LAIE, Hawaii – All five Trailblazers starters scored in double figures as Dixie State held off a late BYU-Hawaii rally to outlast the Seasiders, 80-75, in the final meeting ever between the two Pacific West Conference rivals Saturday night in the Cannon Activities Center.
Dixie State (18-6/15-3 PacWest) never trailed as the Trailblazers opened the game with a 12-4 run and led by as many as 12 points at 22-10 after a Marcus Bradley jumper with 8:38 to play until the intermission. BYU-H (6-19/4-15 PacWest) cut the deficit to 32-27 with two minutes to go in the frame, but DSU scored the final four points of the stanza to take a 36-27 advantage into the locker room.
Bradley wasted little time giving the Trailblazers back a double-digit lead at 40-27 as he hit his first two shots in the second half, including a thunderous dunk on DSU’s first possession of the half. However, Dixie State could not pull away as the Seasiders stayed within striking distance, eventually pulling to within four at 64-60 with 3:10 to play.
DSU, which had missed 15 foul shots to that point in the game, came up clutch at the foul line down the stretch as the Trailblazers hit on 16 of 18 free throws in the closing minutes, including an 8 for 8 effort from Brandon Simister, to hold off BYU-H and escape with the victory.
“It was a good win, we’re happy with it,” DSU coach Jon Judkins said. “We’re done play (vs. BYU-Hawaii) and it’s sad to see the rivalry go because it’s always a fun game here and at our place. But it’s nice to win the last time playing them.
“There were a lot of times we were up nine or 10 points and we could never get to up 12, 13 or 14 and keep pushing it up. We just need to do a better job of extending that lead.”
Bradley led all scorers with 19 points, 11 of which came in the second half, while Simister, Kyler Nielson and Zac Hunter poured in 12 points apiece, and Trevor Hill chipped in 11 points, as the five starters combined to score 66 of the team’s 80 points on the night.
Dixie State won despite 18 turnovers (12 in the second half) and 17 total missed free throws (36-of-53, .679). The Trailblazers shot 42.3 percent (22 of 52) from the floor, though DSU went 0 for 7 from the perimeter, which snapped the program’s 76-game streak of hitting at least one 3-pointer. Dixie State had come into the game having hit a 3-point shot in 199 of its last 200 games overall and in 293 of its 296 total games in the program’s NCAA D-II era.
“One thing I was happy and not happy with was our foul shooting,” Judkins noted. “I’m happy that we are getting to the line, but we have to do a better job making them. We missed 17 foul shots, and even if we make half of those, it’s a whole different game. We made them down at the end, which was big, but we have to do a better job.”
Dixie State held BYU-H to 39.3 percent shooting (24-of-61) and outrebounded the Seasiders 40-37. Gabriel Andrade led five Seasiders in double figures with 14 points. BYU-Hawaii is discontinuing its intercollegiate athletics program at end of the 2017 competition year.
Dixie State concludes its Hawaiian road swing Monday night in Honolulu with a showdown at PacWest leader No. 8/9 Hawai’i Pacific.
BYU-Hawaii 82, Dixie State 71
The Trailblazers were outscored 45-34 in the second half and droipped their second straight game on this Hawaii road trip Saturday night.
The Seasiders had three players step up to lead the charge in Tyvette Allen (24 points), Kristin Baldwin (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Safia Sheikh (18 points, seven assists and six boards).
For Dixie State, three players scored in double figures, led by Ali Franks and her 19 points. Lisa VanCampen had 17 points and seven rebounds and Matti Ventling had 13 points and three assists.
The Trailblazers got outrebounded 36-31 and committed 26 fouls to just 14 for BYU-H.
Dixie State falls to 4-20 overall and 4-14 in the PacWest, while BYU-Hawaii is now 10-15 and 7-12.
Dixie State concludes its Hawaiian road swing Monday night in Honolulu at Hawaii Pacific.
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