Ole Miss (9-2) at Hawaii (6-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 25, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Ole Miss 7-0, Hawaii 5-3. Away Record: Ole Miss 1-1, Hawaii 0-1. Neutral Record: Ole Miss 1-1, Hawaii 1-0. Conference Record: Ole Miss 0-0, Hawaii 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Hosts of the annual Diamond Head Classic, the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors try to end their portion of the event on a positive note, as they clash with the Ole Miss Rebels at the Stan Sheriff Center on Christmas Day.
Hawaii, which has spent the bulk of the early part of the season at home in this very facility, has a record of 5-3 in Honolulu at this point, thanks in part to an 84-61 blowout of East Tennessee State in semifinal-round action on Sunday. The victory was the second in the last three games for the Warriors.
As for the Rebels, their campaign began with a six-game win streak before the squad was topped by Middle Tennessee on the road a couple weeks back, 65-62. The team arrived in Honolulu riding a modest two-game win streak with victories over East Tennessee State and Loyola Marymount, but immediately the Rebels were put to the test as they suffered an 87-85 overtime loss against Indiana State on Saturday.
A day later Ole Miss bounced back with an 85-78 triumph versus San Francisco for the squad's ninth win in 11 opportunities.
This game represents the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.
Ole Miss trailed the Dons by five points at the break on Sunday, 38-33, but then turned it on in the second half by shooting not only 52.0 percent from the floor, but also 6-of-10 beyond the arc and 20-of-24 at the free-throw line. Except for Reginald Buckner who finished with seven points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting effort, every starter for the Rebels hit for double figures beginning with Murphy Holloway who exploded for 23 points and 13 rebounds. Nick Williams added 18 points, converting 4-of-6 out on the perimeter, followed by Marshall Henderson and Jarvis Summers with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Henderson remains the leading scorer for the program with 18.1 ppg, but his 38.2 percent shooting from the floor has been less than impressive thus far. Holloway continues to open eyes however, averaging a double-double with 15.6 points and a team-best 10.9 rebounds per contest, shooting 58.4 percent from the field. Then again, Holloway is also hurting his own productivity with a mere 49.0 percent accuracy at the foul line right now.
Hawaii opened Sunday's meeting with the Buccaneers on a 10-3 run and never looked back, the hosts shooting 50.7 percent from the floor in order to overcome a mere 6-of-13 showing at the free throw line and 20 turnovers. Except for Brandon Jawato who shot just 1-of-9 from the field and finished with a mere four points, every starter landed in double figures for the Warriors, beginning with Vander Joaquim with 23 points, to go along with nine rebounds. Christian Standhardinger turned in a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, the same going for Isaac Fotu who tallied 14 points and a game-high 14 boards. Manroop Clair tacked on 15 points and five assists, while Brandon Spearman tallied 10 points in just 15 minutes of action off the bench. As the only player to have started every game thus far for the Warriors, it only makes sense that Standhardinger leads the group in both scoring (16.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.1 rpg). Joaquim accounts for another 14.3 ppg and 7.4 rpg and Spearman logs 11.5 ppg. Much further down the scoring list is Jace Tavita (3.1 ppg), but he is most valuable as a passer (54 assists).
As long as the Rainbow Warriors can again put together a solid, unified front on the glass, the hosts will be competitive on Christmas Day, just not celebratory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ole Miss 78, Hawaii 69
12/25 10:42:23 ET