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Warriors take winning road show to Cal Poly

At first glance, the University of Hawai’i basketball team would appear to be a favorite in Saturday’s Big West Conference game at Cal Poly.

For one, the Warriors are 17-3 overall and in second place in the Big West at 6-1. They have won nine of their last 10 games, and that includes three road wins, and a previous home victory over this same Cal Poly team.

Bobbitt3_CalPoly

Cal Poly, on the other hand, is 8-13 overall and tied for the bottom of the Big West at 2-6. The Mustangs have lost seven of their last nine games, and are on a three-game losing streak.

The teams will meet at 5:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time) at Mott Athletics Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The game will be televised on ESPNU (Oceanic channels 221 and 1221 in Hawai’i).

The Warriors picked up momentum and confidence in a 76-64 win at UC Santa Barbara on Thursday. They made a two-hour bus ride to San Luis Obispo on Friday afternoon to prepare for the Mustangs.

The Warriors have been getting solid contributions from a core group that includes starters Roderick Bobbitt and Quincy Smith at guards, Aaron Valdes and Mike Thomas at forwards, and Stefan Jankovic at center.

Jankovic leads the team in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (6.5), and is shooting 55.9 percent from the field. He recorded his fourth double-double of the season (16 points, 10 rebounds) in Thursday’s win at UCSB, and another came last month in the home win over Cal Poly (19 points, 13 rebounds).

Valdes returned to the starting lineup at UCSB and responded with 18 points, five rebounds and three steals. He is now averaging 14.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game overall.

Bobbitt is averaging 12.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, and continues to lead the Big West in assists (5.4) and steals (2.3). He scored 21 points in the win over Cal Poly last month.

Thomas is averaging 8.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, and is shooting 55.6 percent from the field. Smith is averaging 8.0 points and 2.7 assists per game. Over the last three games, Smith is averaging 15.3 points per game while shooting 57.3 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from 3-point range.

Jankovic2_CalPoly

Sophomore guard Isaac Fleming (11.2 points per game) is expected to miss his second consecutive game due to an ankle injury. The key reserves will be Sai Tummala, Stefan Jovanovic, Sheriff Drammeh and Niko Filipovich.

Unlike Hawai’i, Cal Poly appears to be a team still in search of a starting lineup. Head coach Joe Callero has tried nine different lineup combinations already this season, and not a single player has started every game.

David Nwaba, a 6-foot-4 senior guard/forward, is the Mustangs’ all-conference candidate, and he leads the team in scoring (12.0), rebounding (5.9), assists (4.0) and steals (1.3). He is the only Cal Poly player currently averaging double-figure points.

Senior guard Reese Morgan is averaging 9.9 points per game and leads the team with 45 3-pointers. He scored 17 in the loss at Hawai’i.

Senior forward Joel Awich is averaging 9.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, but has missed the last two games due to injury. Senior center Brian Bennett is averaging 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Luke Meikle is contributing 8.9 points per game. Sophomore guard Taylor Sutlive is averaging 8.0 points per game and has 43 3-pointes with a .453 percentage from 3-point range.

It should be noted that one of Cal Poly’s conference wins was a 96-92 double-overtime victory over Long Beach State. Also, Cal Poly is coming off a heartbreaking near-upset of first place UC Irvine. The Mustangs had a three-point lead in the closing seconds of regulation, but UCI hit a 3 at the buzzer to tie, then won it in overtime.

HAWAI’I AT CAL POLY
When:
Saturday, February 6, 5:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: Mott Athletics Center, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
TV: Live on ESPNU (Oceanic channels 221 and 1221 in Hawai’i)
Internet video: Live on www.watchespn.com
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM
Internet audio: Live on www.espn1420am.com
Live stats: www.hawaiiathletics.com

Saturday’s Big West Games
CSUN at Long Beach State
Cal State Fullerton at UC Santa Barbara
Hawai’i at Cal Poly, 5:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time), ESPNU
UC Davis at UC Riverside

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12 Comments

  1. Game on national cable? Espnu? Good thing no compete with the Super Bowl..
    Will try to video record if can.
    Oceanic. Valdes playing great. Hope Fleming is well.

  2. Team1st looks like someone we all know…

  3. Poly is better than their conference record suggests… I remember being impressed with their depth at the 4 and 5 spot. In particular, I think Josh Martin will be a force in a few years. Hawaii needs to come ready to play. Hoping to see Bobbitt get a bit more aggressive by attacking the basket, I think he’s settling a tad too much for the 3, although that might be dictated by the zone defenses in recent games. Go bows!!

  4. Yeah I’m sure Dayton can verify using ip address lookup. If the bows can come back with a road sweep that would be huge. In my opinion UCSB and CP are the toughest road trips because you have to take long bus rides since there are no major airports real close.

  5. How Cal Poly responds to that loss on Wed is their big challenge. They should have won in regulation, but let Irvine back in it. If we come out strong and take an early lead, I think we can get to them mentally and it will be hard for them to come back. That’s my strategy! Lol. Go bows!

  6. Cal Poly has the least turnovers per game at 10, Irvine is 2nd at 12.6 and UH is 3rd at 12.7 in conference games. UH causes the most TO’s on defense at 14.9 per game.
    Irvine is holding conference opponents to only a 35.6 shooting %. UH is holding opp. to 43.7 %, 5th in the Big West.

  7. Warriors have to play smart and be physically dominant every second of the game.

  8. One down, one to go: Wahine beat UCSB 63-62 on Karaitiana’s 3-pointer with 14 seconds to play.

  9. Can’t find the game on espnu?? Anybody else having trouble?

  10. They’re showing the end of the Vanderbilt-Ole Miss game … 3;00 to play.

  11. Tied at the half 28 -28

  12. The game is also on ESPN3 .

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