Shooting woes doom Red Storm in road loss to Azusa Pacific

Photo courtesy DSU Athletics

AZUSA, Calif. – The Azusa Pacific University Cougars swept Dixie State in conference play this year with a 69-63 win at home. The Red Storm outplayed APU in every statistical category except the most important one — putting the ball in the basket.

The Cougars outshot Dixie State 47-30 percent from the floor including 46-31 percent from distance.

dsulogo“The effort was there,” said Dixie State head coach Jon Judkins. “We took good shots, shots that normally go in for us. Tonight they didn’t fall.”

Dixie State forced the Cougars into eight more turnovers and outrebounded APU 42-39. DSU also outscored Azusa 19-7 at the charity stripe. But, while both teams hit 16 two-point field goals, the Cougars scored six more 3-pointers.

“(Azusa Pacific) goes 10-deep in their rotation,” said Judkins. “Right now we only have seven, and a few of them are beat up, not 100 percent.”

The Red Storm held a 32-30 halftime advantage. Neither team was able to pull away as the largest lead in the first half was six points.

Dixie State matched that lead early in the second off two free throws from Mark Ogden to give the Storm a 39-33 advantage with 17:12 remaining. APU quickly knotted the score off two 3-pointers from Lydell Cardwell.

A Cougar streak came moments later when Azusa went on an 8-0 run to take a 50-42 lead with just over nine minutes remaining. However, Dixie inched back to tie the score at 54. Trevor Hill had seven points during the 12-4 run.

Photo courtesy DSU Athletics
    Photo courtesy DSU Athletics

The Cougars then went on the decisive 9-1 run. Senior guard Bruce English hit a 3-pointer and two free throws during the run. APU led 63-55 with 3:46 remaining. Dixie State began fouling to stop the clock. APU’s lead reached double digits, 69-58, on the resultant free throws with 51 seconds left.

“They had too many runs on us tonight,” said Judkins. “There were three or four stretches where they outscored us by 8-10 points. Our guys have to step up, hit some shots and get some stops.”

Dixie finished the game outscoring APU 5-0, all on free throws, but could not make up the late large deficit.

Individually, Hill led all scorers with 21 points. He was joined in double figures by Brandon Simister (12) and Josh Fuller (11). Robbie Nielson pulled down eight rebounds. English led the Cougars with 19. Cardwell and Will Ward each scored 10 points.

Azusa Pacific moves to 10-3 overall and 4-1 in the PacWest. Dixie State falls to 5-6 overall, 2-3 in the PacWest.

The Red Storm travel further west to Irvine, Calif., to take on PacWest newcomer Concordia University on Saturday. The matchup is the third of a three-game, six-day PacWest conference stretch with the last two on the road.

“This is a crucial stretch for us,” said Judkins. “We need to bounce back and get this third game on Saturday.”

Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Pacific.

Stats: Azusa Pacific 69, Dixie State 63

Azusa Pacific 87, Dixie State 61

Taylor Mann recorded her sixth-straight double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds, but it was not enough as the Dixie State dropped an 87-61 decision at No. 24-ranked Azusa Pacific Thursday night in Azusa, Calif.

Photo courtesy DSU Athletics
 Photo courtesy DSU Athletics

The Storm never led in the contest as the hot-shooting Cougars opened the game with a 14-4 run en route to a 24-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. APU kept the momentum going in the second stanza, outscoring Dixie State 23-11 in the period to take a commanding 47-25 advantage into the halftime intermission. Azusa Pacific would push its lead to as many as 32 points late in the third period before settling for the final margin of victory.

Mann, connected on 8-of-17 from the floor, and hit 7-of-8 from the line to lead the Storm. Sandria Bolden chipped in seven points off the bench. Azusa improves to 11-2 overall and remains undefeated in conference 5-0. Dixie State falls to 2-9 overall and 2-3 in the PacWest.

Dixie State will look to bounce back this Saturday as the Storm takes on PacWest newcomer Concordia at 5:30 p.m. Pacific time, in Irvine, Calif.

Stats: APU 87, DSU 61

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