After reviving itself from the loss of Hawaii Pacific University with two conference wins, the Dixie State University men’s basketball team prepares to face the No. 1 team in the Pacific West Conference: California Baptist University.
DSU will not only be facing the best opponent thus far, but it will be playing in the undefeated Lancers’ territory.
“They are always a really good, tough team,” said guard Kimball Payne, a senior business major from Alpine. “It is always a close game; it is never a blowout. So it is going to be an exciting game to play [over there].”
Payne said the Storm just have to stay focused and keep doing what they do best, which is defense, in order to be the team that comes out on top.
“It’s going to be a battle down there, and we just have to start out strong,” Payne said.
DSU is currently No. 2 in the conference with a 6-1 record. CBU is 7-0 in the conference, making this game a battle for the No. 1 spot.
Head coach Jon Judkins said CBU is playing well and it has a lot of energy.
“They just get after it,” Judkins said. “We are excited to go play them.”
Dixie State’s loss against Hawaii Pacific University Jan. 6 jump started the men for Saturday night’s 87-63 win against Azusa Pacific University, Judkins said.
“We just came out hungry,” Payne said. “The last game we played, we didn’t come out and we didn’t play defense at all. But when we do that, there are not too many teams that can play with us.”
DSU never fell behind Saturday and remained 20 points ahead throughout the second half. Junior guard DeQuan Thompson, sophomore guard Mason Sawyer, and junior forward Zach Robbins all left the court with a total of 16 points. Dixie had a total of 45 rebounds during the game.
The Storm went on to defeat Fresno Pacific University 85-61. Robbins led the team with 17 points and 10 rebounds Monday.
DSU will face California Baptist University Jan. 18 at 8:30 p.m. in Van Dyne Gymnasium in Riverside, Calif.