By Jeff Portnoy
You can bet all those associated with the UH basketball program are exhaling a sigh of relief as the Bows came away with a road victory at Santa Barbara on Saturday afternoon. It didnt hurt that the gauchos best player did not suit up so that hawaii had a huge height advantage which allowed Vander and Stardhardinger to have solid games. In the second half, Santa Barbara had no answer for Standhardinger who went off with 31 points and 16 rebounds. And Vander apparently decided to show some effort and had a strong first half.
Long Beach keeps winning and frankly, looking at the remaining schedule, I think it will hard for UH to catch them for the top spot. But there is going to be a big log jam for spots 2-7. With two more road games this week at Riverside and Fullerton, UH needs at least a split if they have any realistic chance of finishing in the top three. Riverside has proven to be a tough out at home and even though they got destroyed here, look for that game to be tougher than folks think. Fullerton believes they should have won here, but for some poor officiating and a miracle shot, and they have really good guards, but they have not played to their potential and are very inconsistent. At home, however, i think they will be at least a 6 point favorite. The schedule makers did not do UH any favors with the back to back road road trips, but welcome to the Big West
Uh has now played everybody in the Conference so there should be no surprises as to the strengths and weaknesses of each team. In Hawaii's last four games, there has been one constant. If the opponent makes it threes, UH loses. When they miss, UH wins.
More on Riverside and Fullerton later this week. On Hoopstalk Weds, you wont want to miss my interview with Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim