LAIE, Hawaii – Dixie State College entered a critical Pacific West Conference matchup Saturday with a gray cloud over their heads. The cloud reminded those returning to the Cannon Events Center that they had never beaten the host Seasiders of BYU-Hawaii in that establishment.
Like a perfectly scripted screenplay, the skies cleared over Laie as the Red Storm defeated BYUH 99-96 in double overtime to remain atop the league with an idle Chaminade squad.
Junior forward Griffon Jones led five players in double-figures with 21 points for Dixie State (18-5, 11-2 PWC). McKay Massey tallied 16 points, Tom Whitehead scored 15, Donovan Plunkett had six of his 12 points in the second overtime period and Jeremiah Barnes rolled in 10 points.
Dixie State shot a blistering 60.7 percent from the floor in the first half to lead 40-31 at the break.
The Seasiders (16-7, 11-3 PWC) opened the second half with a 14-6 spurt powered by six Jet Chang points and a couple of three-pointers to pull within two. Dixie State maintained a lead until the final minute of regulation. A Chang triple with 51 seconds tied the game at 75.
DSC had an opportunity in regulation for the win, but a Barnes shot and Whitehead putback both failed.
Jones scored the first four points in the first overtime period. A late Chang lay-in set the stage for DSC again. This time, a heave by Maurice Cole did not find the mark.
Plunkett proved to be the early star in overtime number two by draining a three-ball and a jumper for a 93-89 lead.
The Seasiders, as they did the previous two tries, tied the game in the waning seconds. Following the popular proverbs, the third time was indeed Dixie State’s charm. Jones nailed a jumper with six seconds. BYU-Hawaii stumbled, literally, when Chang lost the ball after his legs tangled with one of the referees in transition.
After two Plunkett free throws, the Seasiders gambled with a long pass. The ball glanced off of Heath Gameren’s finger and out of bounds giving possession again to the Red Storm. Massey nailed the insurance free throws for the win.
Chang topped the scoreboard with 30 points in 44 minutes. The nation’s leading rebounder, Marques Whippy, had a double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds.
The island trip continues Monday in Honolulu when the Red Storm battle Hawaii Pacific at the Blaisdell Arena. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m. Hawaiian time (10:30 p.m. Mountain).