LAS VEGAS – The No. 8-ranked Dixie State Red Storm extended its perfect season, defeating Cal State-Dominguez Hills convincingly 77-59 in the second game of the Las Vegas Challenge.
The Toros jumped out early to a five-point lead, 11-6, behind eight points from Everett Turner. It took Dixie just one minute to erase that difference and the Toros would be chasing DSU the rest of the night.
“They came out very physical, and they are a better team than their record indicates,” said Dixie head coach Jon Judkins. “We focused on improving our defense, an area we have been lacking in previous games. I think we showed great improvement tonight, especially on screens.”
DSU shot 47 percent from the floor and 60 percent from beyond the arc in taking a 42-33 lead into the locker room. Zach Robbins led all scorers with 11.
“I think they tried to take us out of our game with their physicality,” Robbins said. “But we were able to play through that. Jordan (Rex) drew several fouls and took advantage at the free-throw line.”
Rex hit 7 of 10 from the line.
The Toros matched Dixie bucket for bucket early in the second half as DSU was unable to extend its lead beyond 10 points until 6:04 remaining. Leading 61-52, the Red Storm went on a 14-4 run with balanced scoring from several Dixie players, led by Dalton Groskreutz with six points. Dixie had its largest lead of the game, 75-56, with 1:47 to play.
“Their coach called a timeout and we had been stuck at a 10-point lead for most of the game,” said Judkins. “I challenged them to get the lead to 15 and play tough defense. They started pressing. We were able to beat the press and get several easy buckets.”
Landon Clegg added the last bucket for the Red Storm with a tip at the end of regulation. Dixie maintained the hot shooting from the arc going 9-15 for the game. While Dixie actually committed more turnovers (10-9), the Red Storm capitalized where the CSU-DH did not. DSU outscored the Toros on points off turnovers 14-3. Dixie also dominated with points in the paint 28-18.
CSU-DH’s DeShaun Freeman led all scorers with 23 points. Turner and Givon Crump also scored in double-figures with 10 apiece. For Dixie, Groskreutz led with 17 points. The Red Storm had two players with double-doubles. Robbins had 15 points and 14 rebounds. He also blocked six shots and dished out five assists. Rex finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. DeQuan Thompson also chipped in 11 points.
“Robbins played very well tonight,” said Judkins. “The coaches have been telling him to be more aggressive and to look for his shot more. He responded with excellent play.”
The Toros dropped to 4-5 overall and will face Academy of Art tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The Red Storm move to 7-0 and will face the Yellowjackets of Montana State-Billings at 7:30 tomorrow night. The Yellowjackets are 5-4 and defeated Academy of Art tonight, 85-69.
Stats via DSU Athletics: Red Storm 77, Toros 59
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