Despite a game-high 30 points from senior guard Trevor Hill, Dixie State could not overcome a pair of big Western Oregon runs as the Trailblazers bowed to the Wolves, 97-86, in the final game of the 2017 Western Oregon/Doubletree by Hilton DII Shootout on Saturday afternoon.
DSU (2-3) led for most of the first half, but a 15-5 Western Oregon (4-0) run during the final four-plus minutes of the opening frame turned a 34-30 Trailblazer advantage into a 45-39 WOU lead at the intermission.
WOU kept that momentum rolling to begin the second half as the Wolves scored seven of the first eight points in just 1:05 to extend to a 52-40. Dixie State managed to cut the deficit to seven on a couple of occasions, the first coming on a Hill lay-in, which pulled the Trailblazers to within 66-59. Then after a Tanner Omlin trey put WOU back up 10, Wade Miller countered with a 3-pointer of his own to make a 69-62 game with 10:18 to play.
The Wolves would catch fire after the Miller trey as WOU scored the next 11 points as part of a 17-4 run during the next 4:14 of play to bolt to its biggest lead of the game at 86-66 with six minutes remaining.
Dixie State did not go away quietly as the Trailblazers responded with a 20-5 run of their own to pull to within five at 91-86 after an Isaiah Clark dunk with 55 seconds to go. Zac Hunter kick-started the rally with five-straight points, including a 3-pointer, while Brandon Simister and Kyler Nielson each connected from long range to help pull DSU into striking distance.
However, that was as close as DSU got as Western Oregon hit on 6-of-6 at the line and held the Trailblazers scoreless the rest of the way to escape with the win.
Hill became the first player in Dixie State’s NCAA era to post consecutive 30-point games as he hit 12-of-23 from the field and 6-of-10 from the line. Hill also collected a team-high seven rebounds and four assists, including a dime on the Clark throw-down late in the second half.
Hunter added 13 points off the bench on 5-of-7 shooting with two treys, while Simister hit on three 3-pointers on his way to an 11-point night to go with a game-high six assists and Clark finished with nine points.
DSU connected on 49.2 percent (30-of-61) of its shots, which included a 56.7 percent clip (17-of-30) in the second half. The Trailblazers also hit a season-high eight 3-pointers in 15 attempts (.533) and went 18-of-26 (.692) from the foul line.
Western Oregon shot a blistering 57.9 percent (33-of-57) from the field, including a 14-of-27 (.519) from the perimeter. In addition, the Wolves became the first team to outrebound Dixie State on the young season, winning the battle of the boards by a 41-25 count.
Demetrius Trammell led four Wolves in double figures with 24 points on 7-of-10 shooting with six 3-pointers, while Omlid finished with 19 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Dixie State will close out its 2017-18 non-conference slate and its seven-game road swing with a pair of neutral-site contests at the Westminster College Thanksgiving Invitational next weekend in Salt Lake City. DSU will play Seattle Pacific on Friday, Nov. 24, at 5 p.m., followed by a date vs. NAIA member Dickinson State on Saturday, Nov. 25, at 3:30 p.m.
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.