Boise State (8-2) at Hawaii (7-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 22, 1 a.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: BSU 6-1, Hawaii 5-1. Away Record: BSU 1-1, Hawaii 1-0. Neutral Record: BSU 1-0, Hawaii 1-1. Conference Record: BSU 0-0, Hawaii 0-0. Series Record: Boise State leads, 12-10.
GAME NOTES: Closing out the first round of the annual Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center, host Hawaii takes on the Boise State Broncos.
The Broncos have been out of action since Dec. 14 when they suffered an 82-74 setback versus Saint Mary's at home. The loss was the second in a row for a team that opened the campaign with eight consecutive victories.
As for the Rainbow Warriors, they are currently enjoying a five-game win streak after they dropped back-to-back decisions to New Mexico State and Missouri in the middle of November. Like the Broncos, Hawaii has not played since last weekend when it topped Chaminade, 94-84, in Kaua'i.
In terms of the all-time series Boise State, which also has the football team out on the island preparing for the Hawaii Bowl in a few days, leads by a count of 12-10, although the Broncos are just 4-7 in Honolulu over the years.
The winner of this meeting between former members of the Western Athletic Conference will take on the survivor of the South Carolina/Saint Mary's-CA clash in the next round on Monday.
Boise State knocked down an impressive 58.6 percent from the floor in the first half against the Gaels last weekend but still trailed by two at the break, so it only made sense that the Broncos would fall further behind with only 38.7 percent accuracy after the break. Derrick Marks finished with a team-best 22 points to go along with six rebounds, five assists and five steals, followed by Jeff Elorriaga and Ryan Watkins with 20 and 14 points, respectively.
Posting only six points on 2-of-7 shooting against SMC, Anthony Drmic is still the leading scorer overall on the season for the Broncos with his 18.6 ppg, although his 28.6 percent shooting beyond the arc remains an area of concern. Marks (17.7 ppg) and Elorriaga (12.9 ppg) also try to give the squad a presence behind the 3-point line, but really only the latter is making that happen with a staggering 60 percent (33-of-55) accuracy.
Against local foe, Hawaii allowed the Silverswords to stick around a little too long last weekend, even though Chaminade shot only 38.2 percent from the floor and 29.6 percent behind the 3-point line. Christian Standhardinger paced four starters in double figures for the Rainbow Warriors with his 31 points, adding a game-high eight rebounds as well. Isaac Fotu accounted for 18 points, Keith Shamburger 17 and five assists, followed by Garrett Nevels with 16 points and six boards.
Considering the Rainbow Warriors defeated their first Division II opponent of the season, Hawaii Hilo, by 51 points at home the third week of November, the effort versus Chaminade could be seen as a step backwards. Nevertheless, Standhardinger remains the leading scorer and rebounder for the program with 18.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest, followed by Nevels (14.2 ppg) and Fotu (13.0 ppg), the latter also lending a hand on the glass with 7.2 rpg to help provide the program with a rebounding advantage of more than eight per game at the moment.
Certainly the Rainbow Warriors have an edge playing at home over the next few days, but Boise State is far from a pushover and considering the Broncos are familiar with playing at the Sheriff Center, that could certainly give the visitors an advantage in this situation as well.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 79, Hawaii 72
12/22 10:56:53 ET