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Warriors look to continue road streak

The University of Hawai’i basketball team has some ground to make up in the Big West Conference standings, and the Warriors will try to do just that by traveling to California this week.

The Warriors are scheduled to depart Honolulu on Tuesday afternoon for two games in Southern California this week – at UC Riverside on Thursday, and then at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday.

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The Warriors went 2-2 on a two-week, four-game homestand and are now 16-7 overall and in fourth place in the Big West at 5-4. Riverside is 8-15 and 3-6; Fullerton is 7-15 and 2-6.

“I don’t think there’s added pressure because of those teams, I think there’s added pressure because it’s late in the season, obviously, and every game moves up in its importance,” head coach Gib Arnold said. “This next Thursday game is our most important game of the year. When that’s done, then Saturday will then be the most important. Everybody’s feeling it right now and everybody is coming down to the end and everybody’s got to play their best basketball right now.”

Despite the two losses during the homestand, the Warriors still find themselves in the thick of the Big West race. UC Irvine is currently in first place at 7-2, and the Warriors already own a road victory over the Anteaters.

UC Santa Barbara (6-2) and Long Beach State (6-3) – which are the two teams that beat the Warriors in the Stan Sheriff Center recently – are the other teams ahead of Hawai’i.

“So far this seems like everybody’s league because all the teams in the top three have lost a couple of games at home and on the road,” senior center Davis Rozitis said. “I think the top five or six teams are still in the running.”

The Warriors have something to build on, namely a two-game road winning streak. The last time they traveled to California in late January, they returned with wins over UC Davis and UC Irvine.

“We’ve done the same routine pretty much all the time,” Arnold said. “It’s just a matter of being prepared and being rested.”

Senior forward Christian Standhardinger continues to lead the Warriors in both scoring (17.5) and rebounding (7.9). Sophomore forward Isaac Fotu is next at 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, though he leads the team in scoring against Big West opponents at 19.3.

The bigger concern during the homestand was a shooting slump from the perimeter. The Warriors went 21 for 81 (25.9 percent) from 3-point range in the past four games.

“We don’t need to rely on our 3-pointers to win, that’s the thing I want to get to,” Arnold said. “When they’re falling, we really get it going … we got to know our strengths our inside and we have to go inside first, and then the outside shots will fall even more so when they start doubling-down on Fotu and Christian.”

9 Comments

  1. Two very winnable games on this road trip. Warriors have remained Warriors on the road so far in conference play this season, with the only ‘bad loss’ against a solid homecourt team in Cal Poly. The game at Northridge should have been a W, if not for the bad calls/lopsided reffing. Hate to say it, but after the last road trip, going anything less than 2 – 0 this week would be pretty disappointing. At the time, I didn’t think the win at Davis was very impressive. But Davis has played fairly decent as of late taking down the other conference ‘bottom dwellers’ and nearly took down Irvine in their last outing. In any case, I’ll be watching and cheering, per the usual. Let’s GO BOWS!!!!

  2. Isaac…this team with the 7 guys from Cali going home to play these road games ..team excited..good 70-90+ family and friends follow and cheer team.,team needs everyone firing on all cylinders. Still think when they double Fotu and clog Standhardinger. . and box and one Nevels..Sham..Spear.Enos..Jawato have to hit about 7-8 three pointers per game..UH can win both..Riverside and Fullerton will be. dangerous at home..UH has to play as well or better like last road swing .split might be okay..however minsdet should be SWEEP..

    GO BOWS!!
    😀

  3. Splitting on the road against bottom tier teams in BW is NOT acceptable. Ask Arnold. Ask the players if splitting is decent. I don’t think they are thinking like take. According to BW stats, Spearman is shooting .298 in 3 pointers. Shamburger is shooting .306 from the outside, while Nevels is at .429, 3rd in the conference. So based on these stats after 9 games in the conference, the only guy I trusts is Garret Nevels. However, Spearman is shooting over .500 on 2 pt. field goals so he should go to his strengths which is the inside, put backs, and slashing to the baskets. Unfortunately for him, is free throw shooting is terrible and I don’t trust him. Shamburger shoots over .800 on free throws, 3rd in the conference so I trust him in the clutch. He doesn’t take a lot of 2 pt. shots, but I’ve seen him light it up for 3 pointers before. He’s shot still looks pretty good and he’s missing very close. He’s due for a good shooting night. Nevels is shooting.566 on 2 point shots. I would give him the green light and his floater is impressive. Not to mention he’s shooting .729 from the charity line so he’s steady. Numbers never lie so based on that, Nevels keep shooting, Spearman go inside, and Shamburger lead the team and take quality shots and try to draw some fouls early and get to the line. Bring in Jawato early to see if he’s hot. He made 8 straight 3 pointers against Riverside at home last year. Bring in Valdes early to try to get an early dunk to get the team excited. Bring in Thomas early to keep him focus in the game and get an early bucket. When I say early, I mean about the 7 minute mark or earlier. If everybody is cold, throw it in to Fotu and keep feeding him. He shooting well over .600 from the field and is leading the conference by a mile. But, gotta win two. I’d be pissed if we lose one. We are 1-0 in the second half of the conference schedule. Keep it going. Like my optometrist yesterday said, this team has a lot of talent. Let’s not have the coaches screw it up. They play their best when they play defense first, then get into transition for easy buckets. Don’t get cute, stay in control, just be solid.

