Robbins scored 27 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor and a nearly spotless 13-of-14 from the free throw line for Dixie State (14-2/8-2 PacWest). DeQuan Thompson (Las Vegas, NV) and Louis Garrett (Saint George, UT) each added 15 points. Mason Sawyer (West Jordan, UT) had 10 points off the bench in 18 minutes.
Down nine with 12 minutes remaining in regulation, the resilient Red Storm catapulted right back into the league contest with 10 consecutive points. Thompson sparked the run with a lay-in while Garrett received credit for a tip-in after APU's Sharif Watson inadvertently knocked the roundball into Dixie State's bucket. Robbins knocked home a jumper on the next possession. After a Cougar offensive foul, Garrett was fouled driving to the basket. His two charity shots cut the Azusa Pacific (9-6/4-4) advantage to one. Both teams missed long shots and DSU regained the lead when Sawyer drove to the rack for a bucket.
Both teams battled to a tied game, 72-72, with 3:09 on the game clock. From that point, until the final buzzer, Dixie State outscored the host Cougars 10-3. APU closed within a point in the final minute after Robbins lost the ball on the sideline for a turnover. The miscue did not faze Dixie State's big man as he starred down the stretch. He grabbed an offensive board off a Kimball Payne (Alpine, UT) miss and was fouled. His two free throws pushed the lead to three.
The Cougars had three different looks from distance on the subsequent trip down the floor for the tie, but two rimmed out and another was partially blocked by Garrett. Robbins again scooped up a critical defensive rebound and made two charity buckets after drawing contact. A last miss APU miss inside the arc gave Robbins his final rebound and two more opportunities from the line.
Dixie State opened the game strong after dropping a matchup of nationally ranked teams on Saturday at California Baptist. DSU had a three-point advantage early and led 16-15 on the second of Thompson's trio of triples on the night. The host school seized momentum over the next five minutes outscoring the Storm 14-3. APU held a double-digit cushion until late in the first half when Garrett connected on one of two free throws and Robbins tipped in a third-chance shot in the final seconds.
The Red Storm finished the night shooting 43 percent from the field and 82 percent from the stripe. The field goal percentage is the third lowest in a Dixie State win this year.
DSU also outrebounded the Cougars 42-37, despite a breakeven 14 offensive rebounds for each team. Robbins, Thompson (6) and Garrett (5) accounted for over half of the Red Storm's boards.
Tyler Monroe led Azusa Pacific with 17 points and five rebounds. Robert Sandoval added 15 in a starting role. Watson scored 12 before fouling out late. Troy Leaf, the PacWest's leading scorer at 19.6 points per game, rounded out four APU players in double figures with 12 points.
Dixie State plays one game this weekend, a Saturday afternoon matchup at Point Loma. The Storm battled back at home for an 84-82 win over the Sea Lions on December 14. Tip time for the rematch is set for 4 p.m. Pacific on Jan. 25, (5 p.m. Mountain) from Golden Gymnasium, the site of the 2014 Pacific West Conference Tournament to be held in March.