The Dixie State University men’s basketball team lost its first home game Saturday while going 1-1 last week.
The Red Storm lost 97-88 to Dominican University of California Saturday. The loss makes two losses of the last three games for Dixie State. The lone win came Thursday 86-73 against Academy of Art University.
Dominican University of California
The Red Storm went into the locker room down four points at halftime against Dominican and never regained the lead the remainder of the game.
“There’s something we need to figure out as a team; we need to figure out how to be consistent,” said forward Dalton Groskreutz, a senior communication major from Santa Clara. “The bottom line is that we need to figure out how to play the same way all the time. We can play really well for four minutes and something happens, and for five minutes we play (poorly).”
The Red Storm were down 63-53 with 13:18 left when junior guard DeQuan Thompson received a technical foul, which ignited the comeback attempt for the team.
Senior forward Louis “Bonesaw” Garrett helped get the team and crowd motivated when he stole a pass and took it to the basket for a reverse dunk on the next play.
“There [are] a lot of guys on the team that are capable of making things happen,” Groskreutz said. “You saw it from Kimball (Payne), Robbie (Nielson) and (Garrett). They played really well.”
After the dunk, senior guard Landon Clegg and senior forward Curtis Papenfuss hit back-to-back 3-pointers that cut the lead to three points.
“I thought we played hard, but why do we play hard when we’re down 12 (points)?” head coach Jon Judkins said. “Why can’t we play hard when it’s tied? It’s like we wait until we’re down and then it’s like, ‘OK, guys, let’s go.’”
Judkins was not happy about Dixie’s 60.7 free throw percentage while the Penguins shot 56.1 percent from the field.
“I can take losses; I hate them … but I’ll take losses if we get better,” Judkins said. “Right now, I don’t see improvement in getting better. That’s something we need to change.”
The Storm drop to a 15-4 record overall and a 9-4 Pacific West Conference record.
Academy of Art
The Red Storm led with five minutes left in the game when Thompson electrified the crowd.
Senior guard Kimball Payne started the fast break after a missed AAU basket and brought the ball to the corner. He drove to the hoop and tossed the ball to an already jumping Thompson, who dunked the ball and hung on the rim long enough to merit a technical foul.
The Red Storm got back on their winning path for a game with an 86-73 win.
“Coming off the loss, we wanted to [win again],” said Thompson, a communication major from Las Vegas. “Coach really emphasized [getting after it] in practice.”
Thompson led the team in scoring with 19 points and also pulled down six rebounds. Junior center Zach Robbins added 15 points and led the team in rebounds with 15 boards. Sophomore guard Mason Sawyer led the team in assists with seven.
Judkins said the Red Storm is 4-4 in the past eight games and that he is frustrated with the way the team has been playing lately.
“I’m going to do everything I can, (and) our coaches are going to give everything we’ve got,” Judkins said. “[The players] need to look in the mirror and say, ‘Hey, what can I do better?’ If they do it, I think they’re going to change.”
The Red Storm play Holy Names University Saturday and Brigham Young University-Hawaii Feb. 11. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. for both games in the Burns Arena.