GAME NOTES: The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors find themselves back on the mainland this week, beginning their trip with a meeting against Big West Conference foe UC Davis at the Pavilion on Thursday night.
At home in Honolulu, the Rainbow Warriors are an impressive 10-2 this season, but everywhere else the squad has just two wins in five chances. Earlier this month, Hawaii made a quick run through a couple of California-based teams and lost to both Cal Poly and Cal State Northridge. However, last weekend the Rainbow Warriors made it back into the win column with a 100-69 blowout of UC Riverside at the Stan Sheriff Center.
As for the Aggies, they have to be happy about playing at home tonight because when it comes to true road outings, the squad has come up empty in all eight chances this season. Over the weekend, Davis was able to snap a three-game slide and pick up its first conference victory of the season with a 69-61 triumph over Cal State Fullerton.
The Rainbow Warriors won the first two meetings against the Aggies when this relationship began, but last season UC Davis evened the playing field with a sweep of their two encounters.
The teams are set to meet once more during the regular season, out in Honolulu in late February.
It was the highest-scoring output against another Division I foe this season as the Rainbow Warriors scored the first points of the night and never looked back versus the Highlanders in the lopsided decision over the weekend. Christian Standhardinger registered a double-double with game-highs of 27 points and 11 rebounds in only 23 minutes of action for the hosts, followed by Brandon Spearman who tallied 18 points and seven boards of his own. Isaac Fotu and Garrett Nevels pitched in with 16 and 12 points, respectively, before heading to the bench.
Making a living at the free-throw line where he has tallied 106 of his 309 points on the campaign, Standhardinger leads Hawaii in scoring with 18.2 ppg overall and is also the top man on the glass with 7.6 rpg. Nevels has slipped into second in scoring with 14.0 ppg, just ahead of Fotu (13.8 ppg) who is now pulling down 6.5 rpg. Generating 81.8 ppg, the Rainbow Warriors remain one of the top scoring squads in college basketball coming into the week.
After shooting just 36.0 percent from the field in the first half and falling behind by six at the break, the Aggies turned the corner in the second half and pulled away from Fullerton with 60.9 percent accuracy from the floor. Corey Hawkins sparked the victory with 22 points, followed by Ryan Sypkens with 15 off the bench, and fellow reserve Iggy Nujic with 10 points before fouling out.
The most experienced starter on the team for this season Hawkins, who has been in the lineup in all 18 games in which he has appeared, is responsible for 18.0 ppg, with a huge portion of those points coming at the free-throw line where he has knocked down 86-of-115. The only other active player scoring in double figures for the Aggies is Sypkens with his 11.9 ppg. The team is still reeling from the loss of Josh Ritchart (17.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg) to an ankle injury early last month.
With limited scoring power, the Aggies should be no match for Hawaii tonight. However, it is important to remember that the Rainbow Warriors have a real problem winning on the road and that could have a bearing on this outcome as well.
Game Date and Time