The men’s basketball team took another win over Chaminade University Monday night and opened the Pacific West Conference with a wide point-spread win over University of Hawai’i-Hilo.
Head coach Jon Judkins expected a close game against Hilo at the beginning of the week, but the game ended differently.
“When we play each other, it’s always a very good game, and they play extremely hard against us,” Judkins said. “I give them a lot of credit. They’re big, they’re quick, and I’m glad we got a win.”
The Dixie State College men’s basketball team carried away an 82-64 victory at the end of the night when the clock hit double-zeros.
“They battled and they got after us,” Judkins said. “They hurt us off penetration and had layups that first half. Finally our guys started playing defense. We got rebounding and we got our running game going, and that’s when we’re good. That’s what changed the whole game.”
However, the first half told a different story. When the first 20 minutes ended, it was a two point game at 43-41.
“We played really well in the second half, but in the first half it was a two-point game,” said junior forward Dalton Groskreutz, a communication major from St. George. “We need to figure out how to play the way we did in the second half in the first half—for the whole game.”
The Red Storm pulled away the second half with the help of sophomore forward Zach Robbins, who had another double-double in the game. Robbins had a total of 17 points and 14 rebounds to complete his second double-double this season.
“I thought Zach played really well,” Judkins said. “He’s just getting better and better. He plays hard. He’s long, he’s athletic and he had a good game for us tonight.”
Groskreutz also led the team with 19 points on the night, and the Red Storm’s defense opened a 25-7 run that gave DSC its first conference win.
“We had a lot of guys contribute, but there’s also things that we need to improve on—myself included,” Groskreutz said.
The Chaminade game Monday night came out with the 87-78 win in the Burns Arena.
Chaminade came to DSC short one of its star players, senior guard De’Andre Haskins, because of a concussion. Haskins is Chaminade’s lead scorer, averaging 22 points a game.
But the Red Storm showed no mercy as freshman guard Brandon Simister scored 15 points in the second half teaming along with Groskreutz, who led the team with 17.
Groskreutz had two dunks on the night—both in the second half. The first dunk was three minutes in and he powered over two defenders and slammed the ball into the basket as the crowd went wild. The second dunk occurred with six minutes left, and senior guard McKay Massey overtook a rebound and threw the ball down court to meet Groskreutz at the other end. Groskreutz had the open lane and flew through the air to send the ball through the metal rim.
The Red Storm ended the night with a defense Chaminade couldn’t break, and DSC walked out of the gym with the victory.
Dixie State plays this Saturday on the road against Fresno Pacific University at 5:30 p.m.