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Warriors look to end struggles against struggling UCSB

If there is a team that does not want to hear about the University of Hawai’i’s problems, it is UC Santa Barbara.

In a matchup of teams that have become offensively-challenged due to roster issues, the Warriors will face the Gauchos in a Big West Conference game on Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

It is scheduled to start around 7:30 p.m., and will be televised on OCSports (Oceanic channels 16 and 1016 in Hawai’i). The UH women host Cal Poly at 5:00 p.m., and fans with tickets to the men’s game can arrive early to watch the women’s game. All fans attending the games are encouraged to wear green shirts for the “Green Out.”

Hawai’i is 8-11 overall and 2-4 in the Big West, including two consecutive home losses; UCSB is 3-15 and 1-5, and on a three-game losing streak.

The Warriors’ inconsistencies – and lingering effects of a yet-to-be-finalized reconsideration of NCAA sanctions – have been well-documented. In short, Hawai’i is shooting 40.9 percent from the field as a team, and averaging 67.8 points per game while relying on a core of inexperienced players.

Senior forward Noah Allen leads the team in scoring (12.9) and rebounding (5.5), though he was limited to eight points on 2-of-7 shooting in Hawai’i’s 70-64 loss to UC Riverside on Wednesday.

Junior forward/center Gibson Johnson is averaging 10.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, and leads the team with a .507 field goal percentage; sophomore forward Jack Purchase is contributing 10.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, and ranks fifth among Big West players with 45 3-pointers.

Sophomore guard Sheriff Drammeh is averaging 9.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, and sophomore point guard Brocke Stepteau is contributing 7.4 points and 3.0 assists per game. Freshman guard Leland Green is averaging 12.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game against Big West opponents.

The Warriors have scored below 70 points in 16 of 19 games this season, while the Gauchos have been held below 70 points in 14 of 18 games. For what it’s worth, Hawai’i has reached 80 points twice (including 114 against Long Beach State), while UCSB’s season high is 76.

The Gauchos’ problems were evident when they opened the season with a 1-9 record against non-conference opponents. Things got worse in late December when three players – including starting forwards Jalen Canty and Ami Lakoju – were declared immediately ineligible for academic reasons.

UCSB has been putting up almost shockingly low offensive numbers this season, including a .368 overall field goal percentage, and .274 percentage from 3-point range.

The Gauchos still have a pair of athletic and experienced guards in junior Gabe Vincent and senior Eric Childress.

Vincent, a 6-foot-3 junior and former Big West Freshman of the Year, is averaging 15.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. He also ranks second in the conference with 48 3-pointers.

Childress, a 6-foot senior (the lone senior on the UCSB roster), is averaging 7.9 points, 3.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. He leads the Big West with 36 steals.

Although the three academic casualties are frontcourt players, the Gauchos still have some size. Alex Hart, a 6-10 junior, is averaging 6.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game; Maxwell Kupchak, a 6-7 sophomore, is contributing 2.8 points and 3.0 rebounds per game; J.D. Slajchert, a 6-6 sophomore, is averaging 4.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game; Tyler Jackson, a freshman listed at 7-2 and 284 pounds, sat out the first 16 games of the season due to injuries, but has contributed 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game since returning.

The Gauchos are 0-8 in road games this season, including 0-3 against Big West teams. UCSB’s lone conference win so far is a 58-53 home victory over Cal Poly on January 14.

HAWAI’I (8-11 overall, 2-4 Big West) vs. UC SANTA BARBARA (3-15, 1-5)
When:
Saturday, January 28, 7:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (Honolulu, HI)
TV: OCSports (Oceanic channels 16 and 1016)
Video streaming: www.bigwest.tv
Radio: ESPN1420 AM
Audio streaming: www.espn1420am.com
Live statistics: www.statbroadcast.com
Tickets: Lower level – $30 all seats; Upper level – $18-$20 for adults, $16-$18 for senior citizens, $5-$7 for youths (ages 4-high school). Parking is $6.
Doubleheader: The UH women’s team will play Cal Poly starting at 5:00 p.m. Fans with tickets for the men’s game can attend both.
Military Night: Active, DOD civilians, reservists, and retired members of the military will receive 50% off select adult tickets (maximum of eight). A valid military identification card is required when purchasing tickets at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office.
Autograph session: Players and coaches will be signing autographs, approximately 15-20 minutes after the game, near Gate B on the main concourse.
Green Out: Fans are encouraged to wear green shirts.

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.

6 Comments

  1. Otherwise programs are STRUGGLING. ITS TIME TO PLAY WARRIOR MODE TONIGHT. PROTECT THE HOUSE!

  2. Typo. Both programs are struggling.

  3. Gotta come strong with the comments because you can’t edit on this site. And the Bows gotta start strong against UCSB and play fast and run ! Run Bows ! Go Bows !

  4. Game time is 7:30 pm

  5. Impose that warrior will tonight fellas!!!!

  6. After watching Wed night’s game, this is what I would tell the ‘Bows if they wanna win tonight…

    Noah Allen: Go hard to the rim, stay focused, trust in your teammates. Don’t let UCSB mentally break you and don’t psyche yourself out if you miss some shots or make some turnovers.

    Leland Green: Take scoring opportunities as they’re presented to you, without hesitation. Don’t second guess yourself, have confidence in your game and use your athleticism to your advantage. Continue to stay out of foul trouble!

    Gibson Johnson: Size advantage will be huge. Get open and finish with authority. Also look to rebound even if you think it’s going in.

    Jack Purchase: Take shooting opportunities with confidence. Look to rebound in every offensive possession.

    Brock Stepteau: Continue taking opportunities as you see them and find the open man. Looks to penetrate and make plays. Don’t force the shot or the pass.

    Sheriff Drammeh: Continue playing your game. If the ref’s aren’t calling the charges then play lock-down D! If/when running the point, try to avoid dribbling too much and keep the ball moving smoothly, without forcing anything.

    We have a lot to gain with a victory, while UCSB has nothing to lose. Let’s GO BOWS!!!!

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