Cal Poly (8-13) at Hawaii (15-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 11:59 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: OCSports. Home Record: Cal Poly 6-5, Hawaii 11-4. Away Record: Cal Poly 2-8, Hawaii 3-3. Neutral Record: Cal Poly 1-1, Hawaii 1-0. Conference Record: Cal Poly 4-4, Hawaii 4-4. Series Record: Cal Poly leads, 5-1.
GAME NOTES: Hawaii tries to close out a four-game homestand on a positive note, as the Rainbow Warriors host the Cal Poly Mustangs for a Big West Conference showdown on Saturday night.
With a trip to the Golden State looming next week, the Rainbow Warriors are hoping to bounce back from a 75-64 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night. The defeat was the second in three games for a Hawaii program that is now 4-4 in conference play, tied with Cal Poly for fourth place in the standings.
As for the Mustangs, they've been watching the rest of the action in the Big West since they last took the court a week ago versus UC Irvine and were dealt a 64-50 loss. The defeat was the third in a row and the fourth in five games for Cal Poly, which is currently five games under .500 on the season.
Cal Poly leads the all-time series by a count of 5-1, winning five in a row thanks to a 77-65 triumph at home last month. In that contest, both Chris Eversley and Dave Nwaba tallied 17 points for the hosts.
The Mustangs went from a disappointing 36.7 percent shooting from the field in the first half of their meeting against UC Irvine last weekend to a disastrous 23.1 percent after the break, keeping them from truly competing down the stretch. Eversley tried to give Cal Poly a chance with his double-double consisting of 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, followed by Kyle Odister with 12 points on a mere 4-of-15 shooting from the field.
Over the course of 21 games Eversley, who has started all but one, is ahead in the scoring column for the Mustangs with his 13.7 ppg and is also tops on the glass with 7.1 rpg. Nwaba pitches in with 11.9 ppg as a 56.7 percent shooter from the floor, adding another 4.5 rpg as well. The Mustangs are by no means an offensive force, generating 63.9 ppg, but at least they've managed to limit the opposition to 63.6 ppg at the same time.
Hawaii led by as many as nine points in the first half and took a 37-34 edge into the break versus UC Santa Barbara two nights ago, but the second half was a much different story. The hosts made a total of only nine field goals and allowed the Gauchos to convert 53.9 percent from the floor in the frame. Isaac Fotu tallied 17 points and eight rebounds, Christian Standhardinger 15 points and nine boards, followed by Brandon Spearman with 11 points in the losing cause.
Still one of the more explosive offensive teams in the country with 81.6 ppg, the Rainbow Warriors seem to be slowing down a bit lately. Standhardinger continues to pace the group in both scoring and rebounding with averages of 17.5 ppg and 7.7 rpg, while Fotu comes in second in both of those categories with 15.3 ppg and 6.4 rpg. Garrett Nevels (14.2 ppg) tries to provide balance on offense with his team-best 43.7 percent accuracy out on the perimeter.
Very few teams have been able to take down Hawaii in Honolulu this season, but with a full week to rest and prepare there's no reason to think Cal Poly can't get the job done. Then again, the Rainbow Warriors have to save face after the loss on Thursday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hawaii 81, Cal Poly 69
02/08 10:19:11 ET