Kristin Baldwin recorded her third double-double of the season with 14 points and 17 rebounds as Dixie State stunned No. 13 Azusa Pacific on Saturday with a 66-62 victory inside the Burns Arena.
Baldwin led three DSU (6-3, 2-0 PacWest) players in double figures as the Trailblazers earned their first-ever win over Azusa Pacific. The victory also marked Dixie State’s first win over a ranked opponent since Jan. 8, 2011, when it defeated former Pacific West Conference foe No. 10 Grand Canyon inside the Burns Arena.
Dixie State shook off a slow start as Azusa Pacific built a 22-8 lead over the first seven minutes of the opening frame. The Trailblazers responded with an 8-2 run as Tramina Jordan buried two 3-pointers to help trim the lead to 25-16 after one quarter.
APU pushed the lead back to 32-19 at the 5:19 mark of the second quarter after three consecutive baskets in the paint. The game seesawed back and forth over the next two minutes until DSU used a 7-0 run to pull to within 37-32 with 1:32 remaining. Taylor Moeaki keyed the run with a layup and trey on consecutive possessions. The Cougars countered with a 7-2 run, including a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, to push the lead back to 44-34 at the break.
The teams traded baskets through the first half of the third quarter before Dixie State used a 10-0 run over a three-minute stretch to tie the game at 50-50 with 2:41 remaining in the frame. Jordan opened the run with a triple, while Baldwin added five points, including her first 3-pointer of the season, during the stretch. APU answered with two baskets to retake a 54-50 lead heading to the final period.
The Cougars scored the first basket of the fourth quarter to push the lead to 56-50 at the 8:52 mark, but would not score again for over three minutes. Meanwhile, DSU countered with a 9-0 run to take its first lead of the game at 59-56 with 5:18 remaining. Mariah Martin scored five of the nine DSU points during the run, including a 3-pointer to break a 56-56 tie. APU scored on a layup to cut the lead to 59-58 on the ensuing possession, but the Cougars would get no closer. Maile Richardson canned a trey to push the lead back to 62-58, while Martin and Baldwin added two free throws each over the final two minutes to clinch the 66-62 upset victory.
“This win was a total team effort,” DSU head coach JD Gustin said. “We came out flat, but we didn’t fold. This group is resilient. They just kept fighting to the end and made big plays down the stretch. The team did this collectively today, and that’s exactly how we want to do things.”
Dixie State overcame a 49-47 rebounding deficit, including 22-8 on the offensive glass, to secure the victory, limiting the Cougars to 29 percent (23 of 79) from the field. The Trailblazers shot 39 percent (21 of 53) from the field, 32 percent (8 of 25) from 3-point range, and 69 percent (16 of 23) from the free-throw line. Baldwin’s double-double led three DSU players in double figures as Martin added 13 points and five assists and Jordan chipped in 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from distance. Moeaki contributed nine points and four rebounds, while Richardson finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Dixie State now heads to Southern California for its first conference road trip of the season. The Trailblazers will battle California Baptist next Saturday in Riverside, followed up a matchup vs. Concordia-Irvine in Irvine next Monday.
Keric Seegmiller is assistant coordinator of media relations at Dixie State University and the voice of Trailblazer athletics. Contact him at [email protected].