  4. agree with you Derek, pretty sure 100% of team and coaches are thinking run the table. However, they have to play smart, really be playing their best ball of the year NOW…That Irvine win, demonstrated how well UH can play on the road.

    Go inside, the Bigs, have to make decision quickly, kick out to shooters or cutters to rim. When UH is playing their game, Defending, transition when it is there, inside scoring, and The Guard play has to really step it up these last 7 BWC games of the season. UH will be right there in top 3. However has your Optometrist said, and , pun intended ” HE CAN SEE UH HAS THE TALENT”, they have to play really well as team, one thru 13 on the road.

    If UH gets, the Riverside Win, that Fullerton game on ESPN3 or TWC sports 290, will be awesome.
    UH team, play with sense of urgency, yet, play SMART. Get the 2 Wins!

  5. Did I say, the Guards, have to step it up? Spearman, Shamburger, Nevels, Smith, Jawato, Enos, the perimeter guys have to play super ball. With Standhardinger and Fotu, getting their shots, or if even if doubled, they pass out to open, guards, wings, those open shooters have to hit their shots.
    And Derek, as was stated by others here, if in shooting slump, shooters, Nevels..keep on shooting, his floater, is really money, ..what is so great , that I like about Nevels, he is about WINNING first, not the amount of points or leading the BWC in 3 point shots, or 3 pt % made, He will take what D gives him, and go to rack, or get that floater, OR he is becoming a really good passer, his assists to Fotu, are really great, plus his court vision, he can hit Spearman slashing to the rim. Just has to be careful with the ball, when pressure is put on him. Next year, I can see, ..shoot even this year…Garrett playing point, and he has already, a really smart guard, combo, Smith, brings energy, Rozitis playing well on D and a little offense, Valdes, the athleticism, and Thomas, the missing in action guy, when called on , whether 3 minutes or 13 minutes, has to rebound, get putbacks, stop jacking 3’s, go towards basket, and score, Thomas, is very, very athletic, if he comes, alive, BWC tournament look out…UH will be tough!

  6. The UH MBB team, Will Win As A Team, if they go off individually, they can lose games. Focus, follow, scout, I think , the guards and wings, will start to hit the outside shots, and Spearman, doing the hard hat work, rebounding, putbacks, defense, steady the team, lead, hustle 50/50 ball, block shots, steals, and score when needed. Agree..for UH to win BWC tournament, and do some damage in NIT or NCAA’s, Smith, Spearman, have to hist 75% or better of their FT’s, the whole game, and maybe 95% or better last 5 minutes of game to close out these very close contests to come.

    Go Rainbows. Go Bows Go Warriors!
    Uhfanzonly1.

  7. you have to beat the bottom half teams in any conference no matter what….2 games we better win and maybe look to add new things to the offense and defense

  8. Go Warriors, crucial road trip as they all are from here on. Play the zone ,it’s working.

  9. True, these teams won’t be pushovers. They’re better than their records suggest and are not to be taken lightly. I doubt they ever read these comments, but I’d like to give specific advice to some of the team…

    Shamburger: It’s all about shot selection and confidence. We have the utmost confidence in you.
    Nevels: More 2’s and 3’s please! I don’t know why you’re not averaging 20+/per
    Standhardinger: Try not to force the shot, you have weapons all around you. Love the 110% effort you bring to each game.
    Spearman: Attack the rim, don’t be scared to get to the line. That’s where your game is.
    Fotu: Just keep doin’ what you’re doin, cuz we love it!
    Coach GIB: Let’s pound it low to the bigs all game. If the defense counters, go to the quick guards who have an excellent mid and long range game.

    Let’s GO BOWS!!!!

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