Hawaii meets Long Beach St. in Big West quarters
No. 5 seed Long Beach State (14-18, 8-8) vs. No. 4 seed Hawaii (18-12, 9-7)
Big West Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Honda Center, Anaheim, California; Thursday, 10:30 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Long Beach State is set to match up against Hawaii in the Big West tourney quarterfinals. Hawaii swept the two-game regular season series. The teams last met on Feb. 7, when the Rainbow Warriors created 16 Long Beach State turnovers and turned the ball over just nine times on their way to a seven-point victory.
PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE: Both of these teams have relied heavily on their seniors this year. Jack Purchase, Brocke Stepteau and Sheriff Drammeh have collectively scored 38 percent of Hawaii’s points this season and 40 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For Long Beach State, Deishuan Booker, Temidayo Yussuf, Bryan Alberts and Mason Riggins have collectively accounted for 59 percent of all Long Beach State scoring, including 77 percent of the team’s points over its last five games.
OFFENSIVE THREAT: Booker has had his hand in 47 percent of all Long Beach State field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has 25 field goals and 13 assists in those games.
DEFENSIVE DISRUPTION: Long Beach State is 8-0 when it limits opponents to 41.5 percent or worse from the field, and 6-18 whenever opponents shoot better than that. Hawaii is 11-0 when it allows 41.8 percent or less from the field and 7-12 whenever opponents exceed that mark.
ASSIST RATIOS: The Rainbow Warriors have recently gotten baskets via assists more often than the 49ers. Hawaii has 40 assists on 75 field goals (53.3 percent) across its past three matchups while Long Beach State has assists on 36 of 81 field goals (44.4 percent) during its past three games.
PACE OF PLAY: The upbeat Long Beach State offense has averaged 73.8 possessions per game, the 23rd-most in Division I. Hawaii has not been as uptempo as the 49ers and is averaging only 67.4 possessions per game (ranked 266th, nationally).