Rainbow Forecast: Hawaii football battles UNLV; men’s basketball home, women’s hoops away

Samuta Avea, who leads UH with 14.5 points per game, and his teammates will look for a bounce-back win tonight against Pacific. / Photo by Bruce Asato, Star-Advertiser

There’s a rare Monday night game for the Hawaii men’s basketball team tonight to kick off a relatively light week of action — especially as home events go — in this edition of the Rainbow Forecast.

The No. 18 Rainbow Wahine volleyball team (22-3, 12-2 Big West) is off from games this week after winning at UC Davis and UC Riverside in convincing fashion. UH enjoys a half-game lead over Cal Poly (11-2), but also owns the tiebreaker with two games to play.

So the spotlight is on UH football — a 42-40 winner over San Jose State last week — and its surprise turn to Chevan Cordeiro at starting quarterback. You’d expect Cordeiro to get the nod again in the desert this weekend, given how well he played against the Spartans, but will Cole McDonald show something in practice to regain the nod from Nick Rolovich? If UH (6-4, 3-3) wins at UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium, it will have attained Hawaii Bowl eligibility.

Also sharing the limelight are the UH men’s and women’s hoops teams. The Rainbow Warriors host former Big West foe Pacific tonight to wrap up the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic, with UH (1-1) looking to respond from its close loss Sunday against South Dakota. Meanwhile, the Wahine (1-0) make a two-game West Coast (Conference) swing to Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine.

Also, the Wahine cross country team takes part in the NCAA West Regional.

Men’s basketball: Pacific (2-1) at Hawaii (1-1), 7 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
This game could be telling for how the ‘Bows will fare in the remainder of nonconference play. Damon Stoudemire’s Tigers feature a number of athletes (guard Justin Moore leads with 13.0 ppg on 52 percent shooting), but UH, between Samuta Avea, Justin Hemsley and Bernardo da Silva, can play its most athletic lineup since Year 1 of the Eran Ganot era to potentially counter. Speaking of Ganot, there’s still no telling when he will return from his medical leave of absence. Chris Gerlufsen has been a capable leader in the meantime, though. UH and Pacific haven’t met since the Tigers left the Big West for the West Coast Conference following winning the BWC tournament in 2012-13. UH and UOP split their meetings home-and-home that year with the series tied 5-5 all-time, although UH vacated the win from 2013.

Women’s basketball: Hawaii (1-0) at Loyola Marymount (0-1), 5 p.m.
The Wahine are in Laura Beeman’s old stomping grounds of Los Angeles this week. UH opens its two-game trip by taking on the Lions, who were picked to finish sixth (along with Friday’s foe Pepperdine) in the West Coast Conference. The Wahine rightly felt good about themselves after closing out last Tuesday’s opener in successful fashion against San Diego State at home, 61-58. But how will they fare on the road for the first time? LMU has played only one official game as well, a 74-52 loss at UCLA.

Men’s basketball: Portland State (1-1) at Hawaii, 7 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
The Vikings of the Big Sky Conference don’t have a win over a Division I team yet, but they sure hung tough at Indiana for an 11-point loss over the weekend. Former UH signee Bryce Canda is no longer with PSU (he completed his eligibility a couple years ago), but the Vikings are led by a high-scoring tandem of Holland Woods (19.5 ppg) and Matt Hauser (17.0). The Vikings were picked to finish sixth in the Big Sky. UH leads this all-time series 5-1, but the teams haven’t met since (gasp) 1979.

Women’s basketball: Hawaii at Pepperdine (1-1), 5 p.m.
The Waves, 22-12 a year ago, were also picked sixth in the WCC. These are two potentially winnable road games for the Wahine if they play well, and get, say, another double-double from either Lauren Rewers and Amy Atwell. The Waves have a 37-point loss at Washington State and a 10-point win over Cal Poly of the Big West. Malia Bambrick leads Pepperdine with 14.5 points per game thus far.

Cross country: NCAA West Regional, all day
The Wahine runners head to Colfax, Wash., coming off their eighth-place showing at the Big West championships at Riverside a couple weeks ago. UH finished 35th of 36th teams at this season-capping event last year.

