SAN DIEGO, Calif. – On Saturday, Dixie State saw its winning streak end at six games on the road against Point Loma Nazarene Saturday afternoon, 64-60. The Sea Lions avenged an earlier loss to the Trailblazers in overtime in Burns Arena.
The teams played very evenly on Saturday, with the difference being percentage and points scored at the 3-point line. Point Loma outscored the Blazers by 21 and outshot the visitors 37-21 percent from deep. It more than made up Dixie State’s advantage at the free-throw line, where the Blazers held the advantage 11-4.
After an even first six minutes, Point Loma started a 22-12 run with a 3-pointer from Josh Rodriguez. A layup from PLNU’s Vince Boumann had the Blazers down 33-23 with 6:04 remaining in the half.
“We missed Josh Fuller tonight,” said Dixie State head coach Jon Judkins. “Their big guy (Boumann) took advantage of his absence and just powered baskets inside.”
Boumann had 13 points Saturday. He only scored six in the teams’ earlier meeting.
Kyle Bingham ignited a comeback with his play off the bench for DSU. His only basket of the game started a 13-0 run by the Blazers. Trevor Hill had six points during the run. With just over one minute remaining in the first half, Quincy Mathews’ rebound and putback gave DSU a 36-33 lead. The Sea Lions tied the game with a 3-pointer before Kyler Nielson hit two free throws to give DSU a 38-36 halftime edge.
Two baskets from the Dixie posts, Austin Montgomery and Zac Hunter, gave DSU its biggest lead of the game, 42-36, just 20 seconds into the second half. PLNU fought back and with just under 15 minutes remaining, a tipped ball to Rodriguez at the offensive end led to an easy bucket and a tie game, 46-46.
A layup by Daylor Youngblood gave DSU a 50-49 lead with 12:14 showing on the clock. It would turn out to be the Blazers’ last lead of the game. Two consecutive 3-pointers by Point Loma started a 12-2 run. A layup by PLNU’s Zach Burnham gave the Sea Lions a 61-52 lead with 6:30 left.
“They hurt us with their zone defense,” said Judkins. “Right now we only have one guy (Brandon Simister) that is hitting consistently from the outside. We have good shooters. We need to take those shots when they are there.”
With two minutes remaining in the game, the Blazers had cut the deficit to four. Mathews scored on a drive to the basket to cut it to 63-61. After forcing an empty possession, Mathews got the defensive rebound and pushed the ball up court. The ball was tapped from behind however, and Point Loma retook possession.
DSU was forced to foul from that point and Point Loma distanced itself further through free throws. With time winding down, Hill hit a 3-pointer to get to the final margin 68-64.
“We had some mental mistakes at the end defensively,” said Judkins. “We did not close out on a costly 3-pointer. Through the whole game, our defensive communication was not good. Our defensive help was not there when players were expecting it. We need to talk more.”
Individually for Dixie State, Hill led the team with 14 points and five assists. He also pulled down seven rebounds. Hunter joined Hill in double-figure scoring with 12. Montgomery had eight points and led the team with eight rebounds. Brandon Simister shared the team lead in assists with five.
With the win, Point Loma moves to 10-6 overall and 6-3 in the PacWest. The Sea Lions are riding a five-game winning streak of their own with their last loss coming against the Blazers. Dixie State falls to 11-5 overall and 8-2 in the PacWest. The Blazers will continue their road trip with a game Monday night at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time against Concordia. DSU beat the Eagles earlier this year 82-76 in overtime at Burns Arena.
Point Loma 80, Dixie State 47
The Sea Lions outrebounded Dixie State 42-27 and forced the Blazers into 10 more turnovers to give PLNU extra possessions and turn the game into a blowout in the second quarter.
The rebounding discrepancy can be partly blamed on the absence of Dixie post players Lisa VanCampen and Ashlee Burge, who missed their second game in a row.
Individually for DSU, Jaden Gonzales led the team with 14 points. Tramina Jordan joined her in double figures with 10. Ali Franks led the team with six rebounds.
The Sea Lions improve to 14-2 overall and 8-1 in the PacWest. Dixie State falls to 2-14 overall and 2-8 in the PacWest. The Blazers will play Concordia on Monday at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
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