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Warriors host Mississippi Valley State on Sunday

Before the University of Hawai’i basketball team can focus on the Diamond Head Classic – and Christmas – there is another matter to take care of in Mississippi Valley State.

The Rainbow Warriors will return to game action on Sunday, December 16, when they host the Delta Devils at the Stan Sheriff Center. It is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m., and will be televised in Hawai’i on Spectrum Sports (channel 12/1012).

Hawai’i (5-4) is coming off a relatively unappealing 82-75 win over NCAA Division II Hawai’i-Hilo on December 8. If anything, that last game served as incentive for this upcoming contest against a MVSU team that is 2-10 and coming off an 82-54 loss at Santa Clara on Friday.

“We know that our game against UH-Hilo was a little bit of a slow start, it wasn’t what we were looking for,” UH junior guard Eddie Stansberry said. “We’re looking to bounce back coming this Sunday.”

The full week of preparation since the UH-Hilo game has allowed the Warriors to work on their team defense and experiment with different lineup combinations. Over its last three games, Hawai’i is allowing 78.0 points per game, while allowing opponents to shoot 51.2 percent from the field overall and 46.0 percent from 3-point range.

“We’ve just gone back to the basics,” sophomore guard Drew Buggs said. “We’ve done a lot of breakdown drills – two people at a time, we started from the roots, just really trying to tune up some things. And then we also practiced some five on five situations.

“You’re going to see us try and compete more on the defensive end and just try to improve on what we need to improve on, which is defensive rebounding and also keeping guys outside of the paint and not allowing them easy drives.”

The Warriors have displayed balance on offense, with eight players averaging between 5 and 12 points per game. Stansberry and senior forward Jack Purchase are tied for the team lead in scoring at 11.9 points per game each. Stansberry leads the team with 28 3-pointers, and Purchase is second with 24.

Senior guard Brocke Stepteau is averaging 11.0 points and 3.0 assists per game. Junior forward Zigmars Raimo is contributing 9.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore point guard Drew Buggs is averaging 8.2 points, 5.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.

The good news for Hawai’i is that MVSU has struggled on the road this season. The Delta Devils are 0-9 in road games, with an average loss margin of 31.0 points per game. Among the losses are 106-37 at Nebraska, 84-52 at Texas Tech, 94-59 at Utah State, 98-63 at Utah, and 107-71 at Cal Baptist.

Dante Scott, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, leads MVSU in scoring with 13.7 points per game. Scott, who is also averaging 5.3 rebounds per game, was picked on the All-Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) preseason first team.

Jordan Evans, a 6-2 senior guard, is contributing 13.4 points per game and leads the Delta Devils with 27 3-pointers. Emmanuel Ejeh, a 6-8 senior center, is averaging 5.6 points and a team-high 7.0 rebounds per game.

The Delta Devils were picked to finish ninth (out of 10) in the SWAC Preseason Coaches Poll. Hawai’i has an all-time record of 21-0 against teams from the SWAC, including 3-0 against MVSU.

HAWAI’I (5-4) vs. MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE (2-9)
When:
Sunday, December 16, 5:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu
TV: Live on Spectrum Sports (channels 12 / 1012)
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV (Must be a Spectrum cable subscriber to stream in Hawai’i)
Radio: Live on 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 – $18 or $20 for adults, $16 or $18 for senior citizens (ages 65 and older), $5 or $7 for students (ages 4 through high school). Upper level prices vary by section. UH Manoa students free with validated ID. Parking is $6.

1 Comment

  1. Let’s go Bows!

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