Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors look to continue winning at home against struggling CSUN on Monday

There are variations of “must win” games in collegiate basketball. For the University of Hawai’i basketball team, Monday’s Big West Conference game against CSUN qualifies as a must win for several reasons.

For one, the Rainbow Warriors are 13-4 overall and tied for third place in the BWC at 4-1. The Matadors are 3-14 overall and in 11th place (last) in the BWC at 0-6. In simple terms, the Warriors are contending for the BWC championship, and the Matadors are one of the lowest-rated teams in all of NCAA Division I basketball.

What’s more, Monday’s game will be played at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center, where Hawai’i has won seven consecutive home games. Meanwhile, CSUN is 0-7 on the road this season.

Monday’s game will have an earlier-than-usual start of 5:00 p.m. on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. It will be televised in Hawai’i via Spectrum Sports.

The Warriors are coming off a 79-70 home win over Long Beach State on Thursday. Junior guard Noel Coleman scored a season-high 25 points, and leads the Warriors in scoring for the season with 14.5 points per game.

Hawai’i’s post tandem of 6-foot-10 Kamaka Hepa and 6-9 Bernardo da Silva are posting similar statistics. Hepa is averaging 10.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game; da Silva is averaging 10.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

Photo courtesy Chris Kadooka

Senior forward Samuta Avea is contributing 9.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, and junior point guard JoVon McClanahan is at 9.7 points and 2.9 assists per game.

The Warriors’ key to success remains on the defensive end. Hawai’i is allowing just 60.8 points per game, which ranks first in the BWC and 21st in NCAA-I. The Warriors have also allowed the fewest 3-pointers (66) in NCAA-I, and rank fourth nationally for 3-point percentage defense (.265).

CSUN is coming off a 71-57 home loss to first-place UC Irvine on Thursday. The Matadors have scored fewer than 60 points in five of their six BWC losses this season.

Atin Wright, a 6-1 sophomore, leads the Matadors in scoring (14.2), 3-pointers (31), and free throw percentage (.905).

Dionte Bostick, a 6-2 sophomore transfer from Murray State, is averaging 13.1 points and 2.7 assists per game. De’Sean Allen-Eikens, a 6-6 junior guard/forward, is contributing 10.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

CSUN does have some size in the post in 6-10 junior Dearon Tucker (5.0 points, 3.4 rebounds per game) and 6-6, 260-pound sophomore Fidelis Okereke (4.4 points, 4.5 rebounds per game).

The Matadors are led by head coach Trent Johnson, who is in his second season at CSUN and 19th as a NCAA-I head coach.

In the latest NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings, Hawai’i is at No. 108 and CSUN is at No. 345 (out of 363 NCAA-I teams).

HAWAI’I (13-4, 4-1 Big West) vs. CSUN (3-14, 0-6 Big West)
When: Monday, January 16, 5:00 p.m. Hawai’i Time
Where: SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, HI
Tickets: eTicketHawaii.com
TV: Spectrum Sports (channels 12/1012 in Hawai’i)
Video streaming: ESPN+ (blacked out in Hawai’i)
Radio/audio streaming: ESPN Honolulu (92.7 FM, 1420 AM, espnhonolulu.com, Sideline Hawaii app)

Monday’s Games
UC Davis at UC San Diego
Cal Poly at UC Riverside
UC Santa Barbara at UC Irvine
CSU Bakersfield at Cal State Fullerton
CSUN at Hawai’i

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