SAN DIEGO, Calif. Nov. 12 ?" San Diego State took control early in Saturday's matchup and stifled Southern Utah's offense throughout the contest to take a 70-37 victory over SUU. The Aztecs held the Thunderbirds to just 30 percent shooting from the floor while converting better than 50 percent on their end.
The Thunderbirds recorded the game's first basket as Ray Jones Jr. knocked down a step-back jumper to beat the shot clock and give SUU an early 2-0 advantage. The Aztecs then responded by scoring 15 straight points to take a 15-2 lead. San Diego State held Southern Utah scoreless for over 10 minutes during the run while pressuring the SUU offense into ine turnovers.
Jones was able to spark the Thunderbird offense once again just near the 10-minute mark after getting to the free-throw line with a hard drive to the basket where he went one of two from the stripe to break the scoring drought. Senior guard Chase Tapley then scored five straight points for SDSU before Jackson Stevenett and Jones recorded back-to-back baskets to cut the Aztec lead to 20-7.
San Diego State would close the opening period with a 21-8 run led by LaBradford Franklin who poured in six points in the final two minutes to finish the first half with eight. The sophomore guard trailed only fellow teammate Tapley in scoring during the first 20 minutes as he finished the half with 13.
San Diego State was able to control the paint in the opening period, outscoring the Thunderbirds 18-0 inside. The Aztecs also went 15-29 from the floor while holding Southern Utah to just 4-16 shooting.
Southern Utah appeared to be getting on track in the early minutes of the second half as Ramell Taylor opened the period with a two consecutive jumpers to up the Thunderbirds score to 19. The Aztecs defense would step up once again however holding the T-Birds scoreless over another five-minute period while scoring 13 unanswered points to increase their lead to 54-19.
The final 13 minutes of the game saw the Thunderbirds find some footing on offense as Southern Utah matched San Diego State basket for basket and were able to outscore SDSU 18-16 down the stretch to set the final score at 70-37.
Jones led the T-Birds in scoring for the game with nine points, five of which came from the free throw line. The Aztecs had four players finish in double figures including Tapley who led all scorers with 16 points.
San Diego State improves to 2-0 on the season after posting a 75-63 win over Bryant in their BTI Classic opener. With the loss Southern Utah falls to 1-1 on the year after its opening win over UC Davis. The Thunderbirds will close out the tournament Sunday as they are set to face Bryant University at 1:00 p.m.
DIXIE STATE 79, MINOT STATE 60: At St. George, a night removed from posting 42 points against Seattle Pacific, the lowest single-game point total in any regular season game since 2006, Dixie State College shot a blistering 64.3-percent in the opening half and posted the same number in the second half.
Dixie State improved to 1-1 on the year thanks to 50 points scored by players off the bench, while the Beavers fell to 0-2.
A pair of Maurice Cole three-pointers and a fast break dunk from Dalton Groskreutz highlighted a 12-0 run that set the blueprint for Dixie State in the opening half. DSC led by as many as 28 points late in the first half before taking a 44-21 advantage into the lockers.
The Red Storm scorched the nets connecting on 18-of-28 shots from the field, including six from beyond the arc.
Minot State played the aggressors by outscoring the Red Storm 19-6 over the first seven minutes cutting a 23-point deficit to 10 at the 13:48 mark.
Sophomore forward Steven Larson then took the team on his back, scoring eight of his team-high 12 points in the second half. Dixie State built the lead back up 24 points with four minutes left.
Jonas Pollard score five points late to trim the DSC cushion. Pollard led all players with 17 points.
Landon Clegg had six rebounds and 10 points off the bench. Derek Owen had 11 points and Groskreutz nabbed 10 points.
Dixie State hosts Montana State Billings on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Burns Arena for a West Region nonconference matchup.
SLCC 72, MESA CC 62: At Salt Lake City, the Bruins collided with Mesa CC in an epic battle with 12 lead changes and the game tied seven times. SLCC came out on top with 33 points scored off of Mesa turnovers. With the win Salt Lake is 3-0 on the young season.
Louis Garrett led Salt Lake with 12 points on 4 of 8 shooting and 6 of 6 from the charity stripe. Skylar Halford added 12 and Gabe Kindred finished with 11 points. The Bruins shot an impressive 88% from the free-throw line in the second half.
Salt Lake (3-0) travels to Ephraim for the Snow College tournament next weekend.
NO. 12 ALASKA-ANCHORAGE 95, DIXIE STATE 58: At Anchorage, Alaska, Haley Holmstead scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Seawolves to a 95-58 win over Dixie State College women's basketball team tonight at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex in Anchorage, Alaska.
The Red Storm would shoot just 26.5 percent from the floor for the game, including a school record 9-35 from behind the three point arc. The Seawolves would dominate the glass by outrebounding DSC 55-31.
A bright spot for the Red Storm was at the foul line where they would convert on 13 of 17 attempts.
Leading the way for Dixie State was LaBrea Walker who chipped in 13 points in just 12 minutes of action. Kirsten Marie Liana scored in double figures for the second consecutive night with 12 points off the bench.
Hanna Johansson earned a double-double tonight with 13 points and 10 rebounds for Alaska-Anchorage. The Seawolves would finish the game shooting 52.2 percent from the field.
Dixie State drops to 1-1 on the season and UAA improves to 2-0.
The Red Storm will be on the road again next week when they travel to the Grand Canyon Tournament in Phoenix. They will play Adams State on Friday and Nebraska Kearney on Saturday. Both games are slated to start at 4 p.m. and can be heard live with John Potter via DixieAtheltics.com.
NO. 9 WESTMINSTER 80, LA SIERRA 51: At Salt Lake City, the Griffins completed the Westminster Fall Classic with an 80-51 win over La Sierra on Saturday night in the Behnken Field House.
Westminster completes the Classic at 2-1 and moves their record to 3-2 overall on the season. La Sierra falls to 1-6 on the year with the loss.
Westminster led just 33-29 at intermission before outscoring LSU 47-22 after the intermission. The Griffins shot 57.1% from beyond the arc in the second half and finished the game with 11 makes from deep. They finished the game at 50.9% from the field and had a 36-31 advantage on the boards. Westminster held the visitors to just 35% shooting and forced them into 16 turnovers.
Allie Eastman led four Griffins in double figures with 20 points. She was 8-of-11 from the field and had four makes from beyond the arc. Shelby Ellsworth added 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Jenteal Jackson was solid with 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and one steal. Dana Bates added 11 points.
Joirdan Jones led the Golden Eagles with 17 points with three made threes. Natalia Hawthorne had nine points and three assists. LSU grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and scored nine points from them.
Westminster will now hit the road for the first time this season when they travel to Jackson, Tenn. for the Jackson Rotary Classic. The Griffins will open the event on Thursday against No. 2 Union before games on Friday and Saturday against the teams tied for No. 6 in Bethel and Freed-Hardeman respectively.
MIDLAND 67, SLCC 60: At Salt Lake City, the Bruins fell to Midland College 67-60 after leading 35-29 at halftime. Cold shooting in the second half led to the Salt Lake loss along with 20 team turnovers. The game was a back and forth affair with 10 lead changes and six ties. Salt Lake is now 2-3 overall.
Marrisa Robbins and Sofia Hepworth led Salt Lake with 16 points apiece. Robbins went 6 for 15 from the field and 4 of 6 from the free-throw line while Hepworth was 6 of 12 from the field and a perfect 4 of 4 from the line. Nicole Newbold added 11 points with six rebounds.
The Bruins (2-3) will return to the hardwood Thanksgiving weekend as they host the Thanksgiving Shootout in Bruin Arena.