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Warriors look to end streak at UC Riverside

There’s a guarantee that a losing streak will come to an end when the University of Hawai’i basketball team plays at UC Riverside on Thursday. Unfortunately for one team, there’s also a guarantee that a losing streak will continue as well.

The Rainbow Warriors and Highlanders will both bring four-game losing streaks to the Big West Conference game, which is scheduled to start at  8:00 p.m. Pacific Time (6:00 p.m. Hawai’i time) at the SRC Arena in Riverside, Calif. It will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

Hawai’i is 14-10 overall and tied for fourth place in the Big West at 5-5. UCR is 14-13 overall and tied for seventh at 4-7.

This is the first meeting this season between the teams; they will play again on February 29 in Honolulu.

Both teams have been the victims of hard luck during their respective losing streaks. The Warriors have lost their last three games by an average margin of 4.0 points per game. The Highlanders have lost their last three games by an average margin of 2.7.

UCR likes to play at a deliberate pace, and the proof is in the point totals. The Highlanders rank last in the conference in scoring offense at 65.5 points per game, but they also rank first for points allowed at 61.7 per game.

By comparison, Hawai’i is averaging 70.0 points per game while allowing 68.2.

The game will also feature two teams that like to shoot the long ball. UCR leads the Big West with 8.2 made 3-pointers and 23.4 3-point attempts per game. Hawai’i is making 7.5 3-pointers per game, and ranks second behind UCR with 22.3 3-point attempts per game.

The Highlanders rely on a group approach, with eight different players averaging between 5.6 and 11.4 points per game. Ten different players average more than 15 minutes per game, and Dominick Pickett leads the way with just 26.2 per game.

Arinze Chidom, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, leads the Highlanders in scoring (11.4) and rebounding (7.0). Callum McRae, a 7-1 sophomore center, is averaging 9.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, and has a .551 field goal percentage.

A trio of guards are primarily responsible for the 3-point production. Pickett, a 6-3 junior, is averaging 8.0 points per game and leads the team with 42 3-pointers and a .472 percentage from 3-point range.

Dikymbe Martin, a 6-1 senior, is averaging 7.9 points per game and has 40 3-pointers. Dragan Elkaz, a 6-5 sophomore, is averaging just 5.6 points per game, but has 41 3-pointers. He made seven 3s in a UCR victory over Hawai’i last season at Riverside.

Hawai’i has a 3-point specialist of its own in senior Eddie Stansberry. He leads the Warriors with 16.0 points per game and 72 3-pointers.

Samuta Avea, a 6-6 junior, is averaging 10.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, and ranks second on the team with 32 3-pointers. He returned to the starting lineup last week after missing five games due to a back injury.

Junior point guard Drew Buggs leads the Big West in assists at 6.1 per game, and is also contributing 9.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Senior forward Zigmars Raimo is an all-around contributor with 9.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

Seven-foot sophomore Dawson Carper (6.4 points, 4.3 rebounds per game) and 6-9 freshman Bernardo da Silva (5.4 points, 4.2 rebounds per game) normally share time at center for the Warriors. The other top reserves are freshman guard Justin Webster (8.7 points per game) and sophomore forward Justin Hemsley (4.9 points, 2.5 rebounds per game).

HAWAI’I (14-10, 5-5 Big West) at UC RIVERSIDE (14-13, 4-7 Big West)
When:
 Thursday, Feb. 20, 8:00 p.m. PST/6:00 p.m. HT
Where: UCR Student Rec Center (3,168) – Riverside, Calif.
Television: ESPNU (Spectrum channels 221 / 1221 in Hawai’i)
Streaming Video: WatchESPN.com/ESPN App
Radio: 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: GoHighlanders.com
Coaches: Eran Ganot is in his fifth season at UH (83-53). David Patrick is in his second season at UC Riverside (24-36).
Series Information: Series tied, 6-6.

Big West Conference
Wednesday’s Results

at UC Irvine 70, Long Beach State 55

Thursday’s Games
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton
UC Davis at Cal Poly
Hawai’i at UC Riverside

Saturday’s Games
Hawai’i at Long Beach State
UC Davis at UC Santa Barbara
UC Riverside at Cal Poly
UC Irvine at CSUN

2 Comments

  1. I expect a competitive game. Both teams are out to prove something.

    It’s going to come down to who wants it more!

    Bows have the potential to win the rest of their games.. go bows!!

  2. Lets Go Bows!

    I agree with Big Drink, this is two road games that UH can win if they really prove that they are one of the best teams in this conference like we all think they are.

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