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First-place Warriors host Cal State Fullerton on Saturday

There’s only one way for the University of Hawai’i basketball team to stay in control of first place in the Big West Conference on Saturday. Beat Cal State Fullerton.

The first-place Rainbow Warriors will host the Titans in yet another crucial Big West game at the Stan Sheriff Center. The game is scheduled to start around 8:00 p.m. as part of a UH basketball doubleheader. The UH women will host UC Riverside at 5:30 p.m., and fans with a ticket to the men’s game can arrive early to watch both games.

The doubleheader is also being promoted as a “Greenout” and fans are encouraged to wear green shirts.

Hawai’i is 13-5 overall and 4-1 in the conference; Fullerton is 11-8 and 4-3. A victory keeps the Warriors at least one game ahead in the loss column of the other contenders.

Long Beach State (5-2), UC Santa Barbara (4-2) and UC Davis (4-2) have two losses each, and all three are considered favorites to win their respective Saturday games. Fullerton and UC Irvine (4-3) also remain in contention.

The Warriors are on a four-game win streak, including a 77-72 win over UC Davis last Saturday. Senior forward Mike Thomas leads the team in scoring (12.3) and rebounding (6.1), and leads the entire conference with a .609 field goal percentage. In five Big West games, Thomas is 28 for 34 from the field (.824).

Junior guard Sheriff Drammeh is averaging 11.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, and senior forward Gibson Johnson is averaging 10.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, and has a .516 field goal percentage.

Junior forward Jack Purchase scored 21 points in the win over UC Davis, and is now averaging 7.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 rebounds per game. He also leads the team with 28 3-pointers. Freshman point guard Drew Buggs is averaging 7.4 points and 3.8 assists per game.

The Warriors’ recent success has been led by their defense. Hawai’i is allowing 65.6 points per game and a .422 field goal percentage against Big West opponents. Most impressive, Big West opponents are averaging just 4.0 3-pointers while shooting 23 percent from 3-point range against the Warriors’ defense.

The Titans started the Big West season 4-0, but are now on a three-game losing streak, and in fifth place at 4-3. Their latest game resulted in a 70-65 home loss to UC Santa Barbara on Thursday.

The Titans boast a dynamic wing duo in 6-foot-3 Kyle Allman Jr., and 6-4 Khalil Ahmad. Both are juniors. Allman is averaging 17.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Ahmad is averaging 15.5 and 3.9 rebounds per game, and leads the team with 38 3-pointers.

Fulleton’s top inside player is Jackson Rowe, a 6-7 sophomore forward who was the Big West Freshman of the Year last season. He is averaging 12.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, and is shooting 60.3 percent from the field.

Austen Awoskia, a 6-3 sophomore point guard, is contributing 7.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Arkim Robertson, a 6-9 senior center, is averaging 5.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, and shooting 65 percent from the field.

Since joining the Big West in 2013, Hawai’i is 5-0 against Fullerton in games played at the Sheriff Center. The teams split the regular-season series last year, with each team winning at home.

Saturday’s Games
Cal Poly at UC Davis
UC Santa Barbara at UC Riverside
Long Beach State at CSUN
Cal State Fullerton at Hawai’i, 8:00 p.m.

HAWAI’I (13-5, 4-1 Big West) vs. CAL STATE FULLERTON (11-8, 4-3 Big West)
When:
Saturday, Jan. 27, 8:00 p.m. HT
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, HI
Television: Live on Spectrum Sports – Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD).
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV (Must be a Spectrum cable subscriber to stream in Hawai’i).
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KPUA on the Big Island, KTOH on Kaua’i, and KNWJ in Pago Pago, American Samoa.
Audio Webcast: ESPN1420AM.com/Sideline Hawai’i App.
Live Stats: HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Information: Lower Level – $30 for all seats; Upper Level (prices vary by section) – $18 or $20 for adults, $16 or $18 for senior citizens (65-older), $5 or $7 for students (ages 4 to high school). UH Manoa students free with validated ID. Parking is $6.
Promotions: Hawaiian Airlines is the sponsor of Saturday’s Military Night contest and will distribute Hawaiian Airlines Commemorative Roster Cards at Gate A (while supplies last) and award 30,000 HawaiianMiles during the promotional contest at halftime. Saturday is also a “Greenout” and fans are encouraged to wear green UH apparel. Military members can take advantage of 50% off regularly priced tickets in select areas through GovX. Qualifying military members may log in or sign up on www.govx.com for exclusive ticket discounts. Toys for Tots will be collecting new and/or unwrapped toys at Gate A for less fortunate children in the community. Sodexo will be featuring an Orange Chicken Rice Bowl at the Time out Stand and Chili cheese Fries at the Gordon Biersch Stand.

3 Comments

  1. Everyone needs to come out tonight and support our team, we’re playing at .800 percentage, tied for first, pack our arena!! We don’t have too many home games left. This team feeds off the noise of our fans, Eran and his guys are working there literal ass-es off, see you there! Go Warriors!

  2. Let’s go Bows!! Team effort like you have been doing all year!

  3. Eva, not tied for first. In sole possession of first place! Barring a loss tonight

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