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Rainbow Warrior and Wahine Watch | Nov. 21

HONOLULU – The University of Hawaii men’s basketball team will play host to its “Big Island bruddah” program, UHH, in a rare regular-season meeting tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Tipoff is set for 7:07 p.m., and the game will be televised live on OCSports and broadcast live on radio at KHLO in Hilo and KKON in Kona.

This will be just the sixth regular-season meeting between the two programs, which are separated by a mere 200 miles and about 35 minutes of air travel. UH-Manoa has won the previous five meetings, including a 79-66 victory at Kealakehe Gym in 2011.

The Rainbow Warriors (2-2) are coming off a 92-80 loss to Missouri in Kansas City, Mo., during which they led, 46-45, at halftime before a crowd of 13,681.

Senior forward Christian Standhardinger had 22 points and grabbed five rebounds, junior shooting guard Garrett Nevels added 17 points and junior point guard Keith Shamburger contributed 12 points, two assists and two steals.

Senior guard Brandon Spearman, recovered from an ankle sprain, made his season debut by playing 31 minutes and scoring 11 points. Sophomore forward Isaac Fotu was held to seven points but led the team with nine rebounds.

UHH was 1-1 entering last night’s home opener vs. Western State. In a 76-72 loss to Western Oregon in Honolulu on Nov. 9, senior forward Brandon Thomas had a team-high 17 points and 14 rebounds off the bench. Senior guard Derek Owens added 15 points and five boards, and junior guard Jamario Clayton contributed with 14 points and three assists off the bench.

The Vulcans reserves accounted for 41 of the team’s 72 points.

Crucial homestand for Wahine spikers

The UH women’s volleyball team will host Cal Davis on Friday and Cal State Northridge on Saturday in what could be the Rainbow Wahine’s final homestand of the season, if they should lose either match.

First serve for both matches is set for 7:07 p.m., and both matches will be televised live on OCSports.

Hawaii is 20-4 overall and 9-3 in the Big West Conference, but lost to both Cal Davis (14-13, 6-8) and Cal State Northridge (22-5, 12-2) on the road last month. Cal Santa Barbara (15-9, 10-2) also defeated the Rainbow Wahine and is in the title hunt.

Despite being idle last weekend, 12th-ranked UH moved up two spots to No. 10 in the Ratings Percentage Index, which will be a key factor when the NCAA Tournament selection committee decides on the top 16 seeds, who will receive opportunities to host the first and second rounds.

Athletic Director Jay recovering at home

Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay is recovering at home from injuries sustained while trying to break up a scuffle following the Rainbow Wahine basketball team’s loss to West Virginia on Sunday.

Jay was admitted to Straub Clinic and Hospital Monday night and a CT scan revealed traverse process fractures in his lumbar region and bleeding around one of his kidneys. He suffered the injuries after apparently being hit in the back while trying to break up a scuffle that erupted behind West Virginia’s bench while the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic awards ceremony was about to begin.

UH fell to 3-2 after the 59-56 loss, which followed victories over Washington State (77-66) and Mississippi (79-63). Rainbow Wahine senior forward Kamilah Jackson led Hawaii with 15 points and 10 rebounds against West Virginia, becoming only the second player in program history to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, after the late Judy Mosley.

Jackson was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player; Washington State guard Lia Galdeira, a former Konawaena standout, also was named to the All-Tournament Team along with UH guard Shawna-Lei Kuehu, a former Punahou standout from ‘Aiea.

Paniolo Trophy revived

Despite being 0-10, the Rainbow Warriors football team will be playing for a trophy Saturday at Wyoming (4-6).

The winner of Saturday’s game – which kicks off at 10:05 a.m. HST – will take home the Paniolo Trophy, which was awarded annually to the winner of the teams’ meetings from 1978-97, mostly when both teams competed in the Western Athletic Conference.

The trophy, featuring a bronze sculpture of Hawaiian cowboy Ikua Purdy roping a wild stag bull, is a reproduction of a larger work by noted western artist and sculptor Fred Fellows located at Parker Ranch in Waimea. It was donated by Dr. Billy Bergin with the help of the Waimea-based Paniolo Preservation Society and the Wyoming Paniolo Society, a group of Hawaii residents with roots in Wyoming.

Wyoming leads the rivalry 12-7, but Saturday will be the teams’ first meting since 1997, when the Cowboys left the WAC to join the Mountain West Conference.

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