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Warriors look to defend home court against UC Riverside

The University of Hawai’i basketball team is aiming to continue a trend that dates back to 2013. The Warriors have never lost back-to-back home games against Big West Conference opponents since joining the conference in the 2012-13 season.

That streak will be on the line on Wednesday, when the Warriors host UC Riverside at the Stan Sheriff Center. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m., and will be televised on OCSports (Oceanic channels 16 and 1016).

Hawai’i is 8-10 overall and tied for sixth place in the Big West at 2-3 following a 76-70 home loss to UC Davis on Saturday. Riverside is 5-11 overall and in third place in the conference at 3-2. The Highlanders will bring a three-game winning streak to Honolulu.

Hawai’i senior forward Noah Allen has been the hottest player in the conference over the last two weeks, averaging 27.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in the last three games. Overall, he leads the Warriors in scoring (13.2) and rebounding (5.6). He is also contributing 2.1 assists per game, and leads the team with 21 steals.

Junior forward/center Gibson Johnson is averaging 10.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game; sophomore forward Jack Purchase is averaging 10.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, and leads the team with 43 3-pointers and a .377 percentage from 3-point range.

Sophomore guard Sheriff Drammeh has been battling a recent shoulder injury, but is still averaging 9.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Sophomore point guard Brocke Stepteau is averaging 7.6 points and 3.0 assists per game.

Freshman guard Leland Green is averaging 6.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, including 12.0 points per game against Big West opponents.

The statistical numbers between the Warriors and Highlanders are fairly even across the board. Hawai’i is averaging 68.0 points per game and shooting 40.9 percent from the field; UCR is averaging 65.3 points per game and shooting 40.5 percent from the field. On defense, the Warriors are allowing 69.4 points per game, while the Highlanders are allowing 70.6.

Although the conference season still has six weeks of games remaining, the Highlanders can make program history by winning six of their final nine games. Since joining the Big West in the 2001-02 season, UCR has never finished above .500 in conference play. Its best showing prior to this year was an 8-8 record in 2008-09.

The Highlanders opened Big West action this year with road losses at CSUN and Long Beach State, but have since reeled off three wins in a row, including a 61-55 home win over UC Davis, which is currently in second place after a win at Hawai’i last Saturday.

On January 18, UCR won at Cal State Fullerton, 71-63, for its first road win of this season. Prior to that, UCR’s last road win was a 77-71 stunner over last year’s history-making Hawai’i team that eventually won the Big West championship.

Secean Johnson, a 6-5 senior forward, had 19 points and 10 rebounds in that upset at the Sheriff Center last season, and he is back as UCR’s top player this season. He is currently averaging team-bests of 11.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, which should make for an intriguing matchup with UH’s Allen.

Chance Murray, a 6-3 junior guard, is an all-around talent, with averages of 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. Gentrey Thomas, a 6-4 senior guard, is contributing 9.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game; Malik Thames, a 6-2 senior guard, is averaging 9.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, and leads the team with 19 3-pointers.

UCR’s main “bigs” are 6-10 junior Alex Larsson (5.9 points, 3.9 rebounds per game), 6-7 junior Brandon Rosser (4.3 points, 2.8 rebounds per game) and 6-8 James Jackson (2.8 points, 2.6 rebounds per game).

HAWAI’I (8-10 overall, 2-3 Big West) vs. UC RIVERSIDE (5-11, 3-2)
When:
Wednesday, January 25, 7:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, HI
TV: OCSports (channels 16 and 1016 in Hawai’i)
Video streaming: www.bigwest.tv
Radio: ESPN1420 AM
Audio streaming: www.espn1420am.com
Live statistics: www.statbroadcast.com
Tickets: Lower level – $30 for all seats; Upper level – $18-$20 for adults; $16-$18 for senior citizens; $5-$7 for youths (ages 4-high school). Parking is $6.
Promotions: “Pink Night” – Hawaii Pacific Health will distribute 700 pink rally towels at the Gate A entrance prior to the game, and all fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness.

Wednesday’s Games
CSUN at UC Santa Barbara
UC Riverside at Hawai’i, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday’s Games
Cal Poly at UC Irvine
Cal State Fullerton at Long Beach State

Saturday’s Games
CSUN at UC Riverside
UC Irvine at UC Davis
Cal Poly at Cal State Fullerton
UC Santa Barbara at Hawai’i, 7:30 p.m.

3 Comments

  1. I still remember being at that home game vs Riverside last year and how sickening everybody felt that we lost to a team like that. I can’t be at the game tonight but will be cheering from home! Lets pay back Riverside and their coach for last year with a big win! Lets go Bows!!!

  2. Just Mahalo again for those that provide the video. Go Bows !

  3. Lets go Bows!!!

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