For the second time in five days, Dixie State (19-4/13-4) staged a remarkable comeback to beat Pacific West Conference rival Chaminade, 90-77, on Saturday.
After nine minutes of action, a Red Storm win seemed unlikely. Chaminade made 12 of their first 15 shots, including seven 3-pointers to take a 35-14 lead.
"They came out on fire," head coach Jon Judkins said. "We gave them some good looks, but a couple of them we were in his face. The energy (Lee) Bailey brought allowed them to play good."
"We just kept breaking down into small battles and chipped away at the lead," he added.
Louis Garrett (Saint George, UT) and Kimball Payne (Alpine, UT) led the charge scoring 11 and 10 points respectively in the first half, each on 4-of-8 shooting. Payne also dished off five assists, the majority to Zach Robbins (Upland, CA) on his 23rd birthday. Dixie State closed out the half strong and only trailed 47-40 at the break.
The Silverswords (13-11/10-6) never saw their advantage return to double figures while DSU retook the lead at the 14:04 mark on a three-point play from Robbins, who had 12 of his team-high 20 points and eight of his 15 rebounds after halftime.
Five minutes later, Dixie State strung together eight consecutive points from the charity stripe sparking a 12-0 rally that put the home team up by double figures. The Swords would cut the lead back down to eight points once, but Dalton Groskreutz (Santa Clara, UT) highlighted a 5-0 answering run by DSU. Groskreutz scored all 14 of his points in the second half, a period in which Dixie State won 50-30.
"When then started defending, then we starting to get the 50/50 balls, then we started to rebound … we were getting better looks on the offensive end," Judkins added.
Payne was outstanding after an early turnover right a center court. In addition to scoring in double figures, the point guard posted 12 assists to set a career-high and notch his first Dixie State double double. Payne and Robbins became the third duo this year to each record a double double in a single game.
Garrett finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Dixie State closed the game shooting 45 percent from the field (32-71) while holding Chaminade to 37 percent in the second half. The Red Storm won the boards battle, 45-40, including 19 rebounds offensively.
Bailey led Chaminade with 25 points while 14 points came from both Kevin Hu and James Harper. Freshman Kuany had a four-game string scoring in double figures snapped with 5 points before fouling out.
The Red Storm embark on its final regular season road trip next week with games Thursday at Dominican (7:30 p.m. Pacific) and Saturday versus Academy of Art on the campus of San Francisco State (3 p.m. Pacific).