The Dixie State women’s basketball team used a dominant performance in the paint to secure its second-consecutive victory on Tuesday, defeating Antelope Valley, 71-59, inside the Burns Arena.
The Trailblazers (3-2) outrebounded the Pioneers by a 55-39 count and recorded five blocks, while Maile Richardson (13 points, 12 rebounds) and Kristin Baldwin (10 points, 14 rebounds) each finished with a double-double for the first DSU double-doubles of the season.
“Our post play was the key for us tonight,” head coach JD Gustin said. “Our number one goal was to fight for rebounds because Antelope Valley is a tremendous rebounding team. To get 55 rebounds against this team was huge. Without those boards, we wouldn’t have had a chance to win.”
Dixie State jumped out to a 12-5 lead in the first quarter, as Keslee Stevenson buried two 3-pointers to cap an 8-0 DSU run just more than a minute after she entered the game. Antelope Valley countered with a 7-0 spurt to tie the game at 12-12 with a little more than a minute remaining in the first quarter. Taylor Moeaki canned a trey to put the Trailblazers back on top on the ensuing DSU possession. UAV then added a free throw to trim the lead to 15-13 after one quarter of play.
The Trailblazers cooled off from outside in the second quarter but responded by pounding the ball inside. Richardson, Baldwin and Ashlee Burge combined for 10 of DSU’s 16 points in the second frame, while Moeaki drained two jumpers to help the home team to a 31-23 halftime lead.
Antelope Valley turned to the 3-point shot in the third quarter, converting four treys en route to 20 points in the frame. But Dixie State matched each UAV shot and maintained a 49-43 lead heading into the final period. Mariah Martin scored five points during the quarter, while Richardson added four points.
The Trailblazers pushed the lead to double digits in the fourth quarter as seven different DSU players scored during the frame. Dixie State also took advantage of free throw attempts in the final period, converting 14-of-20 (.700) freebies to clinch the 71-59 victory.
“We really felt like we started to gel as a team tonight,” Gustin said. “We haven’t experienced as much of that in games so far. It’s a process and it takes time, so it was good to see the team really playing together.”
Dixie State finished the contest at 42 percent (24-of-57) from the field, 21 percent (4-of-19) from 3-point range and 73 percent (19-of-26) from the free-throw line. Richardson and Baldwin led the way with the first DSU double-doubles of the season, while Moeaki added 11 points and four rebounds.
The Trailblazers close their four-game homestand on Friday vs. Westminster. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.
Keric Seegmiller is Assistant Coordinator of Media Relations at Dixie State University and the Voice of Trailblazer Athletics. Contact him at email@example.com.