“Lori and Carli were phenomenal inside,” stated SUU head coach JR Payne. “We knew that we had a distinct height advantage, and that would be good for us, but they extra special. They were on the glass, they were on the perimeter defending, our bigs carried us tonight.”
Dixie State held the advantage early as the Red Storm knocked down five of their first attempts from behind the arc to build a 36-23 advantage. SUU stepped up its pressure on defense from there however and finished the opening half on a 29-4 run to lead 49-40 at the break.
Southern Utah continued to pull away in the second period, extending the margin to as many as 26 points in the final minutes. 11 different SUU players saw time on the court in the exhibition matchup, nine of which recorded a basket for the T-Birds. The lead also allowed Coach Payne to give some time to the newcomers on the team.
“The great thing about the two freshmen, they came in and there was no drop,” commented Hogan. “They came in and continued the flow of the game and did a really nice job. It was great to get them in the game.”
SUU shot nearly 43 percent from the field in the contest while hitting 4-15 attempts from 3-point territory and converting on 53.8 percent of its tries at the foul line. Dixie State went 50 percent overall from the field and 7-14 from the outside. The Thunderbirds outrebounded their opponents by a final count of 45-36.
Parkinson led the way for T-Birds with 24 points and 13 rebounds while Moreland also turned in a double-double after finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Andrea Jones added another 14 points for SUU. Dixie State also had three scorers in the double figures as Haley Holmstead scored 23 points, Kaylah Miller hit six threes on her way to 20 and Taylor Mann had 12.
“I think we have a good understanding of what we’re doing, where we are supposed to be and the tempo we want to play with,” explained Payne.
Southern Utah is back at home this Saturday for another exhibition match with Western State Colorado. It will be a basketball doubleheader as the SUU men’s team starts things off by hosting La Verne at 5:00 p.m. followed by the contest against the Mountaineers at 7:30. Coverage of SUU basketball can be found at www.suutbirds.com.