Rainbow Warriors are in first place in the Big West, but continue playing like underdogs

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The battle for first place in the Big West conference continues this Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center as the Rainbow Warrior basketball team hosts Cal State Fullerton in a showdown of two of the BWC's top teams.

Hawaii (13-5, 4-1 BWC) has won four-straight games and with a win over Fullerton (11-7, 4-1 BWC) this weekend, the Warriors would improve to 5-1 in conference play, tying the program's best six-game start in Big West play.

"Right now, we're in a position where we worked hard to be in but we know it can go away quick with a good team coming in here, and there's gonna be some great battles," said head coach Eran Ganot. "And we're looking forward to that challenge."

Fullerton presents a challenge on both ends of the court, but the Warriors and forward Jack Purchase aren't afraid of having a target on their backs.

"It's great," Purchase said of being in first place. "I was here when we were in first place a couple of years ago, so it's great to be back there. We still got to keep proving ourselves because I still feel like we're the underdogs."

Before the regular season started, the Warriors were selected to finish in 5th place in a BWC preseason poll. And Purchase hasn't forgotten that slight.

"We still think like we're the underdogs," he said. "We still feel like people don't respect us as much as they should in this league, so we still want to come out with a fire and play as hard as we can because we still have a lot to prove."

Hawaii will look to silence its critics this Saturday against Fullerton at home. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. HT, following the Rainbow Wahine basketball team's game against UC Riverside at 5:30 p.m. HT.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.