OAKLAND – The Dixie State men’s basketball team kept pace with the other PacWest front-runners Saturday by beating Holy Names University 88-68, giving DSU a sweep in the back-to-back, home-and-home series.
The victory, DSU’s sixth straight, clinched a spot for the Red Storm in the PacWest Basketball championship tournament and keeps them one game back in the loss column with three games left to play.
The Storm is currently tied for the second seed with Cal Baptist and sits behind only Azusa Pacific. Concordia University sits atop the standings, but is ineligible for the postseason in its first season in Division II.
Unlike Monday’s game, Holy Names kept pace with the Storm in the early going. By the second media timeout, the Hawks had a 15-14 lead off a 3-pointer by Isaiah Juarez.
The Storm then went on their first extended run of the game, outscoring HNU 19-3 over the next eight minutes. Brandon Simister and Quincy Mathews each scored five points in the run. With just over four minutes remaining in the half, DSU’s lead was 33-18.
“Quincy (Mathews) had a great game tonight,” said DSU head coach Jon Judkins. “He provided a good spark for us off the bench.”
The teams played even to the break, with Dixie State up 42-27. Mark Ogden led the Storm at halftime with 12 points. The team hit 55 percent from the field while holding HNU to 32 percent.
Dixie State stepped on the gas to begin the second half. The lead hit 20 points on Ogden’s power move two minutes in. Five minutes later, a 3-pointer from Mathews and a layup by Zac Hunter on the fast break gave DSU a 62-35 lead with 12:58 remaining.
Two free throws from Josh Fuller gave DSU its biggest lead, 69-39, with just under 10 minutes remaining. Dixie State head coach began getting in his reserves shortly afterward and by the four-minute mark, had emptied his bench. HNU slowly cut into the DSU lead over the last 10 minutes to get to the final score.
In total, 12 players saw action for the Storm with 11 getting on the scoreboard. Mark Ogden led five players in double figures with 16 points. Ogden also pulled down 11 rebounds for a double-double. Hunter scored 12 points. Mathews, Simister and Trevor Hill each scored 10. Simister also got five steals. Mason Sawyer led the team in assists with four.
For the game, the Storm shot 57 percent and held Holy Names to 38 percent. The Storm outscored HNU 54-22 in the paint and 14-2 on the fast break.
DSU will continue its road trip with a game against Dominican on Monday night before heading to Fresno Pacific on Wednesday. Both teams are tied at 9-9 and fighting it out for the final playoff spot in the postseason tournament.
“Our last three games are going to be tough,” said Judkins. “Dominican and Fresno are fighting for a spot and we are trying to get a 1- or 2-seed. And Concordia will want to avenge the loss we gave them at their place. I told our guys we need to play hard for these three games.”
Dixie State improves to 15-8 overall, 12-5 in the PacWest. Holy Names falls to 4-23 overall and 3-16 in the PacWest.
Game time against Dominican is set for 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
Stats: DSU 88, HNU 68
Dixie State 61, Holy Names 44
Taylor Mann continued her dominant play with her 18th double-double of the season. Unlike Monday’s game against the Lady Hawks, the Storm did not need overtime to win. Going into the fourth quarter with a slim-42-40 advantage, the Storm shut down HNU. The home team could only manage four points in the final stanza.
The Storm went inside early and often with Mann and Brianna Jessop scoring 10 of DSU’s first 13 points of the quarter. Chermayne Moore’s 3-pointer with just over one minute remaining gave the Storm a double digit lead 53-42. HNU had to foul to stop the clock and the DSU responded by hitting its last six free throws.
Mann led the team with 19 points and 10 rebounds. DSU post Ashlee Burge again put up big numbers in limited playing time. The sophomore center had 12 points, going 6 of 9 from the field, and four rebounds in only 19 minutes of action. Moore joined them in double figures with 11. Aliya Davis and Brianna Jessop each had 9 rebounds. Davis and Leslie Tademy led the team in assists with 5 each. Tademy also led the team with 4 steals.
The Storm move to 7-16 overall, 7-10 in the PacWest. Holy Names falls to 8-19 overall, 7-12 in the PacWest.
The Red Storm will travel to San Rafael to take on Dominican on Monday night. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
Stats: DSU 61, HNU 44
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