Dixie State University women’s basketball remained winless over Thanksgiving break, but the Storm are thankful for their ever-improving play.
“We’re getting better,” head coach Jenny Thigpin said. “We scheduled tough teams at the beginning of the year for that reason. We are more concerned with getting better as a team right now than we are with wins and losses.”
DSU made its season home debut Tuesday Nov. 4 against in-state foe Westminster College.
The winless Storm entered Burns Arena with a 0-2 record and were seeking their first win of the young season. The Griffins, however, had other plans.
Sparked by the hot shooting of senior guard Natalie Parsons, Westminster downed the Storm 61-55. Parsons scored a career-high 24 points on 8-13, shooting in the win.
DSU held a one-point lead at the half after playing an extremely even first two quarters, but the Griffins adjusted at the break to go on an 11-2 run coming out of the locker room and escaped St. George with the victory.
WC, who led the country (NAIA) in points allowed last season, kept the Storm in check with its stifling defense by holding DSU to 30 percent shooting.
Despite the loss, junior guard Aliya Davis had a breakout game for the Storm. Davis led the team with 16 points and knocked down three shots from deep. Senior forward Taylor Mann notched her 24th career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds in the defeat.
DSU had a quick turnaround as it traveled to Grand Junction, Colorado, for the Holiday Inn – Airport Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Colorado Mesa University Friday.
Matching up with the Western State Colorado University on the first day of the tournament, the Storm would try their luck at getting in the win column once again.
Senior guard Chermayne Moore knocked down two consecutive 3-pointers in the first two possessions of the fourth quarter to give the Storm a 51-41 lead.
“It’s frustrating because there are moments when we are really, really good,” Mann said. “Then there are moments where we have lapses on crucial possessions. We are getting better, but we need to put together a whole game.”
The Mountaineers responded with a 14-1 run of their own and took the lead away from DSU. WSCU didn’t look back as it finished the game on a 27-8 run to down the Storm 68-59.
Mann continued her impressive play Saturday as the upset-minded Storm faced nationally-ranked No. 25 Colorado Mesa University. DSU gave CMU all it could handle, but the Mavericks were ultimately too much as they extended the Storm’s losing-streak to five games.
DSU played even with CMU early on, tying the game after the opening quarter. CMU answered and opened up a double-digit lead in the third. After trailing 44-30, the Storm put together the best 15 minutes of basketball they’ve played all season.
Mann, an English major from Castle Dale, had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead DSU as it stormed back to take its first lead of the game at 58-57 with just three minutes to go. The first lead would be the only lead the Storm held.
They would not look back, scoring the final four points of the game to give CMU the 64-61 win.
DSU will begin Pacific West Conference play on the road this week when they face California Baptist University Dec. 3 and Point Loma University Dec. 5.