HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In their past two games, the Rainbow Warrior basketball team has lost by a combined five points. While back-to-back losses entering February isn't a crisis for the Warriors, there isn't a lot of time for Hawaii to figure out what's not working and what is.
Outside of forward Mike Thomas, the Warriors appear limited offensively.
Sheriff Drammeh, who has been a reliable source of scoring for Hawaii this season, has scored a combined eight points on 2-of-12 shooting in the past two games - a far cry from his 11.1 points per game average through 21 games.
Brocke Stepteau is now back on the court, which is good news for the Warriors. But during his absence, it became clear that there isn't a backup plan in place when Stepteau can't play as the Warriors became predictable going to Thomas down in the paint over the past three games, allowing their opposition to bring the game within one or two possessions or coming back to steal the win all together.Hawaii is not an elite three-point shooting team (32.6 percent) but have attempted 405 shots beyond the arc on the season - an average of 19.2 attempts per game.
To be fair to Jack Purchase, his outside shooting has improved dramatically since the beginning of the season. Not only is he a capable shooter when he gets into a rhythm, but he's also a reliable passer and playmaker on offense. But the reality is that converting 20-of-103 three-pointers through 21 games hurts, even if he has converted 12 of his last 23 shots from beyond the arc.
It was only last week that Hawaii had a grip on first place in the big West going into a showdown against Cal State Fullerton, but now the Warriors are 4-3 in the conference, 0-2 in their past two games and are now 1-3 on the road this season.
With nine games remaining in the regular season before the Big West Tournament, it's not time to panic. While Hawaii is currently ranked sixth in the big West with a 4-3 record, they are not far down on the totem pole.
Current BWC Standings:
UC Davis: 6-2
Long Beach State: 5-3
UC Irvine: 5-3
Cal State Fullerton: 5-3
Cal Poly: 2-6
UC Riverside: 0-8
The Warriors still have time to get over this two-game losing streak, starting with a matchup against Cal Poly this Saturday. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. HT in San Luis Obispo, Calif.