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Warriors look to point the way against Omaha

Points and point guards are expected to be in the spotlight when the University of Hawai’i basketball team hosts Omaha on Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Warriors (10-3) and Mavericks (10-4) have both reached 10 victories this season thanks in part to high-scoring offenses and quality point guards.

Hawai’i has won eight of its last nine games, including three in a row. Omaha has won seven of its last eight, including three road victories.

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“They’re 10-4, and their four losses have come to good teams, all on the road,” Hawai’i assistant coach Scott Fisher said. “Drake on the road, to Iowa on the road, to Minnesota on the road and to (UNLV) on the road. They were in all of those games. They had a chance to win every one of those games … they’re a very good team.”

The Mavericks are currently ranked 18th in the nation in scoring offense at 84.2 points per game, while the Warriors are not far behind at 82.4 points per game. The Mavericks also rank ninth in the country in assists (17.6 per game) and second in free throw percentage (.782).

“They’ve got really good guard play in terms of really pushing the ball up,” Fisher said. “Everybody on the team, almost, can shoot the ball. They’re going to be in every game. There’s just too much there offensively for them not to be able to score. We do have to tighten up our defense.”

Omaha, which was a NCAA Division II program just three years ago, finished with an 11-20 record last season. As proof of its improvement, the leading scorer from last season – senior guard Justin Simmons – is now the team’s sixth man.

Omaha’s leading scorer is CJ Carter, a 6-foot-1 junior who is averaging 15.1 points per game and leads the team with 26 3-pointers. John Karhoff, a 6-8 senior, is the Mavericks’ top post player, and is averaging 13.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 89.8 percent on free throws.

According to Fisher, the key player for the Mavericks is 5-11 sophomore point guard Devin Patterson. He is averaging 12.5 points and 4.1 assists per game, and is described by Fisher as “the fastest guy with the ball from baseline to baseline that we’ll see this year.”

It makes for an intriguing match-up with Keith Shamburger – Hawai’i’s 5-11 junior point guard who is averaging 9.9 points and 5.0 assists per game.

“That’s going to be a real battle – they’re about the same size and obviously they’re both the captains in running the show of two 10-win teams,” Fisher said.

The Warriors and Mavericks both like to employ a three-guard, two-forward lineup, with similar sizes at each spot. The Warriors have used the same starting lineup in each of the last 10 games – Shamburger, Garrett Nevels and Brandon Spearman at the guards, and Christian Standhardinger and Isaac Fotu at forwards.

Standhardinger continues to lead the Warriors in both scoring (18.4) and rebounding (7.2). Nevels is next at 13.8 points per game, and he also leads the team with 28 3-pointers and a .519 percentage from 3-point range. Fotu is averaging 12.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, and Spearman is contributing 11.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

“The main keys are pushing the ball ourselves … making sure that we’re communicating because we need to know where their shooters are,” Fisher said. “If we’re communicating well, running both ways on defense and offense and we really crash the boards … I think we can come out on top.”

Game 14 Tipoff Notes
Who:
Hawai’i (10-3, 0-0 Big West) vs. Omaha (10-4, 0-0 Summit)
When: Friday, Jan. 3, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu
Television: Live on OCSports – Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD).
Streaming Video: BigWest.tv
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM. 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.

7 Comments

  1. For Nebraska-Omaha:
    Besides their Home & Home with North Dakota State (Their Conference Rivalry)
    HAWAI’I IS their Highest-Rated Remaining Opponent
    They’ve Come Close Once (Three Points @ UNLV)
    Otherwise 8 to 13
    BUT NEVER Beat a TOP 105 Team (Hawai’i 102)
    IF Hawai’i Can Continue To Meet Or Exceed The ODDS…
    (N-O, No.11, Try Again, Another Day…)

    Go ‘Bows!

    Control the Game…
    Force Neb-Omaha Turnovers…
    MINIMIZE Ours (<10<12)
    Control the Boards…
    Shutdown Defense…
    WIN the Scoring Battle…
    Get the Win!

  2. Eagle: Two things stick out in my mind, with this year’s team.

    1)The upgrade at guard rotation,i.e, better PG and SG play, they can run, defend, scoring, athletic and quick athletes all..drive to the rim and shoot the 3. They know their roles, assist well, play oustanding D, with a lot of deflections and steals.

    2) The Defensive mindset of team., which helps them be in games, or comeback on teams, such as NMSU at home, almost, within 6 pts with 30 seconds left, and Mizzou on the road, Christian, attacking with Nevels, and leading at the half against a very good Tiger squad, nationally ranked now.

    UH with a given the two great PF tandem of Fotu and Standhardinger. though for Isaac he has to dominate on the road, I think, and he has mentioned several times, the road travel is hard on him, so sometimes not his best games, if Isaac can explode for 18 pts, 12 rebounds 2 blocks, 1 steal, and beast it up, along with MR Hi Motor Christian, Along with the excellent guard play, UH can be in that top 1-3 , even have chance to win outright the Big West regular season crown, shot to win BWC tourney, so either NIT or NCAA. It is redundant, however, UH get this important, super IMPORTANT, win against the Mavericks of Omaha, going to be fun game, Eagle , on behalf of our family, ENJOY the game and hopefully a great victory, 11-3 going into league play!

    Go Bows!
    😀

  3. Hello WI friends,
    Hunter turns 11 this Sunday. He is hoping the team wins number 11, to kick off his birthday weekend! Go Warriors, make it happen!

  4. Happy Birthday, Hunter!

    Weʻll Be Screaming Our Lungs Out Tonight (With ALL Our Hearts)
    to help Team Drive to WIN as iʻm sure All Schmidt ʻOhana will as well…

    Davis(!) and ʻBow ʻOhana:

    COMING Through FOR The NO KA ʻOi — Numbah One UHMBB Fan!
    AND All Fans…

    Hoʻokahi No ʻOhana
    WIN ʻBows!

  5. I hope too, for Hunter that Davis Rozitis, Da Beast, will throw down 3 or 4 dunks for Hunter!

    Go Bows!

    Uhfanzonly1.

  6. Happy Birthday Hunter! 😀 Hope they get that W!

  7. Ironic, the way, it is shaping up, besides DII schools Hilo and Chaminade, 7 opponents, DI, that UH has played, could possibly make the NIT or NCAA, or other Post Season. Their SOS, maybe not top 100 , however, good teams, who in coference will make noise.

    UH , as Christian, the Captain, or one of tri captains, says, STAY TOGETHER., Play hard together, and Win together…here at SSC and on the road, to hopefully NCAA’s.

    First , get the final non conference win, against a high powered, up and down Omaha team!

    As everyone knows, the team, who plays the better defense, or gets the key stop, steal, rebound, hustle play, layup, assist or shot, will win it.
    Defense first, get stops, and have the Mavericks, play some half court, that is where UH could, and should have advantage, with Fotu and Standhardinger.

    Shout out to, Mike Thomas, hey Mike, have a breakout, game, maybe 8 or 9 pts, 6 rebound,1 block, 1 steal, and have quality PT, we need you, also Enos, and Jawato, have to start firing and hitting the important 3’s, your , UH ‘s D and shooting from Line and Field, will help UH win on the road. And value the ball, keep it at 12 turnovers or less per game for entire season, UH will be in the mix to go to NCAA dance!

    Go Bows!!
    😀

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