Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors prepared for Sunday game against Saint Francis (PA)

The last time the University of Hawai’i basketball team invited a relatively unknown opponent to SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center, it didn’t go very well.

Photo courtesy Chris Kadooka

The Rainbow Warriors look to be better prepared this time when they host Saint Francis (PA) this Sunday. The game is scheduled for an earlier-than-usual 5:00 p.m. start, and it will be televised in Hawai’i via Spectrum Sports.

Hawai’i is 5-3 following a 77-62 loss to UNLV at Henderson, Nev., on Wednesday. But it was a 53-51 loss to Texas A&M-Commerce on November 30 that might be more relatable.

Saint Francis is 3-7, and yes, it is a NCAA Division I program. The Red Flash compete in the Northeast Conference, which currently does not have any team with a winning record.

Two of Saint Francis’ three wins have come against lower-level competition (Franciscan and Saint Vincent), and its lone NCAA-I victory came against Hartford. The Red Flash has played a tough road schedule, which included blowout losses at Ohio State (96-59) and Butler (95-67).

Saint Francis is a private Catholic university located in Loretto, Pennsylvania, about a two-hour drive from Pittsburgh. It has an undergraduate enrollment of around 1,600 (by comparison, Hawai’i has around 14,000).

The Red Flash have one of the top players in the Northeast Conference in 6-foot-10 junior forward Josh Cohen. He is averaging 19.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, and has a .639 field goal percentage. He has scored double-figure points in 17 consecutive games, dating to last season. He scored 40 in a loss to Lehigh earlier this season.

The other Saint Francis players to watch include 6-4 junior forward Maxwell Land (13.1 points, 5.8 rebounds per game) and 6-3 freshman guard Landon Moore (10.8 points, 3.8 assists per game).

The Red Flash also have a veteran coach in Rob Krimmel, who is in his 11th season leading Saint Francis. The Red Flash won the Northeast regular-season championship in 2019 and 2020, but their last trip to the NCAA Tournament came in 1991.

Photo courtesy Chris Kadooka

The Warriors returned from Las Vegas on Thursday, and will look to regain their shooting touch. Hawai’i shot 34 percent from the field, including 20 percent from 3-point range in its two recent losses.

Junior guard Noel Coleman was held to a season-low six points against UNLV, but still leads the Warriors with 16.0 points and 2.8 assists per game. Junior forward Bernardo da Silva is averaging 11.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, and leads the team with a .594 field goal percentage. Senior forward Kamaka Hepa is contributing 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Sophomore forward Beon Riley had the best game of his Hawai’i career in the loss to UNLV with 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

This is the first meeting between the Warriors and Red Flash.

HAWAI’I (5-3) vs. SAINT FRANCIS (3-7)
Sunday, December 11, 5:00 p.m.
Where: SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center
TV: Spectrum Sports
Video streaming: ESPN+ (blacked out in Hawai’i)
Radio: ESPN Honolulu (92.7 FM, 1420 AM, espnhonolulu.com, Sideline Hawaii app)
Tickets: eTicketHawaii.com

Leave a Response

Login or fill in the fields below to comment. (New user? Register)