College basketball preview: Dixie State vs. Cal Baptist

Dixie State University (20-5, 14-5) v. California Baptist University (24-1, 18-1) at Burns Arena, 7:30 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN Radio 106.1 FM; CEC-TV

cbulancersCoach: Rick Croy
Record: 24-1, 18-1 Pac West Conference
Streak: 14 wins
PPG: 81.9
PAPG: 70.0
Probable starters: Chris Brown (G, 6’1″, 10.4 ppg), Anthony Cosentino (F, 6’6″, 12.0 ppg), Ryan Berg (G, 6’2″, 17.2 ppg), Michael Smith (G, 6’4″, 8.2 ppg), Kevin Crabb (C, 6’8″, 7.1 ppg)
Other key contributors: Garrett Jefferson (F, 6’3″, 6.6 ppg), Ivan Patterson (G, 6’3″, 9.6 ppg), Eric Hunt (F, 6’6”, 4.7 ppg) Kyle Wong (G, 5’10”, 3.7 ppg), Eric Nelson (F, 6’7”, 2.3 ppg)

dsulogoCoach: Jon Judkins
Record: 20-5 overall, 14-5 in Pac West Conference
Streak: 1 win
PPG: 85.6
PAPG: 78.1
Probable starters: Kimball Payne (G, 6’0″, 9.9 ppg), DeQuan Thompson (G, 6’3″, 14.4 ppg), Jordan Rex (C, 6’9″, 5.5 ppg), Zach Robbins (F, 6’10″, 15.6 ppg), Dalton Groskreutz (F, 6’6″, 13.2 ppg)
Other key contributors: Mason Sawyer (G, 5’10″, 7.3 ppg), Louis Garrett (F, 6’6″, 9.9 ppg), Curtis Papenfuss (F, 6’8″, 4.4 ppg), Landon Clegg (G, 6’4″, 2.0 ppg), Robbie Nielson (G, 6’4″, 6.3 ppg)

Previous meeting: Cal Baptist 100, Dixie State 90 on January 14 in Riverside, CA. CBU jumped out to 20-point halftime lead. Dixie battles back in 2nd half but unable to close difference. Lancer freshman guard Ryan Berg scores 34 points.

Game outlook: The last meeting was between two nationally-ranked teams and a battle for first in the conference. CBU has climbed since its win while DSU has fallen out of the rankings and to third in the conference. Should Dixie pull off the upset tonight and Dominican fall to Notre Dame de Namur, then the Red Storm will reclaim the second seed in the PacWest Tournament. Despite CBU’s dominance, the Lancers are not infallible. The 24-1 record includes a very easy non-conference schedule and the least-difficult conference schedule. (CBU only played Dominican, Chaminade and BYU-Hawaii once, with Dominican and Chaminade at home and Chaminade’s top two players serving suspensions). In CBU’s first meeting against DSU, Ryan Berg had a career-half, hitting 8 of 9 from 3-point land (89 percent). For the season, he averages less than 40 percent. Dixie has had a week to prepare for CBU. The Red Storm will be on its home court. Judkins’ squad needs to send a message tonight and show the Lancers the team CBU can expect to meet in the finals of the PacWest Tournament.

Women’s Basketball
Dixie State’s women’s basketball team also plays California Baptist, but their game is a morning game. The Lady Storm are playing in the morning due to being nationally-broadcast on CBS-Sports. The Lady Storm are 13-12 and 11-8 in conference and the Lady Lancers are 14-11 and 12-7. The last time these two teams met, CBU claimed a 79-62 victory on its home court. The Lady Storm are coming off a loss to conference leader Academy of Art, dropping DSU to fourth place in the conference. But if Dixie State can defeat CBU and Hawaii Pacific loses its game to Hawaii-Hilo, the Lady Storm could still finish second in the conference. Tipoff is at 10:00 a.m. at Burns Arena and is broadcast on 91.3 FM radio and CBS-Sports Network.

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