Dixie State ran into a very hot shooting Saint Martin’s side as the Trailblazers dropped their final regular season game of the 2018 calendar year, 76-59, to the No. 11/23 Saints on Tuesday night inside the Marcus Pavilion.
SMU blitzed the Trailblazers (4-5) in the opening nine-plus minutes of play as the Saints hit 10 of their first 14 shots, including 7-of-9 from 3-point country, to race out to a commanding 30-10 lead. SMU guard EJ Boyce buoyed the strong start as he connected on seven of his first nine shots with six treys to pace the Saints’ in the early going.
Dixie State managed to cut the deficit to 16 points on a couple of occasions, but the Saints momentum could not be stopped as SMU (9-1) saw its lead reach as many as 25 points before settling for a 48-26 halftime advantage.
The Trailblazers looked as if they would make a game of it in the second half, cutting the deficit to 58-43 after a Dub Price bucket with 10:35 to go. However, SMU quelled any thought of a DSU comeback with eight-straight points and cruised on from there for the victory.
Julien Ducree was the lone Trailblazer to score in double figures as he poured in 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting off the bench. Ducree also grabbed a DSU career-high 11 rebounds to notch his first double-double in a Blazer uniform.
Cameron Chatwin, who played for two seasons at SMU before transferring to Dixie State, added nine points on 4-of-7 from the floor in his return to Marcus Pavilion, and Matt Conway finished with eight points.
Dixie State shot 39.7 percent (23-of-58) from the floor, which included a paltry 1-of-13 (.077) from the perimeter. DSU also struggled at the line, hitting on just 12-of-20 (.600), though the Trailblazers did outrebound the Saints by a 43-32 count.Comment on this story
On the flipside, SMU shot an even 50.0 percent (26-of-52) for the game, which was bolstered by a 59.3 percent clip (16-of-27) in the first half. The Saints also hit 14-of-33 (.424) from beyond the arc, with 11 of those makes (in 19 attempts, .579) coming in the opening stanza. Boyce hit eight 3-pointers to finish with a game-high 28 points to lead three Saints in double figures.
Dixie State will wrap up its non-conference slate with an exhibition game at Mountain West Conference member Wyoming on Saturday, Dec. 29.