ST. GEORGE– The Dixie State College Red Storm used overtime to get a 77-73 win over the BYU Hawaii Seasiders. With the win, the Red Storm seal their third straight regular season Championship for the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and earn the right to represent the PacWest in the NCAA tournament.
The Seasiders jumped out to a to a 5-point half-time lead led by Jet Chang who scored the Seasiders’ final 14 points of the half.
Chang would go on to score the Seasider first three points of the second half, scoring 17 straight points for his team.
The only answer for the Red Storm on defense was freshman Dequan Thompson, who held Chang scoreless for the 13 minutes he was on the floor.
The Red Storm would get hot in the second half and took a 5-point lead with 5:40 left in regulation. With Thompson on the bench, Chang was being overplayed leaving Ale Okesene open for back-to-back 3-point baskets and the Seasiders capped off a 9-0 run and took a 4-point lead.
The Seasider lead was six with 2:15 left in the game. The Red Storm found their answer in their bigs, Solomon Jensen and Griffon Jones.
Jones made a layup to get the Seasider lead down to two and, with one minute remaining in regulation, Landon Clegg corralled the defensive rebound and raced down the floor.
Clegg found point guard Maurice Cole, who ran off a high screen from Jensen, Jensen rolled off the screen to the 3-point line and hit a 3-point basket with just under 45 seconds to play.
Cole was on the line with six seconds left in regulation and the Red Storm up by 1 and the student section ready to storm the court. Cole missed the first but made the second to give the Red Storm a 2-point lead.
The entire Burns Arena knew the ball was going to Chang – and it did. Chang raced down the floor and scored a layup with 0.01 seconds left in regulation.
With the game tied at 64 we were headed for overtime.
The extra period was much like the second half as the two teams traded the lead. The game was tied until Jensen scored, giving the Red Storm a 2-point lead with 20 seconds left.
Once again, the entire Burns Arena knew the ball was going to Chang as it did. Chang blew past Dalton Groskreutz and had a wide-open layup. The most open shot Chang had all day, he missed. Clegg pulled down the rebound and was fouled.
Clegg made both free throws to push the lead to 4.
As time expired, the students rushed the floor and the Red Storm picked up their third straight conference championship.
Jones led the way with a team high 15 points for the Red Storm. Groskreutz added 13 points and Jensen added a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Chang scored a game high 29 points and Okesene chipped in 20 points for the Seasiders.
The Red Storm cut down the nets and celebrated with their fans on the court. With the win, the Red Storm improve to 20-4 overall and 15-1 in PacWest play.
The Red Storm take on Chaminade on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at Burns Arena.
For more Dixie State Red Storm talk, tune into Blake’s Take weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio – 96.7 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on the brand new KZNU Sports website: www.kznusports.com
Twitter Hashtag: #DSCMBB
Copyright 2012 St. George News.