GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Zach Robbins posted a career-high 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for a double-double, but 27 points from Nick Tomsick, including a fade away triple at the end of regulation, led Fort Lewis College to an 89-82 overtime win over Dixie State during day one of the Clarion Inn Thanksgiving Classic.
Dixie State (3-1) rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first half and led in the final moments of regulation before one of Tomsick’s triples – a dagger from the corner – sent the game to overtime tied at 73-73.
“We had two or three timeouts where we talked about what to do defensiely, and we didn’t do it,” coach Jon Judkins said. “We said to make sure 23 (Tomsick) does not get the ball. He hit a crazy shot, but if he doesn’t get a catch, we probably win the game.”
Robbins went 11-of-14 from the floor and notched his first double-double since DSC’s Pacific West Conference clinching win against Hawaii Pacific on March 6, 2010.
Three others joined Robbins in double figures. Steven Larson backed up his stellar performance from MSUB last week with 17 points (8-12 FG). McKay Massey had 15 points, and Dalton Groskreutz added 11 points before fouling out in the overtime period.
Tomsick paced the early Skyhawk attack with three triples, pushing Fort Lewis (2-0) to its largest lead with 6:11 left in the opening half. The Red Storm used a 9-0 rally in just under two minutes to regain composure. Groskreutz began with a three-pointer, followed by a pair of free throws from Massey. A lay-in from Curtis Papenfuss and a jumper from Robbins closed the rally.
Larson accounted for the final four DSC points of the half. His finger-roll layup before the buzzer pulled Dixie State within four, 41-37, at the break.
The Dixie State posts went to work pushing the squad ahead at the 17:02 mark. Larson had six points and Robbins added a jumper in an 8-3 opening run. Neither team extended the lead past six points over eight back-and-forth minutes.
With FLC leading 63-57, Dixie State turned up the defense and held the Skyhawks without point for over six minutes. The Storm used a 12-0 run with combined efforts from Massey, Groskreutz and Kimball Payne (six points, seven assists) to lead by six.
Tomsick hit two more triples, including the buzzer-beater, as the Skyhawks outscored DSC 8-2 over the final 1:37 of regulation to force overtime.
“We had chances to win, but this game was very physical,” Judkins said. “We had chances to win, but they punched us in the mouth at the beginning of the game and the beginning of overtime. That is the frustrating thing."
Mike Matthews and Tomsick scored the first five points of overtime to give FLC the momentum. The lead ballooned to seven before a 5-0 Storm run made it 82-80. The Skyhawks iced the game with free throws, while late long-range attempts fell short for Dixie State.
Dixie State shot 56 percent from the floor for the game (31-60) but struggled from behind the arc. The 2-for-14 performance behind the arc was the lowest output of the year. Subsequently, FLC lit up the nets from distance, hitting 15 of 37 attempts. It was the second straight game Dixie State faced an opponent that made more than 10 shots from the arc.
The Red Storm play the host Mavericks of Colorado Mesa in Saturday action in the Clarion Inn Classic at 7 p.m. CMU handily defeated Northern New Mexico on Friday and will look for redemption after suffering a 77-65 loss at Dixie State two weekends ago.
John Potter is the "Voice of the Red Storm" and an athletic media relation assistant at Dixie State College. Contact him at [email protected].