Dixie State clinched a share of the Pacific West Conference regular season title and won its school-record 14th-straight game with a convincing 82-57 victory at Biola on Thursday night inside Chase Gymnasium. With the win, the Trailblazers reached the 20-win plateau for the sixth time in the program’s 12 years of NCAA membership as DSU improved to 20-6 overall, 17-2 in PacWest play.
Dixie State led 41-27 at the half, thanks in large part to its senior-laden starting lineup, which accounted for 36 of the Trailblazers’ 41 points in the stanza. DSU led 17-12 in the early going, paced by seven early points from senior Isaiah Clark and six more from senior Trevor Hill.
After an Isaiah Jones dunk pulled the Eagles to within 17-14, the Trailblazers rattled off a 17-7 run, which was sparked by Hill, who scored nine of his 15 first-half points in the rally, as DSU raced out to a 34-21 advantage with 4:22 to go in the period. Hill, who hit on six of his first nine shots, hit one of DSU’s three 3-pointers in the run, while fellow seniors Zac Hunter and Brandon Simister connected from long distance in the run. Junior Wade Miller capped the half with a trey with 22 seconds on the clock.
Dixie State maintained its double-digit cushion the entire second half, though the Eagles trimmed that lead to 50-40 with 13:39 to play after a Trevor Treinen 3-pointer.
However, that was as close as Biola (11-17, 5-15 PacWest) got as the Trailblazers answered with 13-straight points as part of a decisive 16-2 run to extend to a 66-42 bulge after a Quincy Mathews 3-pointer with 8:15 to go. DSU’s defense held Biola without a field goal for more than six minutes, while junior reserves Dub Price (seven points), Mathews (five points) and Austin Montgomery (four points) provided all the offense.
DSU didn't see its lead dip lower than 20 points the rest of the way as the Trailblazers celebrated their sixth PacWest regular season championship in their 11th and final season of league membership.
Clark paced three Trailblazers in double figures with a career-high 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting and six rebounds, while Hill, who did not attempt a shot in the second half, finished with 15 points and five assists. Hunter added 10 points with six boards and two steals, and Price led the reserves with nine points and six caroms. Simister dished out a game-high seven assists but was limited to five points—all in the first half.
Dixie State shot 54.0 percent (34-of-63) from the floor, which included a 43.8 (7-of-16) clip from the perimeter. Dixie State’s defense limited Biola to a 36.2 percent shooting night (21-of-58), 27.8 percent (5-of-18) from beyond the arc, and DSU outrebounded the Eagles by a 38-33 count.
Jones led all scorers with 20 points to go with a game-high 11 rebounds.
Dixie State looks to clinch the outright PacWest title and with it the top seed in next weekend’s conference postseason tournament on Saturday as the Trailblazers head to San Diego for their regular season finale at Point Loma beginning at 4 p.m. PT. DSU owns a one-game lead in the PacWest standings on second-place California Baptist (16-3), which will play at Holy Names on Saturday night.
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.