SAN DIEGO, Calif. –Zach Robbins scored 18 points and ripped down 10 rebounds, helping Dixie State to a 54-49 road win over No. 22 Point Loma in the Pacific West Conference opener for both schools.
The Red Storm’s all-time leading scorer netted half of his points from the free throw line and, for the second consecutive game, swatted away five shots.
DeQuan Thompson added 15 points making 6 of 8 shots from the floor andMason Sawyer tallied 11 points, five rebounds and five assists playing a team-high 34 minutes for Dixie State (3-2, 1-0 PacWest).
Judd Welfringer paced Point Loma (5-1, 0-1) with 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers.
Dixie State held the lead for over 18 minutes in the first half beginning with slim leads. A 16-3 run midway through the half gave the Storm a 30-14 lead. Robbins had eight points during the string from the charity stripe while Sawyer and Thompson each drained triples. Thompson capped the rally with a steal and lay-in at the 5:03 mark, DSU’s last field goal of the half.
The Sea Lions chipped away over the final five minutes, cutting the Dixie State lead to 30-24 at the break.
PLNU’s 14-7 spurt to open the second half gave them their first lead, 38-37. Hayden Lescault added a 3-ball with 13:18 on the clock for a 41-39 advantage.
A Robbins’ jumper knotted up the game again and dueling threes from Thompson and Welfringer continued the stalemate at 44-44. Dixie State opened a four-point advantage from the line with makes from Robbins and Sawyer.
Despite multiple good looks at the rim, the PLNU shots would not fall. The Sea Lions got within two, 48-46, but back-to-back lay-ups pushed the DSU lead to six.
Up three in the final minute, Sawyer was forced to pull-up from 19 feet as the shot clock dwindled. His shot ripped the net for a five-point lead. Two looks from PLNU missed to close out a win for the Storm in a hotly contested, physical battle.
Both teams were held below their season averages in points per game and field goal percentage. Dixie State shot 39.5 percent (17-43) from the floor and 40 percent (4-10) from distance. The Storm had a 34-27 advantage on the boards and took advantage of 19 PLNU turnovers that led to 25 points.
“This was a good win against a very good team,” Judkins added. “We challenged our guys to get better and we need to be focused for every game.”
Dixie State continues their road trip Saturday against another ranked team, the No. 17 Lancers of California Baptist. Tip from Van Dyne Gym is at 7 p.m. PT.
Dixie State 71, Point Loma 67
Four players scored in double figures and Taylor Mann and Kaylah Miller both recorded double-doubles to lead a comeback to beat Point Loma Nazarene 71-67 in the Dixie State women’s basketball PacWest opener.
Mann recorded 14 points and pulled down 10 rebounds while Miller poured in 14 points and dished out 10 assists. The Red Storm (2-3, 1-0) came back from a 10-point first-half deficit to win it. Brianna Jessop led all DSU scorers with 15 points on a 6 of 6 night from the field while Chermayne Moore chipped in 12 points.
“That’s a great way to start conference play with a big win on the road,” head coach Jenny Thigpin said. “The team played well together. If we continue to stay together as a unit we will be hard to beat.”
The Red Storm shot 46.0 percent and had 20 assists on 29 makes from the field. DSU ramped up the defense in the second half and forced Point Loma (1-6, 0-1) to take bad shots, shooting just 26.5 percent in the second half after 50 percent in the first half.
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