ST. GEORGE — Dixie State used a big second-half rally to extend its season-long winning streak to five games with a 63-53 victory over Fort Lewis Friday night inside the Burns Arena. With the win, DSU improved to 10-8 on the year, 8-6 in conference play, while the Skyhawks fell to 9-11, 4-10 in RMAC action.
The winning streak looked like it was in jeopardy in the opening 20 minutes as Fort Lewis closed the first half on a 15-8 run, turning a slim 18-17 lead into a 33-25 Skyhawk cushion heading into the halftime break.
After both teams traded buckets to begin the second frame, the Trailblazers erupted for seven straight points as part of a 13-4 spurt to wrestle the lead away at 38-37 after a Matt Conway offensive board and put-back with 13:07 to play. Dixie State kept the run going over the next six-plus minutes, outscoring FLC 27-8 nearly 15 minutes into the stanza to extend to a 52-41 lead after a Zach Frampton 3-pointer with 4:16 remaining.
The Trailblazers used a balanced offensive attack in the decisive run as seven different players scored during the rally, while the DSU defense limited Fort Lewis to just three made field goals over that stretch and held the Skyhawks scoreless for nearly six minutes.
DSU would push its lead to as many as 13 points before settling for the 10-point win.
Wade Miller led three Trailblazers in double-figures with 15 points off the bench on 5-of-8 shooting with three 3-pointers, while Conway just missed his second-straight double-double as he finished with 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Dub Price added 10 points with two assists and three steals in 25 reserve minutes, and Jack Pagenkopf tallied nine points with three boards, four assists and a career high-tying four steals. Julien Ducree and Frampton also contributed eight points apiece to complement DSU’s balanced offense.
Dixie State rebounded from a cool-shooting first half with a 12-of-24 (.500) second stanza to finish 41.5 percent (22-of-53) for the game. The Blazers also hit on 6 of 21 (.286) from the perimeter, 4 of 9 (.444) after halftime, and went 13 of 15 (.867) from the line. However, DSU was outrebounded by a 41-30 count, including an 18-10 clip on the offensive glass, which led to 22 Skyhawk second-chance points.
“Our energy in the second half tonight was night and day, we came out with fire, we came out punching,” DSU Head Coach Jon Judkins said. “In the first half we were taking a lot of hits, but in that second half we fought back. I thought [Zach] Frampton was a big part of that, he was flying around and diving for loose balls, and it sparked everyone else to play hard.Comment on this story
“The big thing for us is that [Fort Lewis] scored only five points over the first 13 minutes of the second half,” Judkins added. “However, the one thing I wasn’t happy about was our rebounding, that’s something we’ve got to do better with a tough Adams State team coming here tomorrow night.”
Fort Lewis shot 19 of 54 (.352) for the game, though the Skyhawks were just 6 of 24 after halftime. Marquel Beasley led all scorers with 18 points.
Dixie State continues its homestand on Saturday night vs. Adams State. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.