By Jeff Portnoy
Ok, a win is win. But Hawaii's home win against Northridge on Saturday is nothing to write home about. Northridge has had a pretty disappointing season so far, both in and out of Conference. Its best Conference win was against Hawaii at home. Its basically a lower half conference team with a 500 record. And yes, Hawaii was coming off a difficult loss to Long Beach and had Shamburger on the bench for the first 23 minutes ( no official explaination, but the best guess it was disciplinary coming out of the Long Beach loss), but this game was not well played by either team and was closer than it needed to be until Hawaii took control in the final 12 minutes.
Here is a stat you wont likely see again and if you are a Hawaii fan, you hope you dont. Rozitis had more points and rebounds ( total) than Standhardinger. Davis played well so credit him for that, but Christian was essentially taken completely out of the game . Lets chalk it up to a bad day at the office. And credit Smith for a solid game in place of Shamburger.
For me the biggest home game of the year is this Thursday's game against Santa Barbara. If Hawaii hopes to win this crucial game, it will need to play like it did at Irvine, not like it played last week at hime. The Gauchos are playing well after a brief period where they did not, injury issues, and they have arguably the best player of the league in Williams, although I think Fotu will give him a run for his money before the season is over.
Hawaii stands only one game out of the first, but there are currently three teams ahead of them, Santa Barbara being one of them. After that game, Cal Poly comes in to complete the home stand. Cal Poly has had Hawaii's number, but are really playing poorly after losing two games last week at home. They should come here really reeling.
Gib went to the bench early and often last week , something he did not do on the last road trip. Got some solid minutes from the bench. Good crowd saturday night as well. Will need a full house Thursday. Should be one of the better games of the year so dont miss it.
The disclaimer. These are my views only. Would love to hear yours.