ST. GEORGE – The Dixie State men’s basketball team used excellent offensive ball movement and good defensive pressure to build a 35-point halftime lead and coast to a 95-60 PacWest Conference victory over the Holy Names University Hawks Saturday afternoon.
The Red Storm built the lead to as high as 47 points before getting some court time for seldom used reserve players to close the game.
“They (Holy Names) are really not that bad,” said Dixie post player Zach Robbins. “We just had a game where our execution offensively was crisp and our shots were falling. Our defense held them to 21 points in the first half. Some of their contested shots did go down in the second half but we had a comfortable lead by that time.”
The damage done early was from Dixie power forward Mark Ogden, who scored 12 of DSU’s first 17 points. Ogden would finish with a perfect game, hitting all nine of his field goals.
“Mark has been working on his jump shot,” said Dixie State head coach Jon Judkins. “Some of his shots were contested 15- to 17-foot jumpers. So going 9 for 9 was no easy feat.”
The lead climbed to double-digits at the 12:27 mark when DSU wing Zach Hunter’s layup put the Red Storm up 21-10. Six minutes later, the lead climbed past 20 when Robbins’ jumper from the left side put Dixie up 36-15. Hunter’s jumper with just over one minute put the Hawks down 30, 51-21.
It was clear to all attending that it was Dixie’s day when point guard Collin Woods hit a 75-foot shot at the buzzer to send Dixie in at halftime up 56-21.
“That shot was a Christmas miracle,” said Robbins. “He could have gotten closer because he still had two seconds on the clock when he let it go. But apparently he was close enough.”
Dixie scored the first 12 points of the second half to give the Red Storm its largest lead of the night with less than four minutes gone, 68-21. Igniting the run was point guard Mason Sawyer connecting from distance twice in the opening minutes. Ogden followed with a dunk. That was followed by two free throws apiece from Robbins and Robbie Nielson.
Toward the end of the second half, Judkins got valuable playing time to both key reserves and also to seldom-used players Ryan Graves and Sterling Brandley, who were both playing in their first game of the season.
“I was particularly happy to get Braden Saunders some minutes,” said Judkins. “With Van Brocklin injured, Braden’s role has increased. He is an energetic player who sometimes needs to harness that energy to play in control. He played well tonight.”
The Hawks Dorian Hardy led all players with 19 points. DSU’s front court starters saw limited minutes due to the blowout. Robbins, Ogden and Nielson all played less than half the game. Despite the limited time Ogden led the team in scoring with 18 points. He was joined in double-figures by Hunter (15), Robbins (14) and Sawyer (11). Sawyer added eight assists and Robbins pulled down eight rebounds to lead the team.
Dixie shot 60 percent from the field including 53 percent from the 3-point line. Defensively, the Storm held HNU to 36 percent shooting. The Red Storm outscored the Hawks 32-18 in the paint and held a 17-8 advantage on second-chance points.
With the victory DSU improves to 6-4 overall, 3-1 in the PacWest. Holy Names University falls to 2-10, remaining winless in conference play at 0-4. Dixie State will now break for Christmas before hosting conference opponent Academy of Art University on New Year’s Eve. Game time is at 2:30 p.m.
Stats: DSU 95, HNU 60
Dixie State 82, Holy Names 67
The Dixie State women’s basketball team pulled away from Holy Names to win 82-67 on Saturday afternoon. Taylor Mann led Dixie State with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Taylor Maynes added a double-double also, notching 10 points and 10 boards.
Twelve different members of the Red Storm scored points and DSU’s bigs dominated the paint, outscoring Holy Names 40-16 down low. Dixie also outscored the Lady Hawks 22-8 on second chance points and held a 32-17 advantage on points from the bench.
The victory improves the Red Storm’s record to 4-6 overall, 3-1 in conference play. Holy Names falls to 2-10, 1-3 in the PacWest. Dixie State is off until New Year’s Eve when the Red Storm take on Academy of Art at 12 p.m. in the Burns Arena.
Stats: DSU 82, HNU 67
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