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Warriors need to rebound at CSUN

A recent and unkind trend continued in Long Beach, Calif., for the University of Hawai’i basketball team on Thursday. Now, the Rainbow Warriors hope to continue a kinder recent trend in Northridge, Calif.

After a loss at Long Beach State, Hawai’i will have to rebound on the road at CSUN on Saturday. The Big West Conference game is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. Hawai’i time (7:00 Pacific) at the Matadome. Streaming video will be available at www.espn3.com.

Hawai’i is 9-5 overall and 0-1 in the Big West after losing in Long Beach’s Walter Pyramid for the sixth consecutive year. CSUN is 3-11 overall, and playing its conference opener. The Matadors are ranked 351 – dead last among all teams in NCAA Division I – in the latest RPI rankings.

The Warriors have won the last six meetings with CSUN, a streak that dates to 2015 and includes three wins in Northridge.

Four players average double-figure points for the Warriors, led by junior guard Sheriff Drammeh at 12.0.

Senior forward Mike Thomas is averaging 11.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, and has shot 18 for 24 from the field over the last three games. He and younger brother/teammate Brandon Thomas are from Woodland Hills, Calif., which is about 11 miles away from Northridge.

Senior forward/center Gibson Johnson is averaging 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

Junior guard Brocke Stepteau is contributing 10.2 points per game, and is shooting 60 percent from the field overall and 50 percent from 3-point range. Freshman guard Drew Buggs is averaging 7.0 points per game and leads the team with 3.3 assists per game and 19 total steals.

Other key contributors include junior forward Jack Purchase (7.6 points, 5.4 rebounds per game) and sophomore guard Leland Green (6.6 points per game).

The Warriors will look to reverse two key statistics from the loss at Long Beach State – a season-low 21 rebounds, and a .632 field goal percentage allowed.

CSUN has only one win against NCAA-I competition this season, a 79-69 victory over Morgan State.

The Matadors have an all-conference candidate in 6-foot-8 senior forward Tavrion Dawson, who is averaging 16.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Micheal Warren, a 6-5 senior guard/forward, is averaging 13.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Terrell Gomez, a 5-8 freshman point guard, is averaging 10.7 points and 3.1 assists per game, and leads the team with 29 3-pointers.

Reggie Theus is in his fifth season as head coach of the Matadors.

HAWAI’I (9-5, 0-1 Big West) at CSUN (3-11, 0-0 Big West)
When:
Saturday, Jan. 6, 7:00 p.m. PT/5:00 p.m. HT
Where: The Matadome (1,600) – Northridge, Calif.
Streaming Video: ESPN3.com/Watch ESPN app.
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: GoMatadors.com

(Photos courtesy Warren Haraki)

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