GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A fourth-quarter collapse prevented the Dixie State women’s basketball team from collecting its first win Friday afternoon.
Leading by 11 points with just over seven minutes remaining, the Red Storm hit a dry spell and could not keep Western State-Colorado in check, losing 68-59.
“We had to pull Taylor Mann early in the fourth quarter because of foul trouble,” said Dixie State head coach Jenny Thigpin. “The lack of inside presence combined with some costly turnovers allowed the other team back into the game.”
Through three quarters, Dixie State controlled the game and took a 45-41 advantage into the fourth. Two three-pointers from Chermayne Moore and a free throw from Ashlee Burge gave Dixie a commanding 11-point lead with 7:26 to play.
That is when the Mountaineers’ leading scorer, Taylor Long, took control of the game. The sophomore guard, who leads the team in scoring as a freshman (11.7), scored 13 fourth-quarter points.
“We went to a zone in the fourth quarter,” said Dixie post Taylor Mann. “They did a good job of hiding her and getting her open looks.”
Over the next four minutes, the Red Storm was outscored 14-0 by WSC, including eight from Long. Thigpin made liberal substitutions, trying to stem the tide, but to no avail.
“We had played team ball through the first three quarters,” said Thigpin. “We did not continue team play in the fourth.”
Thigpin inserted Mann with under four minutes remaining. Mann’s jumper in the lane ended the Mountaineers run and pulled DSU to within one, 55-54, with 2:55 remaining. The Red Storm struggles continued, however, as they would not connect from the field again until the game was out of reach. The Mountaineers closed the game on a 13-5 run.
As a team, DSU only hit for 32 percent from the field. The Storm committed 24 turnovers. They held the Mountaineers to 36 percent from the field and forced them into 20 turnovers.
Individually, the Mountaineers Long led all scorers with 25. For the Storm, Mann had 16 points and six rebounds. Also scoring double-figures were Moore (11) and Aliya Davis (10). Leslie Tademy led the team with six assists.
The Storm drop to 0-4. They will play the host, Colorado Mesa, Saturday afternoon at 5.
Stats: WSCU 68, DSU 59
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