DSU Red Storm blows Hawks right out of Burns Arena

Holy Names at Dixie State, St. George, Utah, Feb. 8, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – There were a lot of contented grins at the Burns Arena Saturday night as the Dixie Red Storm played stellar basketball on both ends of the court for the full 40 minutes and that was bad news for the Hawks of Holy Names University as Dixie won handily, 90-65.

dsulogohnuhawksEven Dixie coach Jon Judkins had trouble finding any flaws in the Red Storm’s play.

“My first glance at the stat sheet I noticed we only had two offensive rebounds the second half,” said Judkins. “But then I realized we shot 68 percent from the floor.”

Holy Names, out-sized at every position, could not neutralize that disadvantage as the Red Storm not only dominated inside the paint, but also “out-quicked” the Hawks, outscoring them 14-2 on the fast break.

“We are a much better team when we are running,” said Dixie State point guard Kimball Payne, who ended the game with seven assists. “That is an area where our post men excel over other teams. They get up and down the floor.”

Red Storm center Jordan Rex had six points early as Dixie jumped out to a 12-7 advantage. He picked up his second foul shortly thereafter and had to go to the bench.

“Jordan played well tonight,” Judkins said. “If he had not gotten into foul trouble, he would have had a monster night. He was sealing well in the post and that translated into some easy baskets.”

Jordan Rex to the hoop, Holy Names at Dixie State, St. George, Utah, Feb. 8, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News
Jordan Rex to the hoop, Holy Names at Dixie State, St. George, Utah, Feb. 8, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

Holy Names kept the game close with a run of their own, closing to 15-14 behind a 3-pointer by Carl Dorn and baskets from Harold Perry, Jr., and Dalton Dale. The Storm countered with a 7-0 run. Mason Sawyer hit a 3-pointer and the Dalton Groskreutz scored four of his game-high 17 points in the run and at the 9:14 mark, the Red Storm led 22-14.

The two teams matched each other bucket for bucket over the next five minutes. Dixie’s lead remained eight points at the 4:13 mark, 35-27. Dixie went on a mini-run to close the half behind DeQuan Thompson’s second 3-pointer of the night and six free throws from Groskreutz and Louis Garrett. At halftime the DSU lead was 44-31.

Dixie State kept the pressure on, both offensively and defensively, in the second half. The Holy Names back court was pressured from end line to end line on defense and Dixie point guards Payne and Sawyer pushed the break on every missed shot.

“They were pressuring our outlets,” said Judkins. “But once we got that pass through, our points got it up quickly.”

The Red Storm started the second half on a 20-9 run, with four baskets coming on the fast break.

“As the game progresses, we tire teams out with our depth,” said Payne. “The continued pressure creates turnovers, missed shots and easy baskets.”

With 13:37 to play Dixie had a 64-40 advantage. Dixie was able to rest big man Zach Robbins, who was playing while ill, more in the second half.

“Zach was not feeling well tonight,” said Judkins. “Or he would have had a big game like Jordan. He is still a defensive presence, a good rebounder and leader on the floor even when he is not scoring.”

Dixie maintained a 20-something lead over the next 10 minutes. Robbie Nielson got some good air, first on a missed dunk, and later in redemption with two follow-up slams.

“I couldn’t end it with that miss,” said Nielson. “Thankfully Kimball found me in good position a couple of more times.”

Both teams had massive substitutions over the last four minutes. Dixie had its biggest lead of the night, 30 points, on a layup by Landon Clegg with 2:19 to play. The score stood at 89-59. The Hawks reserves ended the game with a 6-1 run for the final tally of 90-65.

Dixie out-rebounded HNU 38-28 and outscored them 13-2 on second-chance points. For the game Dixie State shot 57 percent from the floor, 46 percent from beyond the arc. The Storm held the Hawks to 37 percent shooting, 20 percent from the 3-point line. Dixie also held a 42-14 point advantage in the paint over the much-smaller Hawks.

Joshua Crum led HNU with 16 points. He was joined in double-figures by Dorn with 10. Joining Groskreutz in double-figure scoring for the Red Storm were Nielson, Rex and Thompson with 14, 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The victory moves the Red Storm to 16-4 overall, 10-4 in the PacWest. Holy Names falls to 5-17, 4-10 in the PacWest.

DSU will host BYU-Hawaii Tuesday night at the Burns Arena. The Seasiders, winners over Hawaii Pacific Friday night, are one game behind Dixie in the PacWest Conference in fifth place.

Stats: DSU 90, HNU 65


The Lady Storm got 38 points from Haley Holmstead in 32 minutes of play as the Dixie women’s team defeated the Lady Hawks, 95-80. Kaylah Miller had 19 points and 7 assists. Brianna White also scored in double-figures with 14 points. Halleigh Emerine pulled down 18 rebounds. Dixie improves to 9-11 and pulls even in conference play at 7-7.

Stats: DSU 95, HNU 80

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