Nebraska Omaha (10-4) at Hawaii (10-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 3, 11:59 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: OCSports. Home Record: UNO 6-0, Hawaii 8-2. Away Record: UNO 4-4, Hawaii 1-0. Neutral Record: UNO 0-0, Hawaii 1-1. Conference Record: UNO 0-0, Hawaii 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Off to their best start under head coach Gib Arnold, the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors shoot for win number 11 tonight as they host the Mavericks of Nebraska Omaha in non-conference action at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Arnold, who is in his fourth season as the head man at Hawaii, has the team off to a fast start and currently the Rainbow Warriors are riding a wave that has seen them win eight of the last nine outings. The lone setback during the stretch was a 62-61 loss to Boise State in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic. After beating both Saint Mary's and Oregon State in the next two rounds of the event, Hawaii then sacked Norfolk State this past Monday in a 77-66 final.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks are also cruising along with 10 wins in 14 opportunities. A member of the Summit League, Omaha has won two straight and seven of its last eight outings, thanks to a 104-88 victory over Central Arkansas last Saturday.
This is the first-ever meeting between the schools on the hardwood.
John Karhoff scored a career-high 28 points, shooting a perfect 8-of-8 at the free-throw line and 10-of-13 from the floor for the Mavericks the last time out. Also scoring in double figures for the visitors were Justin Simmons with 18 points off the bench, CJ Carter 13, Marcus Tyus 11 points and Alex Phillips 10. as the team shot 52.9 percent from the floor and had assists on 28 of their 36 baskets.
Despite the offensive explosion for Karhoff, his 13.6 ppg on the season still ranks him second behind Carter who has delivered 15.1 ppg by shooting close to 40 percent behind the 3-point line. Devin Patterson checks in with 12.5 ppg and is first in both assists (57) and steals (26) for a squad that is generating a hefty 84.9 ppg thanks to an impressive 78.2 percent shooting at the free-throw line which is one of the best marks in the country.
Christian Standhardinger may have turned the ball over eight times against Norfolk State, but he tried to erase that ugly stat with his 29 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots as the Rainbow Warriors continued their strong play at home. Garrett Nevels chipped in with 21 points and also pulled down eight rebounds, while Brandon Spearman pitched in with 11 points, but shot only 1-of-5 behind the 3-point line.
Standhardinger, who still takes his chances beyond the arc where he is just 28.6 percent accurate this season, leads the Rainbow Warriors in both scoring and rebounding with averages of 18.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest, respectively. Nevels is now up to 13.8 ppg, forging ahead of Isaac Fotu (12.5 ppg) who, like Standhardinger, can be a menace in the paint with his 6.1 rpg. As a team, Hawaii is claiming a rebounding advantage of more than five per game.
Producing 82.4 ppg and playing tough at home as usual, the Rainbow Warriors should be able to keep up with the Mavericks even if the scoring gets out of hand tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hawaii 92, Nebraska Omaha 79
01/03 10:31:01 ET