Storm start season in dominant fashion

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The Dixie State University men’s basketball team scored more than 100 points for the first time this season in an exhibition game against Saint Katherine College Saturday.

The Red Storm beat Saint Katherine, which is in its first year as an athletic program, 107-64, and also played Colorado Mesa University Friday and won 85-81. Despite winning its first three games, DSU’s record is 1-0 because the game against Colorado Mesa was the only regular season game thus far.

The Red Storm torched the Firebirds for 61 bench points and 48 points in the paint. DSU also played 13 different players and all 13 got double-digit minutes on the floor.

“(Saint Katherine College) is a new program, so they didn’t have the most experience,” said center Zach Robbins, a junior communication major from Upland, Calif. “Then it really became (a chance) to focus on some things to get better as a team. We were pretty happy because we got to work on our stuff and got an easy win.”

Robbins and senior forward Landon Clegg led the team in scoring at 14 points apiece. Sophomore guard Robbie Nielson and junior guard DeQuan Thompson added 12 points in the 43-point win. Robbins and junior center Jordan Rex led the team in rebounds with 9 boards each.

Head coach Jon Judkins said it was an interesting game because the Firebirds are a brand new team, so he didn’t have any film or know anything about them, but he was happy about the win.

Senior forward Louis Garrett and Robbins led the team with 17 points Friday against Colorado Mesa. Robbins had a double-double in the game with 12 rebounds. The game was evenly matched in statistics against the Mavericks. DSU shot the ball well at 55.2 percent, but CMU wasn’t far behind with 54.7 percent.

The Red Storm travel to Washington to play against Central Washington University and Seattle Pacific University Nov. 15 and 16.

“We’re playing two very good teams,” Judkins said. “Central (Washington) is really athletic. They’ve got a guy that is averaging 30 (points) per game. It’s going to be a challenge, but we want to play those games. We want to play the best teams we can early and see where we’re at.”

Central Washington finished last year 15-13 overall and played well at home, winning seven of 11 games. Seattle Pacific was one of the top teams in Division II last year with a 27-4 record overall and a 12-1 home record.

“(We will) learn from this weekend’s games,” Robbins said. “Then this next week at practice we will get after it. We will work on our intensity and work on things we saw from these two games.”

DSU will play one more road game against Western Oregon University before its next home game Nov. 30 in an exhibition game against Pacifica College.

“We learn by watching film, and we learn by working hard in practice,” Judkins said. “These kids are doing that, so we’re going to do our best to prepare them. Now they need to go out there and get it done.”