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Hawaii men’s basketball wants to break its four-game home losing streak

January 13 – The Hawaiian basketball team’s recent problems couldn’t be solved on an empty stomach.

The afternoon after Thursday’s disheartening loss to UC Irvine, the Bows studied the video, went through a detailed — and corrective — drill and then gathered for a meeting and a meal prepared by Cheesecake Factory.

“We eat together a lot,” said UH coach Eran Ganot, whose ‘Bows hosts UC Riverside tonight in SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center. “It was good to break bread.”

The ‘Bows, who are 9-7 overall and 1-3 in the Big West, have lost four straight home games. On Thursday, erratic shooting from the free throw line (5-for-13) and behind the arc (3-for-17) derailed their comeback against the UCI.

“Sometimes you go through a funk,” Ganot said. “You don’t know where or when, but you have to have the conviction and believe that you will get out. We are fortunate and blessed that we can continue to play. I don’t think any of us thought we would.” in this position, but we are in this position. We accept the reality and we are going to do something about it.”

After scoring just two points against Cal State Northridge, 6-9 center Bernardo da Silva rebounded for his fifth double-double on Thursday. Ganot is confident guard Noel Coleman will also respond after being held scoreless for the second time this season.

“Concern is a difficult word,” Ganot said. “Concern can lead you to think there is a lack of confidence. There is no lack of confidence in Noel. Noel is doing well. He will be great. We’ll just get back to work. He has bounced back before. He will bounce back.”

The first time Coleman was held scoreless was against Georgia Tech on December 22 in the Diamond Head Classic. He came back two days later and put up 19 against TCU.

UC Riverside faced a major project this season, with four of last year’s top players not returning. Zyon Pullin, an all-league guard, transferred to Florida. Center Lachlan Olbrich decided to play professionally in Australia. Guards Flynn Cameron and Jamal Hartwell II completed their NCAA eligibility.

But Isaiah Moses, a 6-foot-4 transfer from College of Southern Idaho, has succeeded Pullin on this count. Moses leads the Highlanders in scoring (13.3 points per game) and has teamed up with Barrington Hargress to push the pace.

“I’ve been spoiled the last three years with having a very experienced backcourt that really knew what we wanted to do every day,” UCR coach Mike Magpayo said. “But it was fun. These guys were dynamic. They are young and smaller than I am used to, so we play with a little more tempo and speed. They offer different opportunities and also different challenges.”

Moses and Hargress are accurate passers, especially on the run. Hargress’ assist-to-turnover ratio is 3.4 to 1; Moses’ ratio is 2.2 to 1.

“Isaiah is a great passer,” Magpayo said. “He can make plays off the bounce. He can find teammates. He’s unselfish. He’s a really good shooter. He had a really bad game against Long Beach State. He was actually 0-for-11. But he bounced back” Thursday against Cal Poly with 15 points.

The previous three seasons, the Highlanders overloaded the defense to one side and then sent the opposing guards into the cul-de-sac of imposing centers. But the tactics have changed with 7-1 Ben Griscti in the low post.

“We haven’t been able to have the same type of rim protection,” Magpayo said. “Ben is mobile and athletic. We’ve had to make adjustments to use that instead of a last line of defense.”

Forward Kyle Owens has made a full recovery – and is making an impact – after suffering an ACL injury last season. The Highlanders were 7-1 against Big West opponents when Owens was injured. Then they went 7-5.

“He is our anchor in the court,” Magpayo said. “The makeup of our team is how Kyle works. He’s tough and he’s our leader. He brings confidence to our team. If he starts well, we’ll usually have a good game.”