anteaters are 18-14 overall and the No. 4 seed at 11-7.

Hawai’i closed the regular-season with an 88-75 road loss at Cal State Northridge last Thursday. The Warriors are the only team in the eight-team BWC Tournament field that did not play last Saturday.

“I think we just can’t wait to get on the floor and get this tournament rolling,” senior wing Hauns Brereton said.

Senior point guard Jace Tavita added: “We’ve had some good solid practices and guys got in the gym to put up extra shots to get ready for this tournament.”

The Warriors and Anteaters split the regular-season series, with each team winning at home.

The Honda Center was not available on Wednesday for teams to practice, so the Warriors instead practiced at Titan Gym on the Cal State Fullerton campus on Wednesday evening. The Warriors won a road game in Titan Gym on Feb. 2, when they beat Cal State Fullerton, 77-75.

But UC Irvine will present a tougher challenge, as the Anteaters finished the regular season as the top defensive team in the Big West. UC Irvine held opponents to a .386 field goal percentage, and was the only Big West team to hold opponents below .400.

The Anteaters also lead the conference in rebounding at 39.2 per game, just ahead of the Warriors’ average of 38.7.

The game will feature several intriguing individual battles, as both teams had several players honored in the Big West Conference awards announced this week.

UC Irvine center Will Davis II leads the BWC with 78 blocked shots, and was named the “Best Defensive Player.” He is averaging 8.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, and will likely be matched against Hawai’i senior center Vander Joaquim, who received “only” Honorable Mention status on the All-Big West Conference team.

Joaquim is averaging 14.1 points per game and ranks second in the Big West with 8.4 rebounds per game.

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UC Irvine senior forward Adam Folker received the “Best Hustle Player” award, and he will likely be matched against Hawaii’s own hustle player, junior forward Christian Standhardinger – who was a first-team All-Big West Conference selection. Standhardinger leads the Warriors in scoring with 15.9 points per game, and is second in rebounding at 7.9.

The game will also feature the two players who shared the Big West’s co-Freshman of the Year award: UC Irvine point guard Alex Young and Hawai’i forward Isaac Fotu.

Young is averaging 9.2 points per game and ranks second in the Big West in assists at 4.1. Hawai’i senior Tavita leads the conference with 5.6 assists per game.

Fotu is averaging 9.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and has a .643 field goal percentage.

UC Irvine’s leading scorer is 6-3 senior Daman Starring, who is averaging 13.3 points per game. He also leads the team with 64 3-pointers, and was a second-team All-Big West pick.

GAME INFORMATION: #5 Hawai’i (17-13, 10-8 Big West) vs. #4 UC Irvine (18-14, 11-7 Big West)
When: Thursday, March 14, 5:30 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: The Honda Center (18,336) – Anaheim, Calif.
Television: Fox Prime Ticket.
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
Ticket Information: Single-session tickets range from $27-$34 for reserved seating. All session tickets (men and women included) are available for $144. Big West students can purchase a ticket to any Honda Center session for $10 with a valid student I.D.

11 Comments

  1. Good luck Hawaii. Make the entire state proud (also for your global families and friends)!

    Preview of the Big West tournament by Sports Illustrated:
    http://college-basketball.si.com/2013/03/12/2013-tournament-breakdown-big-west-conference/

  2. DK:

    Ditto!!. UH Warriors, play 100% effort, play smart, and win a game that many say is no winnable! Prove that you guys are winners on and off the court. Get the W, you guys can do it. All 11 and 12(?) of you, From Vander to Ozren!

  3. Warriors:

    Play the best 40 minutes of the season thus far, your team will win. As DK mentioned and he hit it on the head , spot on, your team is probably the most diverse MBB NCAA DI program in the USA. So, from Kapalama Heights to Luanda Angola, and the Hawaii contingent, the Band, Dancers, Cheerleaders, ex Hawaii residents, and Hawaii MBB fans that are there, hopefully 700-1000 in support, Give Your Best, lay it all out , play to win, Have great success, and we shall hopefully see you in semifinal on Fri night!

    Go Warriors.
    And hope Aussie, Ozi, Tonganator, TribeV, Memphis, Chicago,B.C. Canada, will be tuning in too, either Fox Sports, or Bigwest.tv online stream!!

  4. Sorry this the re-edit of my post above!! :D!!

    And hope Aussie Mum, Ozi Mum and theri families, Tonganator, TribeV, Memphis, Chicago,B.C. Canada, will be tuning in too, either Fox Sports, or Bigwest.tv online stream!!

  5. Yes!!! UH will be on real TV tonight. No more amateur hour (bigwest.tv) with the constantly changing camera angles that need a dose of Dramamine to watch.

