Heartbreak once again as Dixie State loses lead late against CS-Los Angeles

File photo of Dixie State's Trevor Hill (24), Dixie State University vs. Azusa Pacific University, Men's Basketball, St. George, Utah, Jan. 21, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

LOS ANGELES – For the second time in three games, Dixie State found itself on the short end of an extremely close game, with Cal State-Los Angeles rallying for a 77-75 win over the Trailblazers Monday night.

The home team Golden Eagles made a late surge to erase a seven-point deficit and tie the game with one minute remaining. They then outscored Dixie State 4-2 in the final minute to take the win.

A Quincy Mathews jumper gave DSU a 73-66 lead with just under four minutes left in the game. But the Eagles then scored the next seven points. The game was tied with one minute remaining.

Blazers coach Jon Judkins called a timeout with 50 seconds left and the score tied. Out of the timeout, Trevor Hill put the Blazers up two at 75-73 on a jumper with 33 seconds left. The Eagles held the ball till 13 seconds remained, then called a timeout. Garrett Carter then hit a 3-pointer with eight seconds on the clock to give CS-LA a 76-75 lead.

Dixie State could not get a shot off and Hill had to foul with two seconds left. The Eagles added a free throw, but missed the second. The Blazers failed to get a shot off before the clock expired.

Dixie State’s Quincy Mathews (32), file photo of Dixie State University vs. Chaminade University, Men’s Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 4, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The game started well for the 1-2 Trailblazers. After an opening 3-pointer by the Golden Eagles, Dixie State went on a 10-0 run. The last eight came courtesy of Mathews. He hit his first two 3-pointers. The lead soon grew to 16-7 on two consecutive jumpers from Zac Hunter and Isaiah Clark.

The lead went to nine again, 22-13, when Trevor Hill got a defensive rebound then found Hunter for a fast-break layup with 11:44 to play. CS-LA clawed back and eventually tied the game at 27-27 with 5:28 remaining in the first half.

The Blazers responded and with 1:32 left, the lead was 37-32 on two Dub Price free throws. But the Golden Eagles closed the half with an 8-2 run, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer, for a 40-39 halftime lead.

In the first half, DSU outshot the Golden Eagles 52-46 percent. The Blazers also held a 21-13 rebound advantage. They were called for five more fouls and CS-LA went to the line eight more times, hitting 6 of 11. Mathews and Clark led the team with eight points apiece. Hill had four assists and five rebounds in the first half.

The Blazers scored the first six points of the second half. Brandon Simister’s 3-pointer gave Dixie State a 45-40 lead with 16:47 on the clock. Hill then connected from distance after the first media timeout to put DSU up 48-42.

Two straight offensive put backs by Clark and Hill maintained the Dixie State lead, 52-47, with 12:58 remaining. Back-to-back drives to the hoop by Hill gave DSU a 60-56 lead. Hill then assisted on an Austin Montgomery basket for the 62-56 lead with 9:23 remaining.

Montgomery’s free throws after the media timeout gave DSU a 67-59 lead with 7:49 remaining. Montgomery slam-dunked the ball two minutes later for a 69-61 DSU advantage. But CS-LA dominated the final few minutes to pull out the win.

The Blazers outshot CS-LA 51-48 percent. DSU shot better from the line than the previous two games, but still missed a key front of a one-and-one late in the game that would have put the Blazers up four. They outrebounded the Eagles 43-28.

Individually, Hill, Mathews and Montgomery all scored 13 apiece to lead the team. Clark scored 12. Hill, Mathews and Clark also led the team with seven rebounds apiece. Hill dished out five assists and Simister led the team with two steals.

The Blazers drop to 1-2. They will take a few days off before heading to Monmouth, Ore., where the DSU women’s team just wrapped up two games. The men will play Eastern New Mexico on Friday at 3 p.m. Pacific Time. They will then face the host, Western Oregon, on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Stats: CS-LA 77, DSU 75

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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