By Kyle Lindsley
Dixie State University men’s basketball cruised to a win over the Academy of Art University Dec. 2, 74-62. Saturday’s matchup was the first Pacific West Conference game for the Trailblazers in the young season, as well as their first home game.
DSU was far from perfect in its first victory at home in the regular season, committing 19 turnovers; however, with 29 points from the players on the bench and 28 points in the paint, the Trailblazers were able to maintain control throughout the game.
“[It] felt good to be back here,” said guard Trevor Hill, a senior business administration major from Sandy. “I love playing back in the Burns. We have probably one of the nicest gyms in the conference, and it’s good to be back in front of the fans and their excitement.”
Hill finished the game with 23 points and six assists, both team highs for the game, leading DSU to victory.
The referees held their share of impacting the game by calling a total of 58 fouls, which combined a total of 60 free throws in the contest.
"We knew the refs were calling it really tight,” said guard Daylor Youngblood, a finance major from South Jordan. “We tried to play without our hands on defense.”
The Academy of Art took an early lead at the beginning of the game 2-0, but that would prove to be the only time they would lead in the game as DSU led by 15 going into halftime.
In the second half the Trailblazer’s lead was trimmed to six with under eight minutes left until Hill scored two quick lay ups and assisted on another basket to put DSU up by double digits.
With starting forward Quincy Matthews, a junior general studies major from St. George, and starting guard Brandon Simister, a senior biology major from St. George, out for this game along with several players in foul trouble, other teammates had to rise to take on larger roles than normal.
“When somebody goes down, that’s when someone else has to step up,” head coach Jon Judkins said. “When Trevor got his fourth foul early in
the second half, we lost our intensity, so we needed our other guys to bring it back up.”
Judkins said the Trailblazers need to take better care of the ball as they go further into conference play.
“A win [is] a win; I’m happy, but I thought we could have played better than we did,” Judkins said.
DSU is now 4-4 on the season and 1-0 in PacWest play. The Trailblazers will take on Azusa Pacific University on Dec. 9 in the Burns Arena.