LAS VEGAS — Dixie State senior guard DeQuan Thompson poured in 22 points in front of his hometown crowd, but Dixie State saw a 15-point first half advantage evaporate in a 76-66 loss to Seattle Pacific on day one at the Las Vegas Challenge at the Orleans Arena.
Mason Sawyer added 17 points and three assists while Zach Robbins fell a rebound shy of a double double with 10 points and 9 rebounds for the Red Storm (4-4).
Dixie State started out the game with ferocious defensive tenacity and spurted out to a 17-2 lead at the 11:49 mark. The Falcons rode the hot shooting of Shawn Reid off the bench to erase the deficit and take a 34-30 lead into the locker room at the break.
A 6-0 opening run for Seattle Pacific (8-3) in the second half bumped the lead to 10 points, 40-30. Reid’s triple just under the 10-minute mark gave SPU its largest cushion, 14 points.
Dixie State used the next seven minutes to shave the advantage to three. Thompson scored 11 points in the second stanza and Sawyer netted 13 during the stretch. Two free throws from Collin Woods with 3:57 left gave the Storm hope, down 67-64.
After a free throw, Reid capped off his career night with his fifth 3-pointer. The senior forward blasted past his previous best of 13 points en route to 30 points on 12 of 15 overall shooting.
Mitch Penner was the only other Falcon in double figures with 12 points.
Dixie State shot 43 percent from the floor (22-51). The rebounding battle ended up even at 35-35.
Day Two of the Las Vegas Challenge is Thursday with the Storm scheduled to battle Saint Martin’s at 7:30 p.m. PT. The Saints fell to Rollins College 73-67 on Wednesday.
Stats: SPU 76, DSU 66
Seattle Pacific 91, Dixie State 63
The Dixie State women’s basketball team dropped its first game of the Las Vegas Challenge to No. 14 Seattle Pacific 91-63 on Wednesday night.
The Red Storm (3-5, 2-1) were cold from the 3-point line, despite Kaylah Miller knocking down 4 of 6 from downtown. She posted 20 points as a bright spot while the rest of the squad went a combined 0 for 11 from deep. Dixie State also suffered from 26 turnovers.
Seattle Pacific (8-1, 1-1) turned those turnovers into 28 points.
Midway through the first half, the Falcons started to pull away from Dixie State. Up just three points, an 8-0 run made it a double-digit edge which grew to 22 points at halftime.
The run put the game out of reach for the Red Storm in the second half. Seattle Pacific went on to win, 91-63.
Dixie State takes on Western Oregon on Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Orleans Arena.
Stats: SPU 91, DSU 63
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