Both Dixie State University basketball teams came away victorious on a thrilling Saturday night in Burns Arena.
Dixie State men’s basketball leaned on the hot shooting of senior guard DeQuan Thompson to grab its fourth consecutive victory on Saturday against Notre Dame de Namur University.
Thompson scored 21 points on nine of 14 from the field, but he wasn’t the only DSU player with the hot hand. Senior center Zach Robbins added 12 points, and junior guard Robbie Nielson only missed one shot on his way to an 11-point outing.
The Storm started the game off slow and were only able to hold a three-point lead going into halftime. Assistant coach Ryan Sanchez said the emphasis in the locker room was effort.
“We just weren’t playing hard enough,” Sanchez said. “In the second half, we defended with energy and we were able to get stops, rebound, and get out on the break offensively.”
In the second half, Dixie did just that. The Argonauts were held to just 20 points in the final 20 minutes, while DSU exploded offensively. Dixie State did not miss from distance in the second half. The Storm were also able to clamp down defensively, forcing turnovers and turning them into points on the offensive end. Robbins had three blocks in the game, adding to his already Pacific West Conference, leading 41.
“I was feeling good and having fun,” Thompson said. “We just seemed to be firing on all cylinders. We played hard and had a good time.”
The win moved the Storm into a second-place tie in the PacWest Conference. With just five games remaining, DSU has the opportunity to possibly nab the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, which will start on Thursday, March 5, in Irvine, California.
DSU will face Chaminade in the Burns Arena on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Dixie bested Chaminade in their last meeting 86-83.
Hot shooting and a total team effort led the DSU women to victory Saturday night against Notre Dame de Namur University. Dixie shot 50 percent from the field (32-64), while being able to hold the Argonauts to just 28 percent shooting.
Five different players scored in double figures for the Storm, led by senior guard Kaylah Miller with 18. Junior guard Chermayne Moore added 15; junior center Taylor Mann, 14; and senior center Haileigh Emerine, 12.
Freshman guard Tianna Dougher also notched her first career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Head coach Jenny Thigpin said, she was thrilled with her teams performance.
“We played together,” Thigpin said. “We had five girls in double figures, and we’re a tough team to beat when we can do that.”
DSU held a 41-28 lead at halftime, but that was quickly cut in half by a 9-0 NDNU run in the early stages of the second half. The Storm quickly countered that run with 3-point barrage from Miller and Moore.
All season long, the Storm have been plagued by costly turnovers and allowing second-chance opportunities. Both are areas where the team has improved greatly over the past two games. DSU won the battle of the boards 58-40 and turned the ball over just 16 times against NDNU, four under its season average. Brianna Jessop, a junior forward and human communication major from Hyrum, said she believes this is a big key to its improved play.
“We have been working on that,” Jessop said. “We have focused a lot more on taking care of the ball and boxing out.”
The women will play Chaminade at home on Thursday at 5 p.m., the second of its four-game home stand. Each of these games will be critical as the team is fighting for a Pacific West Conference tournament birth.