Cal State Fullerton (11-18) at Hawaii (19-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 8, 11:59 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: OCSports. Home Record: CSF 8-6, Hawaii 13-5. Away Record: CSF 3-11, Hawaii 5-5. Neutral Record: CSF 0-1, Hawaii 1-0. Conference Record: CSF 6-9, Hawaii 8-7. Series Record: Hawaii leads, 5-2.
GAME NOTES: Hoping to improve their seeding in the upcoming Big West Conference Tournament, the Cal State Fullerton Titans go island hopping as they visit the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday.
Fullerton fell to UC Irvine on Thursday night, 62-44, but still has three wins in its last five games overall. The Titans are tied for sixth place in the MWC standings, but their seeding in the conference tourney will depend on the outcome of several other contests.
Hawaii lost two straight and three of four overall. The team dropped a decision to UCSB on Thursday night, 86-77. The loss, coupled with Fullerton's loss on Thursday as well, guaranteed the Rainbow Warriors the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament.
Hawaii leads the all-time series with Fullerton, 5-2, with the Rainbow Warriors winning earlier this season on the road, 83-80, and also taking both contests a year ago.
Alex Harris paced the Titans with 17 points and Michael Williams chipped in 10 in the loss to UC Irvine. The Anteaters ended a dominant first half leading 32-19, sinking 52 percent of their shots from the floor in the frame, while limiting the Titans to 27.6 percent. The Titans never challenged in the second half and for the game set season lows in points scored (44), field goal percentage (.300) and assists (three).
The Titans do not excel at the offensive end, netting only 67.6 ppg and shooting 42.8 percent from the field, ranking eighth in the Big West in both categories. They are allowing opponents to score 71.3 ppg. Williams (17.6 ppg) and Harris (15.6 ppg) form one of the most explosive scoring backcourts in the country. Williams, despite his modest output against Irvine, is fifth in the conference in scoring and has picked up his play down the stretch with 20- point efforts in seven of the last nine games overall. The rest of the roster doesn't give much support in terms of scoring, with Marquis Horne (7.8 ppg) the next best option.
Christian Standhardinger tallied 18 points and Keith Shamburger netted 16 for Hawaii in the loss to UCSB, while Davis Rozitis contributed 11 points and Aaron Valdes had 10. The Rainbow Warriors only connected on 36.7 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes and trailed 39-27 lead at the break. Hawaii cut into the deficit a bit in the second half when it hit 53.8 percent from the floor. However, UCSB was able to stem the tide by shooting 50 percent and outscoring the hosts, 22-4, at the free-throw line. The game featured an odd moment in the first half. After Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold was called for a technical foul with 6:02 left in the period, a fan made his way onto the court and began yelling at Arnold. Standhardinger and Garrett Nevels both pushed the fan away and the fan was escorted out of the arena.
On the season, Standhardinger is averaging a team-best 17.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Isaac Fotu, a 59.8 percent shooter from the floor, is putting up 15.1 ppg and 6.2 rpg, while Nevels (13.3 ppg) and Brandon Spearman (11 ppg) round out the team's double-digit scorers. As a unit, the Rainbow Warriors are scoring a conference-best 79.8 ppg, while giving up 72.6 ppg.
The Titans still have a chance to improve their seeding and should have some extra incentive to take down the Rainbow Warriors, but Hawaii is too strong an offensive unit and Fullerton doesn't have the defensive prowess to counter.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hawaii 76, CS Fullerton 69
03/08 11:06:38 ET