Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rematch with Warriors Thursday at SMC

Will it be another solid effort from Hosley?

The Fresno State Bulldogs will be hosting the Hawaii Warriors Thursday night at 7pm at the Save Mart Center. They will be looking to turn the tables on a Hawaii team that decimated the Bulldogs at the Stan Sheriff Center 83-66 on January 11.

Hawaii enters the contest with a 3-5 WAC record that includes victories over the aforementioned Bulldogs, San Jose State, and Utah State. Hawaii also enters without having won any road games this entire season.

Hawaii coming in:

Hawaii comes in on the heels of a 69-61 victory over the Aggies and did so by holding Utah State to 35% shooting. They also held Aggie guard Jaycee Carroll to 13 points on 5-13 shooting.

The Warriors placed three players in double digit scoring: Guard Matt Gibson led the way with 20 points, followed by guards Bobby Nash and Matt Lojeski with 15 and 11 points respectively.

What to look for from Hawaii:

The Warriors definitely frustrated the Bulldogs in their first matchup of the season. They were able to run an effective zone and limit the penetration of Quinton Hosley and Dominic McGuire.

The two combined for a paltry 4-20 from the field and this game began the 5 game trend where the Bulldogs had issues finishing around the rim. Fresno State also shot 32% from the field and from three against the Warriors that night.

Look for Hawaii to employ the same strategy Thursday. They will be very physical with penetrators and try to push them off of their drives. Also look for the Warriors to pound the offensive glass and try to get second chances which are critical to their success on the road. They had 11 offensive rebounds and 32 points in the paint in their first meeting.

Hawaii enters the contest outrebounding opponents by 6 per game.

What to expect from the Bulldogs:

Fresno State was able to come away with a 70-64 victory over Louisiana Tech on Saturday night. They did so while guard Javance Coleman sat out the second game of his two game suspension.

Coleman returns to action on Thursday night but will do so coming off of the bench as Eddie Miller has assumed the starting role. The question is how will Coleman respond to the recent issues. Will he improve on his 32% from the field and 25% from three?

Was the La. Tech game in which the Bulldogs finally overcame both their finishing and shooting woes an aberration or will it become the norm? When attacking the rim, the Bulldogs finally got back to initiating contact and even if they did not finish they were fouled and got their chance to score at the line.

Look for the Bulldogs to continue their success in the La. Tech game with Hosley and McGuire going to the rim strong and finishing. Look for Eddie Miller to find his home on the right wing where he is comfortable. If Hawaii flies out at him, he needs to utilize the one-dribble pull-up jumper that he did against La. Tech.

Look for Cleveland to show a growing confidence in his bench also. That confidence comes mainly from guard Tyson Parker and his superb showing Saturday in playing the point for Kevin Bell. Parker finished with 9 points, 3 assists, and no turnovers in 24 minutes of play including the final 7 minutes of the game.

MBs Take:

There are two things that the Bulldogs have in their favor coming into the matchup with Hawaii. (1) They should play with a chip on their shoulder after being throttled on the island 83-66 in the first meeting and (2) They overcame a terrible five game stretch and finally shot 40% or better from the field and also managed to finish around the rim. Hopefully the confidence spills over and they are not only able to shoot it better, but they also keep the Warriors off the offensive glass.

In the end the Bulldogs will overcome the Warriors and win by 5.

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