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Montana (1-3) at Hawaii (4-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 29, 12:30 a.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: OCSports. Home Record: Montana 0-1, Hawaii 4-1. Away Record: Montana 1-2, Hawaii 0-0. Neutral Record: Montana 0-0, Hawaii 0-1. Conference Record: Montana 0-0, Hawaii 0-0. Series Record: Montana leads, 3-2.
GAME NOTES: The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and Montana Grizzlies meet in a late night non-conference matchup at the Stan Sheriff Center on Friday.
The Warriors haven't done much traveling this season, with five of their six games coming at home thus far. Gib Arnold's team is 4-2 and enters this bout after back-to-back lopsided wins over UL Hilo (114-63) and most recently, New Orleans (91-58).
Wayne Tinkle's Grizzlies have stumbled out of the gate with losses in three of their first four games. The lone win came on Nov. 14 at South Dakota State, but Montana has dropped two straight since, falling at home to San Francisco (75-74) and then at Washington (83-79).
Montana has taken a 3-2 series advantage with two straight wins over Hawaii, including a 94-79 win at home in 2012.
The Grizzlies won 25 games a year ago and made another trip to the NCAA Tournament. The team has some work to do to get back to that form. The problems aren't at the offensive end where Montana is averaging 72.0 ppg on an efficient .525 shooting, with 10 3-pointers made per game. Issues arise on the defensive end though, as foes are netting 77.8 ppg and shooting .480 from the floor. Another sore spot has come on the boards, where the Grizzlies are getting outrebounded by 13.2 rebounds per game. Kareem Jamar is the team's top player, leading the way in both scoring (20.5 ppg) and rebounding (6.5 rpg). Keron DeShields and Jordan Gregory are solid complementary players, adding 13.0 and 11.8 ppg, respectively.
It again was the defensive lapses that cost the Grizz a win over Washington last time out. Montana shot 59.6 percent from the floor and was 11-of-23 from behind the arc, but allowed the Huskies to shoot .510 from the floor, while getting embarrassed on the glass, with just 14 rebounds compared to Washington's 34. Gregory poured in 27 points and DeShields finished with 20 in the loss. Jamar added 16 points and dished out seven assists.
The Warriors are probably salivating at the opportunity to take on a struggling defensive squad like Montana. Hawaii has thrived offensively, posting a hefty 89.3 ppg on .476 shooting. Another area of success is on the boards, where Hawaii owns a +10.6 rebounding margin. Scoring depth is apparent with five players averaging double figures, led by Christian Standhardinger's 17.2 ppg. Garrett Nevels is next in line at 13.5 ppg, followed by Isaac Fotu (13.3 ppg), Brandon Spearman (11.0 ppg) and Keith Shamburger (10.3 ppg).
It was another balanced effort that propelled the Rainbow Warriors to an easy win over New Orleans. Four players notched double digits, led by Spearman's 16 points. Standhardinger recorded a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds, while Shamburger and Quincy Smith tallied 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Hawaii's strengths play right into Montana's weaknesses. Add in the obvious homecourt advantage and the Warriors' winning ways should continue.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hawaii 81, Montana 60
11/29 10:42:48 ET
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