Dixie State remained unbeaten at home this season using a stifling first half defensive effort to open a big lead and hold off Academy of Art, 86-73. The fifth Burns win in front of 2,641 fans improved the 20th ranked Red Storm to 15-3 on the season and 9-3 within the PacWest.
DeQuan Thompson scored 14 of his team-high 19 points in the opening half. He netted half of DSU's six 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes. Zach Robbins extended his double double streak to seven games finishing with 15 points and 15 rebounds. The big man accounted for 10 points and five boards in the opening 20 minutes and flipped the numbers in the second half (five points, 10 rebounds).
"It was a good win," DSU head coach Jon Judkins said. "I thought our zone offense was really good and scoring 16 points in the key in the opening half helped."
Dixie State and the Urban Knights (4-15/2-10 PacWest) battled back and forth in the opening nine minutes. With a slim 19-18 advantage, Dixie State went on a 11-0 run sparked by a triple from Louis Garrett and capped with a Robbins jumper. The Storm closed the half with six straight points to lead 44-27 at the break.
The Storm did not let up midway through the second half, extending the lead at its largest point to 28 points on a Jordan Rex (Saint George, UT) layup.
Thompson provided the highlight of the night under the five-minute mark. Off a Robbie Nielson(Gresham, OR) blocked shot, Kimball Payne (Alpine, UT) took the outlet pass and floated an alley-oop towards the hoop. Thompson jumped from the opposite side of the hoop and emphatically slammed home the ball to bring the Burns Arena faithful to a frenzied uproar.
"He was up pretty high and there were guys underneath him, but you can't do pull-ups," Judkins added. "He did not complain about the call (technical for hanging on the rim) because it was the right call, but that was a great play."
The Urban Knights kept fighting with an 8-1 run over the final three minutes, but they could not get any closer.
The Red Storm also got double figure scoring from two guys off the bench. Garrett closed the game with 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Curtis Papenfuss (Happy Valley, OR) added 11 points, six boards and two assists.
DSU shot 41.9 percent from the floor (31-74) and 9-of-19 from beyond the arc to improve on its league-leading outside shooting. The Strom also won the battle of the boards by posting a season-high 57 rebounds.
ART U also had four in double figures lead by a game-high 25 points from Alex Carmon. Alexis Moore added 18.
Dixie State hosts Dominican on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Penguins (14-7/8-5) defeated Point Loma on Thursday, 68-58, behind a career-high 26 points by Connor Haysbert.