UP NEXT – Dixie State College continues Pacific West Conference play at home against the University of Hawaii at Hilo Vulcans on Thursday night and Hawaii Pacific University on Saturday night – both games are scheduled to tip at 7:30 p.m. In both circumstances, it will be the first meeting of the year between the schools on the hardwood. Dixie State swept both UH-Hilo and HPU on the path to the school’s first ever PWC Championship. In games played in St. George, DSC handily defeated Hilo 80-48 and downed a very talented HPU squad 106-99 in the 2010 home finale. Dixie State enters play on Thursday on their longest winning streak of the season – four games.
RED STORM WATCH – The Red Storm, the defending PacWest Conference Co-Champions, are currently led by Tom Whitehead, averaging a team-high 13.5 points a game. Griffon Jones (10.3 PPG), the only other Red Storm player in double-figure scoring average this season, pulls down on average 5.7 boards. Dixie State is scoring 72.9 points per game and holding opponents to 60.4 points per contest – a differential of 12.5 points. DSC is pulling down an average of 37.3 rebounds in a game (+4.0 over opponents) and has been stingy on defense, leading the nation in field-goal percentage defense and ranking eighth in three-point percentage defense.
THURSDAY’s OPPONENT – Hawaii Hilo enters the week as one of three Pacific West Conference teams with 14 overall wins – joining Dixie State and Chaminade. The Vulcans have posted a 5-5 mark over their last 10 games.
In their last outing, Justin Smith scored a game-high 20 points and Zach Wilde went for 15 points and 12 rebounds in a UHH win over Hawaii Pacific 74-61 on the Big Island.
UH Hilo forward Justin Smith, a long and athletic lefty, leads the team averaging 19.1 points a game on the year (2nd PWC) and 20.6 PPG in PWC games. Zach Wilde is the only other Vulcan scoring 10+ points per contest.
Hilo tops the Pac West in field-goal percentage at 47.4% and is second in FG defense at 42.5%.
RED STORM vs. HAWAII HILO IN THE PACIFIC WEST
Hawaii Hilo 78, Dixie State 63 in OT (1/2/ in Hilo)
Dixie State 81, Hawaii Hilo 78 (2/15 in St. George)
Hawaii Hilo 89, Dixie State 88 (2/16 on St. George)
Dixie State 87, Hawaii Hilo 78 (1/17 in St. George)
Hawaii Hilo 96, Dixie State 88 in OT (2/7 in Hilo)
Dixie State 79, Hawaii Hilo 76 (2/14 in Hilo)
Dixie State 80, Hawaii Hilo 48 (3/4 in St. George)
Overall Record: 4-3
SATURDAY’s OPPONENT – The make-up of this season’s HPU squad is much different than the one that made an impressive run in the Pac West one season ago. Gone is legendary coach Tony Selitto, gone are 10 players including 2009-10 PWC Newcomer of the Year C.J. Jackson and gone are the days of scoring 84 points per game.
This year’s squad of Sea Warrirors under head coach Darren Vorderbruegge is averaging 69.3 points per game shooting 41.6% from the field. HPU has lost three straight games to inter-island opponents after heading to the Bay Area and sweeping all three schools in Northern California.
Senior transfer forward Jason Jackson scores 11.5 points and another senior forward Royal Edwards trailes just behind with 10.8 PPG on average. The Sea Warriors are fifth-best in the PWC in scoring and fourth in scoring defense (allowing 70.7 points/game).
RED STORM vs. HAWAII PACIFIC IN THE PACIFIC WEST
Dixie State 77, Hawaii Pacific 67 (1/26 in St. George)
Hawaii Pacific 85, Dixie State 76 (2/22 in Honolulu)
Dixie State 82, Hawaii Pacific 73 (2/23 in Honolulu)
Dixie State 77, Hawaii Pacific 58 (1/31 in Honolulu)
Dixie State 80, Hawaii Pacific 72 (2/14 in St. George)
Dixie State 97, Hawaii Pacific 86 (2/20 in Honolulu)
Dixie State 106, Hawaii Pacific 99 (3/5 in St. George)
Overall Record: 6-1