Two consecutive losses this week plagued the Dixie State University women’s basketball team to a 4-14 overall record — the first of which pitted the Storm against Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
The Storm came into the game following a victory against Chaminade University, but the good fortune didn’t hold up Tuesday night.
DSU shot for just under 44 percent from the field in the first half but allowed BYUH to connect on nearly 55 percent of its 3-point attempts. The Storm also committed nine fouls during the first half, which sent the Seasiders to the line 14 times. BYUH sunk 13 of those foul shots.
“We just didn’t hit shots,” head coach Jenny Thigpin said. “At the end of the day, we didn’t execute and didn’t communicate in transition [defense], and that’s what hurt us. We have to be able to communicate in transition.”
The Storm committed 19 turnovers, which helped allow the Seasiders to outscore them in every quarter of the game. DSU never led in the game and eventually fell by a final score of 92-79.
Senior center Taylor Mann led the way for the Storm as she recorded a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Sandria Bolden recorded 14 points, while senior guard Leslie Tademy finished with 13 points and seven assists. Junior guard Tomorie Sangster chipped in 10 points in the losing effort.
Following the loss, DSU returned home to take on the Hawaii Pacific University Sharks. This is the first and only matchup between the two teams this season.
DSU grabbed the early lead 14-6 to start play in the first quarter. The Storm, however, were outscored 23-7 in the second quarter, which left them trailing at halftime by a score of 31-21.
“We always talk about putting four quarters together,” Thigpin said. “As you can see, we only scored seven points in the second quarter. At halftime, we talked about getting back to our strengths and sticking to them.”
The Sharks extended the lead to 46-31 in the third quarter before DSU trimmed the deficit to nine by the end of the quarter.
“Our defense helped us get back into the game in the second half,” said senior guard Chermayne Moore, a psychology major from Pinole, California. “They did a good job at limiting our runs, though. I think we did all that we could do, but some possessions just didn’t swing our way.”
The Storm kept fighting in the fourth quarter. Every DSU run was matched with an equal run by the Sharks until the Storm had cut the score to 60-56 with just under four minutes to go.
Clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch for the Sharks helped them hold off the rallying Storm, and DSU fell by a final score of 70-61.
“We need to be able to execute down the stretch in games like this,” Moore said. “If we play all four quarters and play lock-down defense, we will be able to come out on top going forward.”
The Storm shot just 37 percent from the field, while the Sharks found the net on 44 percent of their 3-point shots. DSU also allowed 24 points off its 21 committed turnovers throughout the game.
“Shots were going in, but I think our defense could have been better,” said guard Tramina Jordan, a red-shirt freshman and general education major from Las Vegas. “We took a few possessions off on the defensive end and were just too relaxed down the stretch.”
Mann led the DSU offense in the loss with a double-double, 26 points and 15 rebounds. Moore was the only other player in double figures with 10 points. Jordan put in seven points for the Storm.
“Our guards need to be more aggressive,” Thigpin said. “We want [them] to be able to get the ball into the paint by attacking the defense. Sometimes it’s the other way around, and we can’t let that happen.”
The Storm will now take a seven-day hiatus and will host California Baptist University Saturday before taking on the Academy of Art University Feb. 11. Both games are at 5 p.m. inside Burns Arena.