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Warriors look to return to winning form at Cal Poly on Saturday

It actually wasn’t that long ago that the University of Hawai’i basketball team defeated Cal Poly. It just feels that way.

Since a 74-65 victory over the Mustangs on February 9, the Warriors have lost two straight games, including a disappointing 56-54 loss at last-place UC Santa Barbara on Thursday.

Hawai’i will get a chance to return to its winning ways on Saturday, when it plays at Cal Poly in a Big West Conference game at San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Hawai’i is 12-13 overall and in sixth place in the Big West at 6-6; Cal Poly is 8-17 overall and in eighth place at 3-8.

The Mustangs are coming off an 85-71 road win at CSUN on Wednesday. While Hawai’i was getting upset at UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, Cal Poly was already back at home – essentially giving them a full extra day to prepare for the Warriors.

The Mustangs’ three conference wins are proof of their potential. Cal Poly has defeated the three teams that are currently 1-2-3 in the standings: UC Davis, UC Irvine and CSUN.

In Hawai’i’s nine-point win over the Mustangs last week, the Warriors had one of their best shooting games of the season, connecting on 50.9 percent of their field goals. Also in that victory, Hawai’i attempted a season-low 10 3-pointers (making four), and out-scored the Mustangs 46-10 on “points in the paint.”

The Warriors may need to revert to that form after shooting just 24 percent (6 for 25) from 3-point range in the upset loss at UCSB on Thursday. Starting forwards Jack Purchase and Noah Allen – UH’s top two 3-point shooters – were a combined 0 for 10 from 3-point range against UCSB.

Allen continues to lead the Warriors in both scoring (14.6) and rebounding (5.7). He had 21 points and nine rebounds in the win over Cal Poly last week.

Junior forward/center Gibson Johnson is averaging 11.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, and has a field goal percentage of .505.

Purchase is averaging 9.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, and leads the team with 59 3-pointers and a .386 percentage from 3-point range.

Among the guards: sophomore Sheriff Drammeh is averaging 9.4 points and 2.5 assists per game; sophomore Brocke Stepteau is at 7.0 points and 3.2 assists per game; freshman Leland Green is contributing 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Cal Poly leads the Big West in 3-pointers made (8.2 per game) and attempted (24.1 per game). The Mustangs are also among the national leaders in fewest turnovers per game at 10.5. They tied their season-high with 16 turnovers in the loss at Hawai’i last week.

Cal Poly relies on a balanced offense, with four players averaging between 10.1 and 11.5 points per game.

As might be expected for a perimeter-shooting team, most of the point-production comes from the guards. Victor Joseph, a 6-foot junior, leads the team with 11.5 points per game and is second with 38 3-pointers. Donovan Fields, a 5-10 sophomore, is averaging 10.7 points per game, and scored a season-high 23 points in the win at CSUN on Wednesday.

Ridge Shipley, a 6-foot senior, is contributing 10.1 points and 3.3 assists per game; Kyle Toth, a 6-2 senior, is averaging 10.1 points per game and leads the Mustangs with 56 3-pointers and a .415 percentage from 3-point range.

Luke Meikle, a 6-9 junior, is Cal Poly’s top post player with averages of 8.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He is also a shooting threat with 22 3-pointers this season.

HAWAI’I (12-13, 6-6) AT CAL POLY (8-17, 3-8)
When:
Saturday, February 18, 7:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. Hawai’i time)
Where: Mott Athletics Center – San Luis Obispo, Calif.
TV: None
Streaming video: www.bigwest.tv
Radio: ESPN1420 AM
Streaming audio: www.espn1420am.com
Live statistics: www.gopoly.com

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

4 Comments

  1. Even if Warriors make post season this year..So important get 2 scholarships back… Eran keep in touch with recruits. Hawaii has to replace Noah Allen. Get best talent he can get to make it back to last year level. It seems like distant past. Eran build his
    Freshman heavy team to get better. He will. Team always hustles which is great

  2. Need to take care of the ball!

    Need to watch the fouls.. Ridge Shipley is a master at drawing fouls.

    We should win the rebound game!

    I’ll be at the game tonight.. hope to see a competitive game

    Let’s go Bows !!!

  3. Come on Warriors. Don’t let them take you out if your came Noah , please take that ball to the basket! You will not be denied ! Pound that freakin ball inside Warriors !

  4. Score prediction: 82 – 61
    Go Bows !

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