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Warriors need to defend against Northridge

It will be “Pajama Night” for the fans, but the University of Hawai’i basketball team is vowing to not get caught napping when it hosts Cal State Northridge in a Big West Conference game on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Warriors are 14-6 overall and 3-3 in the conference following a deflating 92-83 home loss to Long Beach State on Thursday. The Matadors are 11-11 overall and 3-4 in the Big West.

Spearman3_UCR

“We all took that one last night pretty tough because, I mean, we don’t lose at home,” junior guard Garrett Nevels said. “We just know we should have had that one, so everybody is just trying to stay positive right now.”

Thursday’s loss cost the Warriors a chance to move into a tie for first place, and they instead dropped to fifth. If that were not motivation enough, there is also a 79-78 loss at Cal State Northridge just three weeks ago.

“For the most part, we did a good job – we lost by one,” UH associate coach Benjy Taylor said. “We have to stick to the game plan for 40 minutes and if we do, we should be OK. And we have to defend a lot better.”

After beating Hawai’i on January 11, the Matadors then lost four in a row, but got back on track with a 93-89 home victory over UC Riverside on Thursday.

The Matadors are the only team with three players ranked among the top eight scorers in the conference. Stephen Maxwell, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, is averaging 17.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game; Stephan Hicks, a 6-6 wing, is averaging 16.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game; Josh Greene, a 6-foot senior guard, is averaging 15.1 points and 3.0 assists per game.

Nevels and Greene played on the same summer league team in Los Angeles, so they have individual bragging rights on the line as well.

“I definitely want to win this game,” Nevels said.

Like Northridge, the Warriors also have three players ranked among the top 10 in scoring in the Big West: Christian Standhardinger at 18.2, Isaac Fotu at 15.0 and Nevels at 14.6.

Standhardinger (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Fotu (16 points, 11 rebounds) each had double-doubles in the loss at Northridge, and Nevels scored 19.

The Warriors continue to lead the Big West in scoring at 82.7 points per game, but Big West opponents are shooting better than 50 percent from the field in six games against Hawai’i so far.

“It all starts with our defense,” Nevels said. “If we get stops, nobody’s going to stop us from scoring, so we just have to try and lock in and get stops.”

The Matadors are averaging 74.5 points per game, including more than 20 points per game from the free-throw line. Northridge ranks third in the nation with a .779 free throw percentage. In the win over Hawaii three weeks ago, Northridge went 28 for 31 on free throws.

“They’re a very, very aggressive team,” Taylor said. “They want to get into the paint and draw fouls and get to the rim.”

— — — — — — — —

The second video above features a statement from senior captains Christian Standhardinger and Brandon Spearman in regards to the aftermath of the Long Beach State loss.

Many of the Warriors went straight to the locker room following the loss, but head coach Gib Arnold has implemented a tradition of staying on the court for the playing of the alma mater, whether the team wins or loses.

“We do really apologize, deeply apologize, for us walking out while the alma mater was playing,” Standhardinger said. “We were just very disappointed that we couldn’t get the win for you guys and couldn’t get the win for us, so everyone was very sad.”

Game 21 Tipoff Notes
Who:
Hawai’i (14-6, 3-3 Big West) vs. Cal State Northridge (11-11, 3-4 Big West)
When: Saturday, Feb. 1, 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.
Promotions: Jack in the Box is the sponsor and will distribute 1,000 koozies and award hundreds of dollars of Jack Cash throughout the game. There will be an team autograph session in the arena concourse near Gate B following the game. UH Student Promotion: “Pajama Night” and the student with the funniest “jammies” will win a special prize. Also, students will receive a slice of pizza. All student giveaways will be at the Manoa Maniacs table at Gate B.

6 Comments

  1. darn it, guys, and Coach, go back to the defensive mindset of your first 3 years, the guys know how to score, now have team goal: be the BEST defensive team in the BWC, then you guys will win games here and on road, turn that disappointment major, into a long winning streak!

    Go Rainbow WARRIORS!

  2. Still Only One Game, One Loss
    (even when up to Two out of Three were avoidable)
    Out of First Place

    This Conference IS a Developmental Gift
    As This Team Learns, Improves, Prepares for Post-Season
    Other Conferences Would Not Be So Forgiving

    ‘Bows!
    Get Serious and Take Over!

  3. Pack the house. Must win Warriors. !! Play angry play hard.

  4. EAGLE….hope not a 2 for 2 loss day, hope the team watched the terrible Big West online stream:
    Beeman, and her Women, lost 75-72 on the road to Cal St. Northridge, Lady Matadors.
    Kuehu , sick, and Jackson hurting.

    So at the end of the day, We all Hoping Big Time that UH, you men, warriors, step and defend home court, and match wahine in BWC record at 4-3, and be near the top.
    Get the Defensive stops, then you all can be at the top, the Win, and on top of conference top 2 or 3. stay close.
    Now, Beeman’ Women are out of second, I think in third. at 4-3 BWC.

    Go Men team get the Matadors at the Stanley!!

  5. Guess they don’t care about the rest of the season. Now is definitely not the time to be experimenting.

  6. Why isn’t Shamberger playing?

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