While most students left campus for the winter break, Dixie State University women’s basketball players stayed on-site to go to battle on the hardwood.
DSU opened its conference home slate against nationally-ranked No. 25 Azusa Pacific University Dec. 19, a team it has never beaten. The Storm’s struggles continued as the Cougars held a double-digit lead throughout most of the game en route to a 93-69 win.
Despite the loss, three Storm players scored in double figures led by senior guard Chermayne Moore’s 20 points. Senior forward Taylor Mann added 19 points and snagged 14 rebounds while sophomore forward Ashlee Burge added 14.
“It wasn’t good enough,” Mann, an English major from Castle Dale said. “It’s frustrating because we’ve been having really solid practices, but it’s just not transferring into the games.”
Head coach Jenny Thigpin said she agreed with Mann.
“I’ve seen so much improvement in the girls in these last couple of months, so it’s definitely frustrating because its something you don’t see on the box score. We just have to stick with it, and the ball will start bouncing our way.”
The next game, against Chaminade University, went much differently than the first. DSU shot nearly 50 percent from the field, five players scored in double-digits, and the Storm led wire-to-wire.
“The good thing about our league is that we have games pretty much every week,” Mann said. “That gives us a chance to move on and get better.”
The Storm did just that.
The 103-86 win was just the second of the season for DSU and the first time it crossed the century-mark. Mann led the way once again, scoring 25 points on 12 of 15 shooting and pulling down 11 rebounds.
The team followed up the big win with a trip to California for two more conference matches but didn’t fair as well as it did against CUH.
The first contest was a rematch with ranked APU, a rematch that only echoed the first game.
Mann notched her sixth straight double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds, but no other Storm player scored in double figures as APU routed DSU 87-61.
The final game of the Storm’s short road-swing would pit them up against conference newcomer Concordia University.
Despite 22 points from Mann, 13 from Moore, 10 from freshman guard Tomorie Sangster, and senior guard Leslie Tademy missing a triple-double by just two assists, DSU couldn’t hang with the Eagles.
Concordia led throughout the game, fending off a couple of DSU runs before coming out on top 89-75.
The loss dropped DSU to 2-10 on the season and 2-4 in conference play.
Next up, the Storm welcome Notre Dame de Namur University to Burns Arena for another Pacifc West Conference bout Jan. 14 at 5 p.m.