Fresno State (11-15) at Hawaii (13-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 11th, 11:59 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: None. Home Record: FSU 8-2, Hawaii 8-5. Away Record: FSU 2-11, Hawaii 4-4. Neutral Record: FSU 1-2, Hawaii 1-1. Conference Record: FSU 3-7, Hawaii 5-4. Series Record: Fresno State leads, 26-18.
GAME NOTES: Fresh off a double-overtime loss two nights ago, the Fresno State Bulldogs try to work their way back into the win column tonight as they clash with the Hawaii Warriors in Western Athletic Conference play at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
After producing back-to-back conference wins over the likes of Idaho and Utah State to begin the month of February, the Bulldogs visited San Jose State on Thursday night and bowed in a 79-71 decision versus a lackluster Spartans group. The decision dropped Fresno State to just 3-7 in conference play and they has the group second-to-last in the WAC standings ahead of only SJSU which is now 1-8 following the hard-fought victory barely 48 hours ago.
As for the Warriors, they too are trying to bounce back from a disappointing showing on Thursday as they were taken down by league-leading Nevada by a score of 88-79 out on the island. Like FSU, the defeat halted a two-game win streak by Hawaii, the team further behind in the WAC with a record of 5-4.
The first meeting of the season went to the Warriors in overtime back on January 12 by a score of 74-68, as Vander Joaquim recorded a huge double- double for the visitors with 23 points and 16 rebounds in their annual stop at the Save Mart Center. Despite the setback, the Bulldogs still own a 26-18 advantage in the all-time series.
Kevin Olekaibe again led the Bulldogs in scoring a few nights back with his 21 points in 49 minutes of action, but along the way he shot just 3-of-10 behind the three-point line and 6-of-20 from the floor overall in the loss to SJSU at The Event Center. Jonathan Wills added 16 points, Garrett JOhnson 14 and eight boards off the bench, followed by Jerry Brown with a double-double consisting of 10 points and 13 boards before fouling out. The leading scorer in four of the last five outings, Olekaibe is responsible for 18.2 ppg, one of the top marks in the conference, but the same cannot be said for his accuracy as he shoots a mere 37.6 percent from the floor and 34.6 percent behind the three- point line. Wills checks in with another 10.5 ppg as the team generates 65.3 ppg. Luckily for the Bulldogs, through 26 games they are giving up just 65.2 ppg so at least they are on the positive side of the scoring margin.
Four starters scored in double figures for the Warriors on Thursday night as they hosted Nevada, but still that wasn't enough to hold off the Wolf Pack at the Sheriff Center. Joston Thomas scored 18 points, Hauns Brereton 17 before fouling out, Jeremiah Ostrowski 15 points to go along with eight assists and Vander Joaquim 14 points and nine boards, but the team was soundly beaten on the glass to the tune of 46-27. Missing the game was Trevor Wiseman who was serving a one-game suspension due to conduct, but on Friday he was reinstated so perhaps now the Warriors can do better than just six points off the bench as was the case on Thursday. Over the course of nine conference games, Thomas is the leading scorer for the Warriors with his 18.9 ppg, but not that far off the pace is Joaquim who is not only putting up 17.8 ppg, he is also bringing down 10.8 rpg and has made 27 blocks in those WAC outings. Toss Zane Johnson (15.8 ppg) into the mix during the WAC schedule and it is easy to see how this team is putting up close to 78 ppg.
A mere 2-11 in true road games this season, the Bulldogs have taken themselves out of contention in many a game and trying to stay fresh after such a long trip to Honolulu will not be easy.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hawaii 76, Fresno State 66
02/11 10:37:33 ET