College basketball roundup: DSU men’s wins conference opener while SUU men’s loses to Loyola Marymount

ST. GEORGE — The Dixie State men’s basketball team started off their conference basketball play with a win against Westminster, while the women’s team dropped their game against the same school. The SUU men’s basketball team got a much-needed home victory over West Coast Baptist, then went on the road again against Loyola Marymount. They lost 61-51. As for the SUU women’s basketball team, they won their home game on Tuesday against Oral Roberts, 72-58.

Dixie State men’s basketball

The No. 16 ranked Trailblazers opened up RMAC play with a bang, holding Westminster to only 63 points while bringing in 74 points. DSU was led by Frank Staine, who poured in a career-high 18 points while going 4-5 from three-point land. Senior point guard Jack Pagenkopf, who has been a major contributor for the Trailblazers, also had six points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

“It’s good to get a first conference win, I don’t think we played great, but it’s a good way to start (conference play) and I’m happy with that,” Head Coach Jon Judkins said in a release. “I like how hard we played overall. I thought at times we were very good defensively and to hold (Westminster) to 34% shooting was big for us.”

Dixie State will take on South Dakota Mines and Black Hills State on Friday and Saturday, with both games starting at 7:30 p.m.

Dixie State women’s basketball

DSU women’s basketball vs St. Martin’s, St. George, Utah, Nov. 23, 2019 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News

The Trailblazers started the holiday weekend with a tight 63-59 loss in their RMAC opener against Westminster. DSU had a tough shooting night going 18-47 from the field (38.3%) and 4-15 (26.7%) from three. Madi Loftus and Ashley Greenwood led the charge with 11 points for the Trailblazers.

They then traveled to Logan, where they played Utah State on Monday. The Trailblazers lost 61-49 against the Division I Aggies, but they did not go down without a fight. DSU kept the game close at the half, 36-36, but lost their momentum in the second half. Keslee Stevens led the team with 18 points while Breaunna Gillen had 12 points off the bench.

SUU men’s basketball

The Thunderbirds started the holiday weekend with a much-needed home game against West Coast Baptist. It was their first home game in over three weeks, and they beat West Coast Baptist handily, 126-40. The T-birds won by 86, which is the largest margin of victory in program history. SUU also hit 17 threes, breaking another program record.

“We always start with defense, and I thought our guys did a good job creating offense from our defense,” head coach Todd Simon said in a release. “We knew we were a way better-shooting team then we were showing, and at some point, those things were going to fall and today they just came in waves.”

Freshman Jarryd Hoppo was the highest scorer for the Thunderbirds with 25 points, knocking down seven of the 17 total threes. Cameron Oluyitan also had 22 points in the winning effort.

Bethesda at SUU, Cedar City, Utah, Nov. 6, 2019 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News

SUU then got back on the road, playing Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on Sunday. After an offensive outburst, their offensive struggles returned as they only scored 51 points, losing 61-51.

“I thought we showed a little road weariness to a degree,” head coach Todd Simon said. “Everything was kind of short, we were a step slow defensively and we’ve got to be better. We’ve got to be a little more focused when we’re like that.”

John Knight III led the team with 13 points and was the only Thunderbird to score double-digit points. Dwayne Morgan got into early foul trouble and only played 16 minuted before fouling out. Simon mentioned that Morgan fouling out definitely effected the game.

“We’ve got to be more focused, take care of the ball and play sound, efficient basketball,” Simon said. “We need to do the simple things right in terms of passing, catching, making shots and keeping guys in front of us, and we’ll be fine.”

SUU returns home on Saturday to take on in-state rival Utah Valley University at 2 p.m.

SUU women’s basketball

After losing on the road at No. 5/7 Oregon State 95-45, the SUU women’s basketball team returned home to take on Oral Roberts University. The Thunderbirds won 72-58 and were led by Rebecca Cardenas who had 17 points and eight assists. Harley Hansen also contributed 14 points and 5 rebounds.

SUU will follow up the home victory with another home game against UC Irvine on Friday at 6 p.m.

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