Hawaii hopes to eke out a road split at a place no other Big West team has yet prevailed this season.
UC Davis is out for payback.
UH’s 84-76 win over the Aggies at the Stan Sheriff Center on Jan. 22 remains the only Big West loss of the season for UCD (20-4, 10-1 BW).
The 5 p.m. (HST) game is being broadcast on Big West TV.
It will be interesting to see how much UH can get from Aaron Valdes and Mike Thomas coming off limited action in Thursday’s 15-point loss at UC Irvine. Isaac Fleming has already been ruled out for the Davis game, per coach Benjy Taylor.
UPDATE: Per Bobby Curran on 1420-AM, Thomas had a flare-up of his ankle sprain after the Irvine loss and is not dressed to play at Davis. Valdes had a viral issue at shootaround but is dressed to play.
For Davis, Big West Player of the Year favorite Corey Hawkins is back in action and coming off a 26-point outing in a big win at Long Beach State on Thursday. He remains the leader in national 3-point shooting at 54 percent; no other qualifying player tops 50.
UH (18-10, 6-6) held him to 19 points and seven turnovers in the first matchup between the teams. That was by far Hawkins’ worst outing against the Rainbows in five career meetings.
But while Hawkins missed three games recently with a lower leg injury, the Aggies proved they were more than a one-man show. Josh Ritchart, Josh Fox, Tyler Les and others took turns stepping up in big moments. Davis continued to execute at a high level; its 50-plus percent field-goal shooting on the season is intact.
Taylor is seeking better guardplay after perhaps the worst game of the season in that respect for UH at Irvine. Defensively, if Garrett Nevels can hamper Hawkins as he did in Honolulu, it gives UH a chance to steal a road victory.