Hoops tourney to begin


HONOLULU — The University of Hawaii men’s basketball teams begin play in the Big West Conference Tournament today in Anaheim, Calif.

The Rainbow Warriors (20-10) are the No. 4 seed and will face No. 5 seed Cal State Northridge (15-17) at 5:30 p.m. (HST) at the 18,366-seat Honda Center.

The game will be televised live on FOX Sports Prime Ticket, and broadcast live on radio at ESPN1420AM or KHLO in Hilo and KKON in Kona.

In the teams’ two regular season meetings, CSUN won at Northridge, 79-78, on Jan. 11 and UH won at home, 77-63, on Feb. 1.

This is Hawaii’s first 20-win season since the 2003-2004 team went 21-12. Senior forward Christian Standhardinger and junior forward Isaac Fotu each was named to the All-Big West First team on Monday, the first time in program history that two Rainbow Warriors were named to an All-Conference First Team.

Standhardinger , a repeat selection, is averaging 17.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Fotu, who was named Big West Co-Freshman of the Year last season, is averaging 15.2 ppg and 6.1 rpg.

After today’s quarterfinals, the winning teams will be “re-seeded” for matchup purposes, meaning the highest remaining seed will play the lowest remaining seed in one semifinal, with the other two teams playing each other in the other semifinal.

The semifinals are set for 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. (HST) Friday.

RAINBOW WAHINE IN SEMIFINALS: The UH women’s basketball team, meanwhile, advanced to Friday’s Big West semifinals with a 52-49 victory at Long Beach State in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

The Rainbow Wahine (17-12) will face Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (17-12) at 11:30 a.m. (HST) at the Honda Center.

Ashleigh Karaitiana scored a game-high 18 points, including 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the way.

Cal Poly SLO won both regular season meetings, 78-74 in overtime at the Stan Sheriff Center on Jan. 8, and 62-60 in San Luis Obispo on Feb. 8.

Senior forwards Kamilah Jackson and Shawna-Lei Kuehu each were named to the All-Big West Second Team on Monday. Jackson, who had missed the final six regular season games due to a foot injury, was averaging 15.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game entering Wednesday’s game, while Kuehu was at 10.6 ppg and 4.1 rpg, with a team-high 23 blocks.

Junior wing Karaitiana (10.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg) was named Big West Sixth Woman of the Year, an award Kuehu won last year.

BASEBALL TEAM HOSTS NEVADA: The UH baseball team, meanwhile, returns to Les Murakami Stadium for a four-game homestand vs. Nevada starting Friday.

The game times are 6:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1:05 p.m. Sunday and then 6:35 p.m. on Monday.

OCSports will televise Friday’s and Saturday’s games live statewide, and all four games will be broadcast live on radio via ESPN 1420 AM.

The Rainbows (7-9) are coming off a four-game series at then-No. 10-ranked Texas, going 1-3.

SOFTBALL TEAM HOSTS PEPSI CLASSIC: The UH softball team began hosting the Pepsi Rainbow Wahine Classic on Wednesday; the six-team tournament continues through Saturday.

Hawaii began play vs. Valparaiso on Wednesday and faces Brigham Young at 8 p.m. today, then meets Oregon at 6 p.m. Friday. The 8 p.m. Friday game and 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. games Saturday will be matched up by seeding.

The Rainbow Wahine are 11-10 after going 2-3 in the Jack-in-the-Box Spring Fling last weekend.

MEN’S VOLLEYBALL TEAM BEGINS ROAD SWING: The UH men’s volleyball team will play at No. 6-ranked Stanford on Friday and Saturday in a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches.

The matches are set for 4 p.m. (HST) each day, and will be broadcast live on radio at either ESPN 1420AM or NBC Sports Radio AM 1500 both days.

The Rainbow Warriors are 11-8 overall and 9-7 in the MPSF coming off two straight home losses vs. UC Irvine last weekend, dropping two spots to No. 10 in the latest AVCA rankings.

 

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