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Warriors are back home to host New Orleans on Sunday

Back at home, but not yet back at full strength, the University of Hawai’i basketball team will try to regain winning momentum on Sunday, when it hosts New Orleans.

The game is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. It will follow a game between the UH women’s basketball team and Texas Southern at 2:30 p.m. Fans with tickets to the UH men’s game can arrive early to watch the women’s game.

The Rainbow Warriors will again play without head coach Eran Ganot, who remains on an undisclosed medical leave of absence. He has missed all five games so far this season, and there is no timetable for his return.

Hawai’i is 3-2 following a 66-53 road loss at Illinois on Monday. New Orleans, which is in the Southland Conference, is 1-3.

Under the guidance of acting head coach Chris Gerlufsen, the Warriors have been competitive in every game, including the loss at Illinois. Hawai’i had a brief lead early in the second half before the Fighting Illini pulled away in the final 10 minutes.

Sunday will provide another test, as the Privateers might be better than their record indicates. New Orleans’ three losses have come on the road against three formidable opponents – Butler (79-53), SMU (77-64) and Mississippi State (82-59). UNO’s lone win is a 114-58 romp over NCAA Division II program Spring Hill.

The Privateers are led by a trio of guards – 6-foot-4 senior Bryson Robinson is averaging 14.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, 6-3 junior Troy Green is averaging 13.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, and 6-4 junior Damion Rosser is averaging 11.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

UNO’s top post player is Gerrale Gates, a 6-6, 250-pound sophomore who is averaging 9.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

The Privateers finished 19-14 last season, and were picked to finish first in the Southland Conference Preseason Poll prior to this season.

The Warriors have been relying on four players to provide the bulk of the scoring. Eddie Stansberry, a 6-3 senior guard, is averaging 18.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, and is 16 for 37 (43.2 percent) from 3-point range. Samuta Avea, a 6-6 junior forward, is contributing 11.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Drew Buggs, a 6-3 junior point guard, is averaging 10.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. Zigmars Raimo, a 6-9 senior forward, is at 10.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

The Warriors are shooting 43.8 percent from the field as a team, but are limiting opponents to 40.8 percent shooting.

A key statistic to watch could be rebounds. Hawai’i is averaging just 31.6 rebounds per game, while its opponents are grabbing 36.0. UNO is averaging 33.0 rebounds per game, but allowing 39.5.

HAWAI’I (3-1, 0-0 Big West) vs. NEW ORLEANS (1-3, 0-0 Southland)
When: Sunday, Nov. 24, 5:00 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: Live on ESPN Honolulu (1420 AM/92.7 FM), KRKH (Maui), KPUA (Hawai’i Island), and KTOH (Kaua’i).
Audio Webcast: ESPNHonolulu.com/Sideline Hawai’i App.
Live Stats: HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Information: Lower level – $32; Upper level (prices vary by section) – $22 or $18 for adults, $18 or $15 for senior citizens, $8 or $5 for students. Free for UH Manoa students with ID. UH Manoa students free with validated ID. Men’s ticket also good for the women’s Bank of Hawai’i Classic Tournament beginning at noon. Parking is $7.

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