Dixie State bounces back with squeaker over Academy of Art

SAN FRANCISCO – Dixie State, looking to rebound from its loss Thursday night to Dominican, traveled across the Golden Gate Bridge and eked out a victory over the Urban Knights of Academy of Art University, duplicating the score on the last visit to San Francisco, 82-80.

dsulogoAcademy_of_Art_University_logoThe Urban Knights opened the first half matching Dixie bucket for bucket. When the first 10 minutes had expired, AAU’s Alexis Moore hit a 3-pointer to put the Knights up 22-18. Dixie’s Louis Garrett answered with a layup. AAU then went on a 19-7 run, book-ended by a three-point play and a 3-pointer by Knight center Rodrigo Maza. During the run several Knights picked up three fouls each.

The Red Storm took advantage, taking the ball to the hole and closing to within seven points at halftime, 47-40. Dixie State was led by Kimball Payne and DeQuan Thompson, who shared scoring honors with nine points apiece at the half. The Urban Knights hit 60 percent of their shots in the first half.

“Their scorers were not really hurting us from the outside,” said Dixie’s Zach Robbins. “It was their penetration that was hurting us. So we played more zone in the second half and it disrupted them.”

The Red Storm would continue their momentum out of the locker room, outscoring AAU 17-9 over the first eight minutes for their first lead since early in the game, 57-56. Payne continued to fuel the break, scoring six during the run.

The Knights answered with a 7-0 run behind seven straight points from Moore. Dixie trailed again by six 63-57 with 13:24 to play. Both teams then went cold and neither team would score until Garrett hit a layup with just under 10 to play. Both teams would trade buckets and Moore’s 3-pointer at the 4:51 mark kept the Urban Knights out in front by six, 72-66. Dixie then went on a 10-1 run.

“They got into foul trouble early and the coaches told us to keep the pressure on them by being more aggressive,” said Robbins. “The officials did not call the game near as tight as they did in the first half, but their big guy (Rodrigo Maza) went to the bench early.”

Combined with some inside play from Jordan Rex and Robbins and two layups within a minute from Thompson, the last coming with 45 seconds to play, the Red Storm went ahead 76-73. Alex Carmon responded with a quick layup at the other end, followed by a quick timeout with 37 seconds to play.

Dixie’s final six points came at the charity stripe as AAU was forced to foul. Dalton Groskreutz and Thompson were perfect down the stretch and Dixie as a team was 14 for 15 at the line in the second half.

A meaningless dunk at the buzzer by Aaron Aikman brought the final score to 82-80.

Dixie was able to clamp down defensively in the second half, cooling down the Knights’ shooting from the floor to 37 percent. AAU shot 46 percent for the game. Dixie won for the first time this season while shooting below 40 percent (27 for 70). Dixie State held the advantage in the paint 42-26.

AAU was led by Moore with 29 points. Carmon and Aaron Anderson scored 14 and 13 points, respectively. Maza had a perfect shooting night going 4 for 4 from the floor, including a 3-pointer, and 3 for 3 from the free throw line. However fouls limited him to only 22 minutes.

For DSU, Payne led the scoring with a career high of 19. Thompson added 17. Robbins recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Rex nearly recorded an additional double-double with 9 points and 9 rebounds.

The loss drops AAU to 6-19, 4-14 in the Pac West. Dixie will be rooting for the Urban Knights in their next game Monday night against Dominican. With the victory, Dixie State moves to 20-5 overall, 14-5 in conference. The Storm has a week to prepare for Cal Baptist, the season conference champion and winners over the Red Storm Jan. 18 by a score of 100-90.

Stats: DSU 82, AAU 80

Women’s game: Academy of Art 97, Dixie State 81

The Lady Storm had their 5-game winning streak snapped as the PacWest Conference season champions, Academy of Art University, led from start to finish to defeat Dixie 97-81. The Lady Knights jumped out to a 12-0 lead and led by as many as 20 the first half. Dixie was plagued with poor shooting, hitting only 36 percent of its shots. The Lady Storm were led by Brianna White with 23 points. Dixie falls to 13-12, 11-8 in the PacWest. They will finish out the season hosting Cal Baptist next Saturday.

Stats: AAUW 97, DSUW 81

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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