Dixie State succumbed to a late second-half California Baptist rally as the Trailblazers saw their three-game winning streak halted in a 93-82 barn burner Saturday night inside the CBU Events Center.
The Trailblazers (5-5, 2-1 PacWest) led 37-36 at the half despite the Lancers connecting for six first-half 3-pointers, which DSU offset by going 10-of-13 at the foul line through the first 20 minutes of play.
Dixie State started the second half on fire as the senior guard tandem of Trevor Hill and Brandon Simister combined to outscore CBU (8-2, 2-1 PacWest), 10-3, during the first two-plus minutes to extend the DSU advantage to eight points at 47-39. Hill scored six of those points in the paint, including a pair of lay-ins to open the frame, while Simister converted a conventional three-point play and added another free throw as part of the rally.
DSU maintained at least a two-possession lead for much of the second half and held a 70-66 advantage with less than six minutes to play until a Bul Kuol trey trimmed the lead to 70-69 with 5:02 remaining. Simister answered with a 3-pointer of his own on DSU’s ensuing possession, but the Lancers countered with three more long-range makes as part of a 9-2 spurt to bolt to a 78-75 lead with 3:12 to go.
Dub Price pulled Dixie State to within 78-77 with a bucket on DSU’s next trip down the court, but that was as close as the Trailblazers got as the Lancers hit on 13-of-14 at the foul line in outscoring DSU, 15-5, during the final 2:34 of play to close out the win.
Hill scored 16 of his team-high 20 points in the second half to lead four Trailblazers in double figures. Hill also finished with a game-high 10 rebounds, his second double-double of the year, to go along with seven assists and three steals.
Simister added 13 points and three assists, while Price and Zac Hunter poured in 10 points apiece and Julien Ducree chipped in a career-high eight points off the bench.
DSU lost despite turning the ball over a school-record low three times, while the Trailblazers shot 41.3 percent (31-of-75) from the field. However, Dixie State was done in from the perimeter and foul line as the Trailblazers were just 2-of-9 (.222) from beyond the arc, compared to a 12-of-28 (.429) night by CBU. Meanwhile, DSU went 18-of-30 (.600) at the charity stripe, while the Lancers connected on 27 of their 33 foul shots, though most of those makes came during the final two-plus minutes of play.
Six Lancers scored in double figures, led by Kalidou Diouf with a game-high 21 points. CBU shot 47.4 percent (27-of-57) from the field and outrebounded DSU by a 43-41 count.
The Trailblazers close out their two-game Southern California road trip Monday night at Concordia-Irvine.
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.