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Gary Dickman’s Hoops Scoops: Jan. 20

Well, that’s the way we want every week to go for the UH basketball team: two games, two wins. Both wins were at home, but the games couldn’t have been more different as for how they played out.

First, last Thursday, UH beat a Cal Poly team that’s picked to finish ninth in the Big West and came in with a 1-1 record in league play. For the second straight Thursday, the Bows had a 16-point lead, and saw it go down to a single point late in the game. And again, in games that go either way down the stretch, UH was able to fight through adversity and get the win, 65-61. It was the lowest shooting output of the season, with UH only making 32% of their shots, and only shooting 5 for 22 on three-point shots.

Last year, I’m not sure if they would have won a game like this. But this year, they’ve won every close game down the stretch – a sign of a good team for sure.

I know some fans were wondering what needed to be fixed going into the game vs Santa Barbara on Saturday. I felt nothing needed to be fixed; it was just one of those poor shooting nights. Every team has them. Look at the LA Lakers, who are 36-8 on the season but lost by 32 last night to Boston. Every team will have an off night, and at least UH got the win.

And they got another big win against UCSB on Saturday, 70-63. I was concerned going into the game when I found out that Bernardo Da Silva , who’s been getting better and better, has a foot injury that will keep him out for a while. And UCSB has one of the best bigs in the league, Amadou Sow, who’s 6-9. Sow got two early baskets in the game, and it looked like it might be a long night for the Bows. But Sow then got two which fouls, which basically took him out of the game. He never got into a rhythm and finished with a quiet 9 points and 4 rebounds.

Every Bow who played contributed to the win. We got to see the season debut of Owen Hulland, the 7-footer who’s missed over a year with foot issues. Owen  hit three-pointers in his six minutes, and the crowd erupted on both of them. “Steady” Eddie Stansberry  struggled most of the night, and Samuta Avea only played 10 minutes with back pain. Still, others stepped up. Drew Buggs was fantastic, with 12 points, 12 assists, 2 steals and only 2  turnovers. Wow, what a game he had! Buggs also showed what a great player he is when, late in the game, three times he let the shot clock go down to one second before making his shots. I love the court awareness that he has. Now UH is 3-1 in the Big West, and in second place – only a half game behind UC Irvine.

This Saturday will be special. UH plays UC Davis, but it’s the celebration of the 100th year of UH Basketball. Many former players and coaches will be back and will be recognized at halftime. The list is still growing, but confirmed so far are Riley Wallace, Bob Nash, Justice Sueing, Julian Sensley and Henry Hollingsworth, just to name a few. If you are a UH fan, and I imagine by reading this you are, you don’t want to miss this very special evening. As Eran Ganot said the other night, it’s not often you get to celebrate a 100th year of anything. I doubt any of us will be able to attend the 200th anniversary, so let’s all show up for this one . It will be special, and there’s only six home games left. I can’t wait, can you?

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