    Like I said before, Vander is the key to victory tonight. He must play smart and stay out of foul trouble. He’s been effective in both games vs Irvine but his minutes have been short due to foul problems.

  6. I like what Gib said about this being a “40-minute season from here on out.” Today’s game is the most important one of the year. If they’re fortunate enough to win, then tomorrow’s game becomes the most significant.

    In contrast, prior to the start of the women’s BW tournament, the Wahine seemed to be focused on a long-range goal: winning the tournament and securing the NCAA berth. Watching them play yesterday, they didn’t seem to have the sense of urgency that Fullerton did. From Kamilah Martin: “I think they definitely came out harder than we did. They just outplayed us.”

    Beeman did a great job and the future of Wahine basketball — barring an overture to Beeman from USC — appears bright. I just hope the Warriors take Gib’s message to heart and play today’s game as if it’s their last of the season. About five hours to tip-off. And I agree with FUHA, it’ll be nice to watch it on real TV, not streaming video.

    And once again, mahalo to Valerie Schmidt and Ameriprise Financial.

  7. IT’S WARRIOR TIME , SHOW UP AND PLAY HARD , OR BAG YOUR BAGS GUYS, COME ON ,ENOUGH WITH LOSING. !!

  8. IT’S WARRIOR TIME , SHOW UP AND PLAY HARD , OR PACK YOUR BAGS GUYS, COME ON ,ENOUGH WITH LOSING. !!

  9. Clyde, I like your statement: UH play these 40 minutes like their last game of season. Great sense of purpose and urgency. Of course in tournament play, if you lose you go home. These guys this year such a nice bunch of athletes, wonder if the have that BEAST mentality, Go For Broke,like the Fullerton Girls, Nothing was going to stop them from giving 40 minutes of BB hell to UH Wahine. Fullerton now in semi finals with a chance to reach championship game. Wow.

    UH MBB team, has to play with a MEAN streak, take no prisoners, run up and down the court, Vander, Christian, Davis, Fotu, has to swat or intimidate every inside shot that Irvine trys to attempt inside, sadly the weakeness of UH is the guards, so Jace, Jefferson, Hauns, Jawato, Clair, Ozren, Harper have to contribute too. Use up all of your fouls if have to. No tomorrow, save face, win this game and live to play another day in semis, Hope team has it in them, they are the softer, kinder type of players, they have to be the Bill Lambier, Maurice Lucas, type of enforcer type. For the guards, a Andre Miller type of guard, smart, tough, and takes no prisoners. UH , I hope has that killer mentality, if not, well, good job for season guys.

    Just go all out, there is no tomorrow in BB if you guys lose!

    Go UH MBB team!!

  10. Big West Quarter-final updates:

    #2 Pacific 71
    #7 UCSB 68

    #3 Cal Poly 64
    #6 UC Davis 41

    So far the top seeds have held. UCSB made things interesting in the 2nd half, but Pacific came through at the end. Long Beach shouldn’t have much trouble with Fullerton. So hopefully UH can claim the only “upset.”

    The cards are definitely falling in the correct order for UH… They got the best possible Quarter final matchup (considering the standings) with UC Irvine. Also, UH’s two biggest matchup problems Cal Poly and UC Davis played each other. With Pacific and Cal Poly both winning, this guarantees UH doesn’t get Cal Poly in the semi-finals should they win tonight.

    Should UH play to it’s potential and beat UC Irvine, they presumably will play Long Beach, who UH matches up very well against. UH had a good chance to beat The Beach in the Pyramid and UH absolutely smashed The Beach at the SSC. So playing the #1 teams shouldn’t be intimidating at all.

    Maybe there’s some magic in the air? So far, things out of UH’s control have fallen into place, now they just need to take care of what they can control, which is the game tonight.

  11. I know he’s not playing this year, but Dressler looks like he put a solid amount of weight on during this year. Pretty excited to see what he can bring 2013-14 and beyond. He looked skinny and a little gangly in his high school videos, but the short glimpses of him in this video show that he’s filled out and added strength.

    His high school video shows him to be pretty smooth player. Pretty traditional, back to basket center. In his Jr year in HS, he had enough explosion to slam home dunks without much of a wind up. He did post a 48pt game a few years ago, granted the competition probably wasn’t good, but you got to have at least some skills to score 48pts.

    UH’s loses Vander to graduation this year, but I don’t think it’s a big loss. Fotu will become the primary offensive post threat next year and Dressler is a more developed player when compared to Vander was when he came to UH. So if Dressler can improve each year, he could be a very solid player.

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