Dixie State senior forward Hunter Schofield took it upon himself Saturday to lead Dixie State to victory. And all the Spanish Fork product did was go for a career-high 31 points in leading the Trailblazers to the 93-89 win over Utah Valley at the UCCU Center.
“Wow, we were a whole different team tonight,” Head Coach Jon Judkins said. “I thought we played a lot harder and we played more together, to me we felt like a team. I saw tonight what we can do, and if we can do what we did tonight, we have a good chance of winning a lot of games.”
It was a barn burner on Saturday night at the UCCU Center in Ore. And in the ‘Old Hammer Rivalry‘, Dixie State enacted a little revenge on Utah Valley. As headlined by the final score of 93-89, this was not a great defensive basketball game for either team. Dixie State isn’t complaining about that, though. It was gritty, and it was the definition of dogfight. Here is a break down of what happened Saturday night.
Game at a Glance
The Wolverines started the game the way Mark Madsen wanted to, go fast and jump out to an early lead. Utah Valley accomplished this. They led 15-7 at the first media timeout thanks in large part to Trey Woodbury. Within the first 45 seconds of the game, Woodbury scored five points and managed to get a steal. Utah Valley looked really good to start the game. But, by the following media timeout, Dixie State had climbed right back into it.
It was neck and neck, but thanks to a 9-0 run in just a little over a minute midway through the first half, Dixie State captured their first lead of the game at 30-28. They never looked back from this point on.
Dixie State held a 47-46 point lead at halftime. The second half started similar to the first half; fast and both teams connecting on shots. It was close until the 10:05 mark when Andre Mulibea buried a three that really led to Dixie State running away with this one.
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The Trailblazers maintained this steady lead. And give Dixie State credit for handling the late-game pressure.
In the final five minutes, Utah Valley really amplified its defensive pressure and it the affect Mark Madsen was looking for. The pressure led to five turnovers.
However, the turnovers didn’t lead to the points Utah Valley desperately needed. You can attribute that to a number things. Dixie State’s defensive pressure, Utah Valley’s inability to spread the floor or hit an outside shot, and the Trailblazers executing the game plan to perfection. It was a recipe for success on one side and recipe for disaster on the other.
Either way, Dixie State leaves Orem with a series split and third conference win in its first year in the WAC.
Hunter Schofield bounced back in a big way Saturday night.
Just 24 hours earlier, Schofield had just seven points on 3-10 shooting. Such was not the case on Saturday. All the senior from Spanish Fork did was respond in a massive way for the Trailblazers. Schofield had a career-high 31 points on 11-15 shooting including 9-10 at the charity stripe. Simply put, Hunter Schofield simply could not miss on Saturday.
Frank Staine Jr. had a fantastic game as well for the Trailblazers as he scored 19 points and was a perfect 11/11 from the charity stripe. Cameron Gooden stuck true to his season average as he scored 14 points. Perhaps the craziest stat is that starting guard Brock Gilbert had no points but led the team in assists with eight. Basketball isn’t always about the scorers.
Leading the way for Utah Valley was junior Trey Woodbury who had a team high 27 points. Fardaws Aimaq had another monster game. Aimaq pulled down a school and personal record 25 rebounds tonight. In addition to the 25 boards, he posted 18 points, good for another double-double for the Mercer transfer. Jamison Overton scored 17 points as well for Utah Valley.
Next up for Dixie State is the battle of the newcomers. The Trailblazers host Tarleton State. Utah Valley will travel to Texas to take on New Mexico State at a neutral venue in El Paso.
FINAL | Dixie State 93 Utah Valley 89
Hunter Schofield with a big 31 point night as Dixie win game two of the series vs UVU. pic.twitter.com/7sY71jbWEy
— The Western Athletic Conference (@WACsports) February 14, 2021