When there are fans and students in the Burns Arena, it is very hard to come in and beat Dixie State. For Lamar on Thursday night, that held true as Hunter Schofield led Dixie State to a 71-55 win. Schofield’s second double-double in three games along with a balanced attack from the rest of the home squad was just what the doctor ordered.
It was a rather slow start for both sides of Thursday’s contest. Neither team scored a basket until the 17:47 mark and Lamar took a 7-2 lead into the under 16 media timeout. The slow start continued for the home side as they found themselves trailing all the way until a Cam Gooden layup gave Dixie State a 21-20 lead with seven minutes left in the first half. The rest of the first frame was back and forth and ended with the Trailblazers leading 36-32 going into the break.
The majority of the second half was much like the end of the first, back and forth. The Cardinals kept the game relatively close until, again with seven minutes left, a Frank Staine three started a 20-8 run to finish the game.
Hunter Schofield, who is in his final year of collegiate basketball, continues to solidify himself as a Trailblazer great. His 22-point, 12-rebound performance was his second double-double in just three games. With Lamar’s bigs getting into quick foul trouble, the door opened for Schofield to dominate. The Trailblazer attack wasn’t just one-dimensional, as 9 of their 10 players got into the scoring column and shot 40 percent. Schofield, Frank Staine, and Noa Gonsalvez combined for 18 of Dixie’s final 20 points. Staine ended a productive night with 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Gonsalvez hit two big 3-pointers en route to an 8-3-3 split.
- Dixie State needs to figure out how to get out of the gate faster. Fortunately, Lamar had a tough shooting night that allowed the Trailblazers to keep it close. But slow starts won’t allow them to compete with the tougher competition of the WAC.
- If Hunter Schofield continues on this tear, he will be a serious contender for conference player of the year. He is top-10 all-time (Dixie State) in career scoring average, rebounding average, field goal percentage, and field goals made.
- Coach Judkins’ team is deep but they need to find consistency from that depth. Andre Mulibea returning to the lineup has helped but big nights are needed from the bench every night.
- It’s hard to win on the road in the Burns Arena. Judkins-led teams hold a +.800 winning percentage at home. Even the big boys of the conference can’t expect an easy outing in front of Trailblazer fans.
Next Game Up
Dixie State welcomes a tough UTRGV squad to St George. The visiting Vaqueros suffered a 10 point loss to Utah Valley Thursday night. The Trailblazers look to continue their winning ways in front of their home crowd on Saturday night.