Hawaii (10-8) at Cal Poly (7-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 24, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mott Gymnasium (3,032) -- San Luis Obispo, California. Television: None. Home Record: Hawaii 9-5, Cal Poly 5-1. Away Record: Hawaii 0-3, Cal Poly 2-8. Neutral Record: Hawaii 1-0, Cal Poly 0-0. Conference Record: Hawaii 4-3, Cal Poly 3-3. Series Record: Cal Poly leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors head to the mainland on Thursday night to do battle with the Cal Poly Mustangs in Big West Conference action at Mott Gymnasium.
Hawaii, which has come up empty in three true road games thus far this season, and has only a victory over Chaminade to show for its efforts outside of the Stan Sheriff Center, has dropped three of its last four games overall. Last Saturday, the team hosted UC Davis and came out on the losing end of a 93-82 offensive explosion. With the setback, the Rainbow Warriors are now 4-3 in conference play, which has them tied with UC Irvine for third place in the standings coming into the week.
As for the Mustangs, one of four programs knotted at 3-3 in the Big West, they too were in action last weekend and landed in the loss column as they surrendered to UC Santa Barbara on the road, 83-81, in double-overtime. The defeat was the third straight for the group.
Hawaii won the first-ever meeting between these two programs, 86-82, back in 1996, but in 2010 Cal Poly responded with a pair of victories in order to assume the lead in the series at 2-1.
Against UC Davis, the Warriors allowed the visitors to shoot not only 52.7 percent from the field, but also a stellar 16-of-26 (.615) behind the 3-point line as well, dooming the hosts. Christian Standhardinger managed to lead four players in double figures with his 20 points, adding eight rebounds, while Vander Joaquim responded with a double-double consisting of 16 points and a team-best 11 rebounds. Isaac Fotu and Brandon Spearman chipped in 10 points apiece as Hawaii shot just 6-of-21 beyond the arc. Joaquim, who has scored in double figures in five straight games and eight of the last nine, is currently second on the unit in conference bouts with his 12.7 ppg, but first with 9.6 rpg. Standhardinger (13.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg) has also been a top performer in conference games for the Rainbow Warriors, although he could have a better scoring average if it were not for his 53.3 percent effort at the free-throw line.
Connecting on 7-of-11 tries out on the perimeter, the Mustangs' Reese Morgan led all scorers in the meeting with UCSB with his 26 points, but even that was not enough to keep the the team from landing in the loss column last weekend. Chris Eversley stepped up with a double-double consisting of 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, yet Cal Poly was still beaten on the glass in the contest, 44-41. Playing more than 33 minutes per game this season, Eversley leads the unit in scoring with 15.4 ppg and is also tops with 7.4 rpg, not to mention placing second on the squad with 33 assists over 16 starts. However, as well as he has performed, Eversley continues to have his issues out on the perimeter where he is shooting just 23.5 percent, which begs one to wonder why he even bothers trying to become a 3-point threat when he has proven to be such a strong performer in the paint.
As long as the front line for the Rainbow Warriors is serious about controlling the glass, the visitors should have a shot at that elusive road win on Thursday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hawaii 76, Cal Poly 73
01/24 10:31:15 ET