Football: Hawaii (6-4, 3-3 Mountain West) at UNLV (2-7, 0-5), 11 a.m. (Spectrum PPV, KKEA 1420-AM)
Amazingly, UH is still in the hunt for the MWC West Division title a week removed from its disastrous 41-38 home loss to Fresno State. That’s because the Bulldogs (2-3 MWC) turned around and lost at home to Utah State (on a walk-off field goal, no less), and San Diego State (4-2 MWC) lost at home to Nevada. But that’s all moot, for real this time, if UH can’t find a way to win at the Ninth Island, a place that’s always been challenging for the Warriors, even given how bad the Rebels are in football most of the time. UH is 5-9 in Vegas all-time, and has lost the last five in a row at Sam Boyd Stadium by margins of 8 (2017), 20 (2015), 2 (2013), 20 (2011), and 1 (2009). The Rebels are coming off a bye, but UH, which saw Cordeiro win Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week, is favored by nearly a touchdown. UNLV has lost three straight MWC games since its stunning 34-10 win at Vanderbilt. Will the UH defense come together to keep a MWC title drive alive at least one more week? UH beat UNLV at home last year, 35-28, thanks to some fourth-quarter Cordeiro heroics to claim the inaugural Ninth Island Trophy.


  1. Matt November 11, 2019 7:11 pm

    Wow, Brian…have you done yourself good. But yeah, this oughta be interesting with this incoming set of games we have going on. Because of the WVB team on a bye week, this puts pressure for both the WBB and MBB teams, and the football in particular. Here’s where it gets ticky-tacky for me:

    WBB and Loyola Marymount – The last time the WBB team played LMU was in the 2015-16 season at home. Wahine won 65-51. However, with the road, the year before that. Hawaii triumphed 85-76. Now…I don’t know what their record was with LMU, but that’s all I can muster up for the lions.

    WBB and Pepperdine – It’s a tough game to play, especially because it’s in Malibu. However, like you said, if Atwell and Rewers can somehow be the spine to the offense, and Tago, Middap and Alexander provide the spark, then this will be a good win. It’ll be a 50-50 game to see.

    MBB and Portland State – Should be an interesting marquee matchup. Portland State last year finished 16-16, but lost to Weber State in the Big Sky Tournament. This feels like a trap game if you ask me, especially because I’m not sure how good they are they this year. They did just recently have lost to Indiana, 74-85. So…not sure how tricky this will be for them.

    Hawaii and UNLV – Now, it’s safe to say that UNLV hasn’t been the same team that Sanchez probably would have wanted to see, given the progression prior when Rolo first came to Hawaii. But this year, his team is pretty much is hitting the bottom of the barrel. UNLV against conference foes fork over 228 rushing yards per game and 223.4 passing yards per game. Safe to say that Hawaii could pretty much play havoc with the passing game because they average over 400 yards on that statistic (416 passing yards per game). Now, Hawaii, their last 3 matches, they scored 616 yards rushing (205.3 yards ppg), which emphasizes that they’re making progress with the run game. So that’s the good news. Bad news…do they have enough to winnow down UNLV in Las Vegas despite the passing game numbers? Could be seeing another gritty down-to-the-wire game, and hope that Fresno State can upset San Diego State for us to get that chance if we win.

  2. H-Man November 12, 2019 3:30 am

    Our vision was clouded by the early wins even though Cole had all those interceptions and fumbles. Then came the devastating losses to expose the defense. Changing QBs takes care of the turnovers and adds new life to the offense. But what is Batoon going to do on defense to slow the running game? Way too many yards given up after first contact/initial hit.

  3. uhfootballfan November 13, 2019 9:13 pm

    @Matt we need san diego state to beat fresno so they have 4 conference losses, then we need to win out against unlv this weekend and sdsu next week for west division title. if fresno beats sdsu and win out against sjsu and nevada they end up with 3 conference losses and hold tie breaker against us (assuming we win out as well and end with 3 conference losses).

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