ST. GEORGE — Both Dixie State University teams swept their weekend road trip with games against New Mexico Highlands and Colorado State-Pueblo. The SUU men’s team got a tight win over UC Santa Barbara while the Thunderbirds women’s team lost on the road to the University of Denver on Monday.
No. 6/No. 5 Dixie State men’s basketball (10-0 overall, 5-0 conference)
DSU started their weekend at New Mexico Highlands, the team that spoiled their chances at a RMAC tournament championship last season. Highlands got hot at the right time in 2018-19, winning the RMAC tournament championship after a seventh place finish in the conference regular season.
The Trailblazers got their revenge on Friday night in the form of a nail-biting overtime win on the road. DSU went into the half down 16 and the Trailblazers were down 11 with only three and a half minutes left in the game. They held Highlands to only two points over the last three and a half minutes, outscoring them 13-2 to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Dixie State never led in regulation, but with two seconds left on the clock Dason Youngblood got a layup to fall and the Trailblazers won the game by a final score of 109-108. DSU had five players in double figure scoring, with Hunter Schofield and Frank Staine leading the way. The two had 25 points and 19 points respectively.
After the heart racing win over Highlands, the Trailblazers made the long trip to Colorado State-Pueblo. DSU was down one at halftime but had a big second half that saw them outscore Pueblo by 13. They won their second game of the weekend double header 81-61.
Schofield added another 20 point effort with a career high 28 points and nine rebounds while Youngblood had 13 points and eight rebounds.
With both victories on Friday and Saturday, the Trailblazers jumped in the top 25 national polls to No. 6 in the coaches poll and No. 5 in the SID poll.
DSU goes back on the road on Friday with a game against Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon, which will be a big game for the Trailblazers before taking a 10 day break for the holidays.
Dixie State women’s basketball (8-3 overall, 3-2 conference)
Dixie State got their first win of the weekend in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where they beat New Mexico Highlands 66-58. The Trailblazers played well in the first quarter, building a 12 point lead before an eight point second half made it a close game at halftime.
DSU and New Mexico Highlands matched baskets in the third and fourth, but the Trailblazers were able to get the gutsy win on the road at the start of their double header. Madi Loftus and Keslee Stevenson had 18 and 17 points respectively while London Pavlica had five points, nine rebounds and six assists.
After the win, the Trailblazers traveled to Colorado State-Pueblo, where they got their second win on Saturday, 70-46. DSU held Pueblo to only 46 points, which was a great defensive effort. The 46 points allowed was their third lowest of the season.
Senior Ali Franks had a team high 22 points in the blowout win while London Pavlica once again contributed six points, nine rebounds and six assists.
The Trailblazers do not play again till after the holidays, when they will host Yellowstone Christian on Dec. 30 at 5:30 p.m.
Southern Utah men’s basketball (6-4 overall)
SUU beat UC Santa Barbara in a close game, 62-61. Read more about the game here.
Southern Utah women’s basketball (5-3 overall)
The Thunderbirds traveled to Denver, Colorado where they took on the University of Denver, 81-73. Harley Hansen led the way for SUU with 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Ashley Larsen also had 19 points while Shalyn Fano had 15 points in the losing effort.
SUU came out of the gates strong, leading by seven at the end of the first quarter. They were then held to only eight points in the second quarter, with Denver outscoring them by 11 points to take the lead at the half. It was a back and forth game till Denver exploded for a 30 points fourth quarter to get the win over the Thunderbirds.
Before taking about a week and a half break for the holidays, the Thunderbirds play UC Riverside at home on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
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