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Warriors look to rebound against UH-Hilo

Talk about a contrast in opposition.

Just four days after playing the role of extreme underdog against then-No. 5 North Carolina, the University of Hawai’i basketball team will be tested as a significant favorite against NCAA Division II Hawai’i-Hilo.

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The Warriors and Vulcans will meet at the Stan Sheriff Center, 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday night. This is the fourth consecutive year that the team from Manoa is hosting it’s “brother” school from Hilo. The Warriors have won the last three meetings by an average margin of 29.3 points per game. Hawai’i has an all-time record of 8-0 against UH-Hilo.

The Warriors, who are 2-2 this season, are coming off an 83-68 loss to North Carolina on Friday. The Warriors made several rallies throughout the game – never allowing the Tar Heels to run away – but could never quite catch up. The effort drew a standing ovation from the sellout crowd at the Sheriff Center as the final horn sounded.

The Vulcans are 1-2 under fourth-year head coach GE Coleman. UH-Hilo’s first three games of this season came on a road trip to Washington against NCAA-II competition – an 88-73 win against Simon Fraser, an 88-80 loss at Seattle Pacific, then a 97-89 loss at St. Martin’s.

The Vulcans appear to have go-to scoring options outside and inside in 6-foot-4 senior guard Parker Farris, and 6-6, 255-pound junior forward Darius Johnson-Wilson.

Farris is averaging 27.3 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. He scored 32 points, including six 3-pointers, in the season-opening loss against Simon Fraser. Farris was in the starting lineup last season when UH-Hilo lost at Hawai’i, but he was held to seven points on 1-of-7 shooting.

Johnson-Wilson is averaging 20.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, and is shooting 54.3 percent from the field. He redshirted last season due to injury.

UH-Hilo, which finished 9-15 last season, was picked to finish 10th (out of 14 teams) in the Pacific West Conference preseason poll.

The Warriors have gone with the same starting lineup for the first four games: Sheriff Drammeh and Leland Green at guards, Noah Allen and Jack Purchase at forwards, and Gibson Johnson at center.

Allen has emerged as the most consistent performer, and currently leads the team in scoring (17.8), rebounding (6.3) and assists (3.5). He scored 22 in the loss to North Carolina.

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Drammeh is averaging 14.3 points and 3.3 assists per game; Purchase is averaging 11.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, and leads the team with nine 3-pointers. He also is a perfect 8 for 8 on free throws this season.

Johnson is averaging 10.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, and is shooting 58.6 percent from the field. Ido Flaisher, a 6-10 freshman center, has provided early relief off the bench. He is averaging 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and is shooting 62.5 percent from the field.

Tuesday will be the first of three games in six nights for the Warriors. Also coming up are Troy on Friday, November 25, then Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday, November 27.

HAWAI’I (2-2) vs. UH-HILO (1-2)
When:
Tuesday, November 22, 7:00 p.m. (Hawai’i Time)
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, HI
Television: OCSports (Oceanic channels 16 and 1016)
Streaming Video: Big West.tv
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona, KTOH on Kaua’i, and KNWJ in Pago Pago, American Samoa.
Audio Webcast: espn1420am.com
Live Stats: StatBroadcast.com
Ticket Information: $30 (lower level); $18-$20 (upper level-adult); $16-$18 (upper level-senior citizen); $5-$7 (upper level-youth, ages 4-high school); UH Manoa students free with validated ID. Parking is $6.
Promotions: H-Zone is the game sponsor and will award an authentic UH Under Armour basketball jersey at halftime. The Manoa Maniacs student section theme is “Walking Dead/Zombies.”

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