LAS VEGAS – Coming off a couple of weeks of nailbiters, Dixie State quashed any suspense early at the Las Vegas challenge, first defeating Cal State-Dominguez Hills by 18 on Wednesday night, then duplicating that margin with an 83-65 victory against Montana State-Billings Thursday night at the Orleans Arena.
“We were disappointed with our defense against Point Loma, so we really emphasized that this past week,” said Dixie head coach Jon Judkins. “These two games in Las Vegas are probably the best complete games we have played as a team this year.”
The Red Storm wasted little time in taking control of the game. The Yellowjackets would only lead in the game twice in the first couple of minutes. A 3-pointer by DeQuan Thompson at the 16:14 mark gave Dixie an 11-8 lead. DSU would not trail again. Dixie would extend the lead by as many as 15 in the first half and went into the locker room up by 12, 42-30.
By halftime, the Red Storm had shot 64 percent from the field and 75 percent from behind the arc. Thompson and Dalton Groskreutz combined for 20 first half points.
Coming out of the locker room, MSUB scored first on a break-away dunk by Devon Wallace to cut the lead to 10. That is the closest the ‘Jackets would get. The Red Storm immediately put more distance between them, going on a 10-3 run, sparked by two Groskreutz field goals.
The Red Storm maintained a large lead for the remainder of the half. Dixie outscored the Yellowjackets 38-20 in the paint.
“Our inside game opened up our outside,” said Groskreutz. “We had a lot of inside-out looks that fell. Our team has the luxury of big men who can pass the ball. We also got several layups beating their press.”
Groskreutz led all scorers with 23. Thompson and Zach Robbins had 17 and 14 points, respectively.
For the Yellowjackets, Connor Donaldson scored 18 points. Jonathan Mesghan also scored in double-figures with 11.
Dixie remains undefeated at 9-0. DSU will now get to rest for the holidays before going to Hawaii. DSU will play three games in five days beginning at the University of Hawaii-Hilo on Jan. 2. The loss drops MSU-Billings to 5-5. MSUB will travel to California this Saturday for an exhibition against Division I Long Beach State.
Stats via DSU Athletics: Storm 83, Yellowjackets 65
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