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DSC basketball: Dixie State tops century mark to earn redemption against Sunbirds

By John Potter

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6 2013 7:25 a.m. MST

Zach Robbins throws down a dunk in the second half Tuesday against Fresno Pacific. Dixie State defeated FPU 106-91.

Rico Del Sesto, DSC Athletics

SAINT GEORGE, Utah – Five Dixie State players scored in double figures, led by a double-double performance by Zach Robbins, to aid the home team to a 106-91 victory in Pacific West Conference action Tuesday night inside the Burns Arena.

The Red Storm extended their season-long winning streak to eight games and avenged their lone loss in the PacWest at the hand of the Sunbirds (14-7, 9-4 PWC) to improve to 15-4 on the year and 10-1 in the league. FPU straddled Dixie State with an 82-80 loss in Fresno on Dec. 8.

Robbins hit 10 of 15 shots for 22 points, added 13 rebounds and swatted away six blocks. The sophomore recorded his second double-double against the Sunbirds of the year, exploiting a sizable advantage for the Storm within the paint. Consistently pounding the ball to forwards and centers in and around the block accounted for 54 of the team’s 106 points inside the key.

The teams excelled in two different styles of play for the majority of the first half. FPU used its athleticism for drives toward the hoop. The offense ran primarily through Malcolm Griffin and John Taylor as the duo tallied 26 of the Sunbirds’ 37 first-half points.

Dixie State took control of the game over the final 9:54 of the first half. Tied 25-25 at that point, the Storm outscored FPU 26-12 to take a 51-37 into the break.

An 11-3 run with a pair of McKay Massey lay-ins and four consecutive points by Dalton Groskreutz gave DSC its largest advantage, 62-40, at the 17:02 mark. The Sunbirds began a large comeback using and 13-1 run over the next 3:05 and extending the string to a 23-7 advantage over a 6:26 span to pull within six points, 69-63.

At a similar point to the first half — the 9:26 mark of the second — Dixie State extended another six-point edge to 17 with a critical 27-16 run. DeQuan Thompson scored six of his career-high 17 points in the run that also featured a strong right hand jam from Robbins.

After topping the 100-point mark on a Massey layin with 2:44 remaining, DSC iced the game with free throws from Steven Larson and Kimball Payne.

Groskreutz notched his second 20-point effort of the year on 8-of-12 shooting, while doling out five assists. Massey scored 18 points, passing former forward Ben Hartman for third place on the Dixie State all-time scoring list. Larson rounded out a quintet in double figures with 10 points.

The Red Storm shot 70.5 percent for the night, while holding the Sunbirds to 36.8 percent.

Taylor led all scorers with 36 points on 11-of-35 from the floor. Griffin had 25 points, eight boards and six assists. Off the bench, Anthony Brant had 11.

Dixie State now embarks on its four-game trip to the Bay Area beginning Saturday at Academy of Art. Tip time from the historic Kezar Pavilion is set for 4 p.m. MST. Live audio coverage can be found on ESPN SportsRadio and online at DixieAthletics.com/showcase.

John Potter is the "Voice of the Red Storm" and an athletic media relation assistant at Dixie State College. Contact him at Potter@dixie.edu.

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