Rainbow Warriors improved defense a key in recent success

Sports

After losing two close games by a combined five points the Rainbow Warriors men’s basketball team has responded with back to back wins of a combined 37 points.

Thursday’s 17 point margin of victory over Long Beach State saw Long Beach, California product Drew Buggs performing well against his hometown team. The guards and bench came up big for the ‘Bows in a night when shooting wasn’t efficient. But the drastically improved defense from Hawaii might be the biggest takeaway and a good sign as UH have 10 conference games left in the regular season.

“I just think our guys have a lot of pride,” said Rainbow Warriors head coach Eran Ganot. “When we made our first move after we came back from our first road trip we started to defend. And then it slipped. Even in the diamond head we defended real well. We didn’t shoot real well in the diamond head. But it was disappointing to see our defense lapse. You could say it was only two losses by a combined five but we paid a tough price for it. Sometimes you got to look at if we had defended better we could have withstood some of those tough losses. So our guys have a lot of pride. A lot of film work. It starts with them. What do I attribute it to? Our guys stepping up and making us look good.”

“We showed that we can win on the defensive end,” said Buggs. “We’ve done a great job these past two games against some dynamic point guards. Against good teams. We’ve done a good job defending. And we’ve shown that we can win without hitting the three like we normally do. Today we didn’t shoot it as well, but we still showed that we know how to grind out and get a win as a team.”

Hawaii plays UC Santa Barbara Saturday night at home. Remember that night is a double header. The women’s team hosts Cal Poly at 5:30pm. The men’s game will take place shortly after that finishes.

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