Dixie throws down undefeated team

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It was a rightful win for Dixie State men’s basketball Saturday as it battled in overtime to defeat nationally ranked No.10 Azusa Pacific 91-97.

The game started out with Azusa gaining the biggest lead of the game, equaling nine points, but the men of Dixie State didn’t let that stop them from fighting to keep up.

As the first half continued, the Storm caught up to the Cougars. There were five lead changes by the end of the first half and a total of 15 by the end of the game. The second half of the game made DSU put forth all it could in order to hold down APU.

Senior guard DeQuan Thompson, a communication major from Las Vegas, said he went in the game with the mentality to just go out and play basketball.

The other team had everything to lose because of its undefeated title motivated The Storm to give it their all, Thompson said.

“We gave everything we had that game, and I could tell we did because after the game in the locker room, we were telling each other how tired we were and how we left everything out on the court that night,” Thompson said.         

Azusa Pacific’s leading scorer, Troy Leaf, put up 39 points; it just wasn’t enough to carry his team to victory.

DSU was on its way to victory after gaining an eight-point lead in the second half, but Azusa Pacific didn’t make it that easy.

The game ended tied and headed to overtime. Dixie didn’t miss a shot during overtime, not including free throws, which led them to the win.

Thompson recorded 22 points. He was on fire as he was three for three in 3-point shots and didn’t miss a shot the entire second half of the game. Junior guard Mason Sawyer didn’t trail far behind, totaling 17 points this game.

Three other players scored double figures, including senior forward Zach Robbins, 14; freshman forward Zac Hunter, 13; and junior forward Mark Ogden Jr., 10.

Ogden Jr. and Robbins both had a total of seven rebounds. The team had 34 rebounds and 16 assists overall.

The Dixie State men’s basketball also team went up against No. 11 California Baptist University on Monday.

The team was on fire and ended the game 82-79.

The Storm shot 50 percent the first half of the game while the Lancers shot 32.43 percent.

Robbins had a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Other top scorers included Thompson, 16; and Sawyer, 13.  

Robbins, a communication major from Upland,  California, said the past few games the team has really shown good chemistry.

After this win, Dixie has defeated three top-20 teams consecutively. The Storm are 8-2 in PacWest play and 11-5 overall.

The team will play at Azusa Pacific Saturday and hopes to be able to slow down their best player, Leaf.

“It helps that we got to play them on Saturday, so we know what they do,” Robbins said.

The team will also play Dominican University of California Thursday, also away.

Additional reporting by Porter Larsen.