ST. GEORGE – It’s true that defense wins games, but scoring a bunch of points never hurts either.
Dixie State College finished with a program-best seven players in double-figures Wednesday night in the Burns Arena as the Red Storm crushed Pacifica University 125-55 in non-conference play. The 70-point victory also saw the Red Storm set a new single-game scoring high.
Steven Larson led Dixie State (8-4) with 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting and junior forward Curtis Papenfuss made the most of his time off the bench with a career night. Papenfuss went 7-of-8 from the floor and nailed both of his triples for 20 points. He also ripped down eight rebounds and dished three assists.
“You could tell he worked during the break on his game,” head coach Jon Judkins said. “He knew he was going to get playing time tonight and he let the game come to him. We will need confident performances from him the rest of the year.”
Dixie State opened the game against the winless Gladiators, now 0-15 on the year, on an 11-0 run. The Storm never took their foot off the accelerator in the first half hanging 74 points in the opening twenty minutes to lead by 49 at the break.
Pacifica hit five 3-pointers in the second half but never closed within 48 points of the Red Storm. Dixie State had its best shooting night of the season, making 47-of-74 shots at a 63.5 percent clip and recorded 32 team assists along the way.
De’Quan Thompson finished with 15 points on four triples and Dalton Groskreutz bounced back with a solid 15 point, eight-rebound night. The Dixie State bigs had an all-around concrete night as well. Zach Robbins had 12 points and seven rebounds while Derek Owen thrilled the crowd with a thunderous dunk en route to 10 points and eight boards. McKay Massey rounded out the scoring with 11 points and five assists.
Guard Dion Hudson led Pacifica with 15 points. The Gladiators struggled from the field, shooting just 27 percent.
Dixie State returns to Pacific West Conference play on Saturday night, traveling to Riverside, Calif., to take on California Baptist. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Pacific (8:30 p.m. Mountain).
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