HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Warriors basketball team is on the move — the ‘Bows head back to the mainland for the first time in nearly a month to take on CSUN this weekend.
Hawaii is coming off of a rare six-game homestand, where they went 3-3, most recently dropping two games to Big West leaders UC Santa Barbara — also dropping UH to sixth in the power rankings.
Head coach Eran Ganot says that this last part of the season is important if the ‘Bows want to move up spots in the Big West.
“I’m really excited about going back to work with them, you know if you think about it, with six games, three teams, four road and two at home, so were not going to have even that many practices as you know and before you know it were still on the road to play the conference tournament, so I think everyday is critical, if we want to make our move up the standings, were going to have to obviously perform in these games, get over the hump, but I think if we want to make the move in these standings we better practice really well.” Coach Ganot told reporters. “I think were getting to that point, but there’s going to be some modifications and some improvements we can make for sure.”
The ‘Bows are using their two-game sweep by UCSB as a teaching tool, according to Freshman Biwale Bayles, who says that they will be ready for adversity later on in the season.
“Were getting better with each game, each practice were getting a lot better and we’ve been in a few over time games now and close games, rallied a lot, so I feel like were definitely learning.” Bayles said. “Learning off of that, were also saying that were not there, Santa Barbara hasn’t been in that situation before and we have, so we should’ve definitely come out on top, unfortunately that didn’t happen, but we’ll learn from that and I feel like when that happens again down the stretch we’ll definitely be better prepared.”
With a lack of depth, Bayles has taken significant minutes for Hawaii, showcasing his skills as a young player, but on the other hand, Established players like Justin Webster continue to lead the ‘Bows down the stretch — Webster leads the team with 12.8 points-per-game.
For the Matadors, Texas A&M Transfer T.J. Starks is the front-man for CSUN with a league-best 19.7 points-per-game.
The two-game series is set for Friday and Saturday — both games tip off at 2:00 p.m. Hawaii time, streaming on WatchESPN.