One night after an emotional overtime win in the tournament quarterfinals, energy and effort did not lack for the Red Storm, looking for the upset of the top-seeded Knights. Dixie State (14-14) held an eight-point advantage under the 15-minute mark, but it did not hold after the Urban Knights opened up a 10-point lead on the heels of a 21-5 run midway through the second half.
Leading the way for ART U (22-7) during the string was PacWest Player of the Year, Krystal Fothan.
"We deviated from our game plan," Dixie State head coach Catherria Turner said. "I think we let people hit key shots at key times. We weren't able to get that rebound and she (Forthan) tipped it in."
Forthan had six of her game-high 26 points during the string. But more impressive was the Academy of Art defense that held the Red Storm to 9-of-21 shooting while forcing eight turnovers over the nine-minute string.
Dixie State would close within four, 66-62, with consecutive lay-ins from Briana White and Kaylah Miller.
Once again, Forthan sealed the deal connecting on three straight ART U possessions and swatting away a Taylor Mann 3-point attempt in the final minute.
The Urban Knights snatched control over the first 10 minutes, taking a 14-point lead, 26-12 on a Regina Camera lay-in. Forthan got into foul trouble, which allowed Dixie State the opportunity to strike. Mann scored seven points in a 20-7 rally to close the half to give Dixie State a 38-37 halftime lead.
Kaylah Miller nailed a pair of triples and Haileigh Emerine cashed in two jumpers to give Dixie State their largest cushion, 50-42.
Emerine was dominant in the paint posting career highs with 17 points (7-11 FG) and 24 rebounds (10 offensive). Mann joined in the fun with her 10th double double of the year (17 points, 14 rebounds). Miller led the Red Storm with 18 points.
PacWest scoring leader Haley Holmstead battled through foul trouble the entire game, playing a season-low 16 minutes. ART U made a concerted effort to take away her offensive weapons and succeeded by holding Holmstead to six points (2-7 FG), her first performance under double figures this season.
Both teams shot 36 percent from the floor. ART U took advantage from the foul line, getting there 16 more times and connecting for 14 more points than the Red Storm.
Academy of Art advances to the PacWest Championship finals Saturday night to face California Baptist.