Brandon Simister led seven Trailblazers in double figures with 15 points as Dixie State wrapped up its two-game exhibition slate with a 102-64 victory over Whittier College on Friday in the Burns Arena.
DSU never trailed as the Trailblazers scored the first seven points of the game, then used a decisive 16-3 run to turn an 11-7 lead into a 27-10 advantage after a pair of Dub Price free throws midway through the stanza. Dixie State led 50-31 at the intermission and never saw its lead dip below 20 points in the second half on its way to the exhibition win.
Simister connected on 3-of-7 from beyond the arc and 6-of-6 at the line to lead a balanced DSU scoring attack, while freshman guard Tarik Cool chipped in 12 points off the bench on 4-of-7 shooting. Starters Quincy Mathews and Isaiah Clark chipped in 11 points apiece, while the DSU bench accounted for 61 of DSU’s 102 points as Wade Miller and Austin Montgomery each finished with 11 points and Zac Hunter poured in 10 points.
DSU shot 44.3 percent (31-of-70) from the floor, including a 56.0 clip (14-of-25) in the second half, and hit on 7-of-17 (.412) from the perimeter. The Trailblazers also connected on 33-of-43 from the line (.767) and outrebounded the Poets by a 75-28 margin, which included a 27-7 edge on the offensive glass. Mathews finished with a double-double as he pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds, while junior Julien Ducree collected 11 boards to go with five points and a game-high three blocks.
“We had some size advantage on [Whittier], which allowed us to work on our defense,” DSU head coach Jon Judkins said. “At times our defense was pretty good, which led to some easy baskets. We didn’t shoot well in the first half, but we rebounded really good. Then in the second half, we managed to shoot a little better.
“I thought it was good to get out and run. Some of these guys really haven’t played together, so we were finally able to find out what each player can do and what their strengths are. I was happy with the effort, and everybody got a lot of minutes, which was nice to see.”
Poet guard Louis Kurihara led all scorers with 20 points thanks to 6-of-11 from beyond the arc. DSU held Whittier to 27.4 percent (20-of-73) from the field overall.
The Trailblazers officially open the 2017-18 regular season with seven-straight games away from home, beginning with an appearance at the 2017 CCAA/PacWest Challenge next weekend in Pomona, California. DSU will square off against host Cal Poly Pomona on Friday, Nov. 10, followed by a date against UC San Diego on Saturday, Nov. 11.
Steve Johnson is the Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Collegiate Licensing at Dixie State University. For more DSU Athletics news, please visit www.dixieathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.