Coming in with a four-game winning streak, the Dixie State University women’s basketball team hoped to continue its winning ways at home after its success in Hawaii.
Playing at home for just the second and third times this year, the Storm battled against Azusa Pacific University Jan. 11 and Fresno Pacific University Jan. 13 in the Burns Arena in Pacific West Conference action.
In a close contest most of the way with APU, junior center Taylor Mann and senior guard Haley Holmstead both recorded double-doubles. As Dixie State almost made a comeback late in the second half. The score was 48-50 late in the game, but Azusa Pacific held off the Red Storm’s late game surge with a decisive 15-0 run to put the game away, resulting in a 56-72 loss for Dixie State Saturday night.
After applying a full court pressure defensively, the DSU defense was able to hold the score close, but the Storm struggled shooting, especially from 3-point range. Dixie finished with only two made 3-point shots compared to Azusa’s nine.
Despite a poor night shooting for Dixie State overall, Holmstead again led the Storm in scoring with 23 points and 17 of her points were achieved in the first half.
Mann added 10 points and 16 rebounds, with an astounding 10 rebounds coming off the offensive glass.
“I think Taylor really found her groove in Hawaii rebounding wise,” head coach Catherria Turner said. “I think that’s because she played at BYU-Hawaii.”
APU is currently tied for the lead in PacWest Conference play. APU’s Kelly Hardeman led the way with 27 points before exiting the game with an ankle injury.
In what may have been the play of the game for the Storm, junior guard Austen Harris made an impressive no look pass on a fast-break to woo the fans who cheered on the play. At home for only the second time this season, the Red Storm were looking for a win to impress the home crowd.
“We are really looking forward to our next game,” said Harris, a junior pre-med major from Acworth, Ga. “We really want to win at home.”
DSU won on its home floor for the first time Monday night against a feisty Fresno Pacific team.
Dixie State overcame a 33-27 halftime deficit to pull out a win at the Burns Arena 75-62. The win takes Dixie’s record to (7-7) overall and (5-3) in the PacWest Conference.
“Its just going to take time,” Turner said. “We have been away for a very long time, but once we get our groove . . . we will be fine.”
The Red Storm play California Baptist University Jan. 18.