GAME NOTES: The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors try to get back on track at the Stan Sheriff Center tonight, as they host the Cal State Northridge Matadors in Big West Conference action.
On Thursday night, the Rainbow Warriors hosted Long Beach State and were taken down by the 49ers in a 92-83 final in Honolulu. The setback snapped a three- game win streak for a Hawaii squad that is now 10-3 at home and just 3-3 in league action.
As for the Matadors, they took were tangled in a conference bout two nights ago, but in their case they needed to go to overtime before pulling out the 93-89 victory against UC Riverside at home. The second overtime game of the season for CSUN, the outcome snapped a four-game slide by the program and moved them to 3-4 in the standings.
The meeting between these teams last year in Honolulu went to the hosts by a score of 74-71, pushing the lead for Hawaii in the all-time series to 7-2.
Stephen Maxwell registered a double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds as the Matadors slipped by UC Riverside in overtime by four points in conference action at the Matadome on Thursday. Josh Greene added 22 points and five assists for the Matadors. Stephan Hicks produced 13 points and eight rebounds, while Aaron parks and Landon Drew contributed 11 points apiece, the latter handing out six assists as well. With just over a minute left in the extra session, a 3-pointer by Greene gave the hosts a 91-89 advantage and Stephen Maxwell then provided the squad some breathing room with a dunk in the final seconds to secure the win.
Maxwell, who is shooting a fantastic 58.7 percent from the field through 22 games, leads the program in both scoring (17.4 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rpg) at the moment. But as well as he has performed in his two strongest areas, it is still disappointing to see that Maxwell has turned the ball over a team- high 47 times and has issued just nine assists. Hicks and Greene help to balance the scales on offense with 16.2 and 15.1 ppg, respectively, as the group generates 74.5 ppg.
The Rainbow Warriors were paced by Garrett Nevels and Christian Standhardinger with 18 points apiece, the latter also clearing nine rebounds as the squad bowed to Long Beach State at home in the most recent outing. Isaac Fotu chipped in 16 points, Brandon Spearman 14 and Quincy Smith 11 points off the bench. Hawaii led by six early in the first half, but while the team was able to knock down an impressive 6-of-13 behind the 3-point line in the frame, it was LBSU that grabbed a slim 44-43 edge at the break on the strength of 60.0 percent shooting from the floor. The Hawaii defense allowed the visitors to shoot a sizzling 60.0 percent from the field for the entire game.
Leading four players in double figures for the season, Standhardinger is not only posting 18.2 ppg overall, a number that moves to 19.0 ppg in conference play, he is also first on the glass with 7.8 rpg through 20 contests. Fotu, who has the potential to deliver a double-double on almost any nights, steps up with 18.5 ppg and 6.2 rpg in league play, shooting a sensational 71.4 percent from the floor in those bouts and a perfect 21-of-21 at the free-throw line.
Making a trip out to the islands after playing on Thursday night is never an easy task for a team, something the Matadors will find out first-hand as they most likely take the loss versus Hawaii.
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