MBB Preview: Storm hope to avoid sting on Saturday

Dixie State College returns to the scene of one of their losses from last season, Alterowitz Gymnasium, looking for a bit of revenge against Montana State Billings on Saturday night at 5:15pm. Last year, DSC defeated the Jackets by three points at home during a holiday tournament only to lose by the same margin a few weeks later in Billings.

The Red Storm are coming off a solid road triumph at Carroll College 68-56 on Thursday. Tom Whitehead led the score tally for the second straight game with 21 points and Everton Araujo grabbed a career-best nine rebounds.

The Yellowjackets are 1-5 and in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Most recently, the club lost to Simon Fraser in Canada 94-79 in GNAC play. The only victory came on Nov. 20 at home against Minot State 83-63.

This will be the final non-conference game of the regular season. Following the game, Dixie State has a 27-day break before opening Pacific West Conference action at home on January 8th against Grand Canyon.

RADIO: Live coverage from the Billings will be heard on KXDS 91.3FM with the “Voice of Red Storm Athletics” John Potter. The Intermountain Sports Medicine Pregame Show begins at 15 minutes prior to tip at 6:45pm.

ONLINE AUDIO: Online audio for the MSUB game will be available on Classical 91.3FM’s website (Dixie.edu/classical91) and Network1Sports.com’s Dixie State radio page. Links for the Network1Sports feed are available on DixieAthletics.com.

ONLINE VIDEO: Montana State Billings has partnered with nmtvsports.com so fans can watch all home games online streaming live and archived. Locate the link to the Yellowjacket feed at DixieAthletics.com.

LIVE STATS: MSUB will offer a live stat link through their Sidearm website. The link for the live stat feature is available on DixieAthletics.com

MSU Billings: The Red Storm and Yellowjackets met for the first two times last season. Dixie State downed MSUB 78-75 to win the DSC Holiday Classic on December 5, 2009. Sixteen days later in a new setting, Montana State Billings won by three, 63-60. Heading into Saturday’s matchup, the all-time series sits at 1-1.

G – Jeremiah Barnes, 6-1, 185, Sr. (7.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.8 apg, .385 FG, .333 3FG, .588 FT)
G – McKay Massey, 6-2, 185, So. (4.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.9 apg, .361 FG, .263 3FG, 1.000 FT)
F – Tom Whitehead, 6-6, 185, Sr. (15.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, .482 FG, .392 3FG, .907 FT)
F – Griffon Jones, 6-5, 220, Jr. (12.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, .556 FG, .778 FT)
C – Solomon Jensen, 6-8, 220, Jr. (6.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, .465 FG, .769 FT)

RED STORM WATCH: Dixie State has won two-straight games after suffering a setback, 57-65, at Mesa State Nov. 27. The Red Storm enter the game with a 6-3 record overall and have already taken down three of the GNAC’s top teams in Alaska Anchorage (75-58), Western Washington (86-80) and at Seattle Pacific (68-61). The Red Storm, the defending PacWest Conference Champions, is currently led by Tom Whitehead, averaging team-highs in points (15.7) and rebounds (5.1) per game. Griffon Jones is the only other Red Storm player in double-figures this season, accounting for 12.0 points per game and 5.0 boards. Dixie State is scoring 70.8 points per game and holding opponents to 60.6 points per contest. DSC is pulling down an average of 35.3 rebounds in a game and has been stingy on defense, forcing 14.9 turnovers each game with a +1.6 turnover margin.

A PEEK AT THE JACKETS: Montana State Billings competes in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and was selected to finish third out of ten teams in the preseason coaches poll. Senior guard DeAndre Chambers leads the squad scoring 16.8 points per game while junior college transfer forward Robert Mayes rips down 8.8 rebounds with 12.5 points a contest. The Yellowjackets are 1-2 inside Alterowitz Gymnasium this season. As a team the Yellowjackets are averaging 76.2 points per game and are shooting 47.1 percent from the field. The Jackets are knocking down just 33.3 percent of their three-pointers and have shot 66.3 percent from the line. MSUB is outrebounding opponents this season 36.5-33.8 on average.

CONFERENCE HONORS: Three Dixie State players were honored by the Pacific West Conference with selections to the Top 10 Honor Roll for their production in the Pacifica game. Jeremiah Barnes set a DSC record with 13 dimes while adding five points, six rebounds and a steal in 18 minutes of play. Derek Owen posted 15 points for the second time in his last three games. He made seven-of nine field goal attempts and collected six rebounds. Tom Whitehead not only scored 25 points, but also did so without a turnover against the Gladiators. He shot 89% from the floor and 85% from the arc.

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