College basketball has a rich history of winning at Utah Tech (formerly Dixie State). With two NJCAA national championships, nine NCAA division 2 tournament appearances and 20-plus Division II conference championships. It was obvious that immediate success wasn’t going to come for the Trailblazers when they made the jump to Division I in 2020 as the men’s side only won eight games in the COVID season and the women didn’t play a full season.
The winds are changing back in St. George. And winning is becoming the renewed normal. 2022 saw some serious growth from both the men and the women at Utah Tech. So here are the top-5 wins from the past year.
5. Utah Tech 68, Utah Valley 58 – December 31, 2022
The Utah Tech women’s basketball team took down in-state rival Utah Valley in front of a home crowd on New Year’s Eve. Led by Amber Kartchner who scored 19 points and Emily Isaacson who finished with 16.
The win marked the first victory for the Trailblazers on the women’s side of the Old Hammer Rivalry.
4. Utah Tech 79, CBU 76 – January 12, 2022
In one of the wildest comebacks of the year, the Trailblazer men pulled off a huge victory in Riverside.
Cam Gooden and Hunter Schofield combined for 42 points in the contest.
But the heroics came from Isaiah Pope who scored an and-one bucket off of a Frank Staine offensive rebound. Utah Tech trailed by 8 with just 1:26 to go.
3. Utah Tech 81, CBU 77 – February 24, 2022
In February, the Utah Tech women completed the CBU road sweep as Emily Isaacson and Shanaijah Davison took down the Lancers.
Isaacson went 5-8 from deep to finish with 21 and Davison finished with 19. CBU only suffered two losses in the CBU Events Center all season.
2. Utah Tech 61, GCU 60 – February 12, 2022
Right in the middle of a wild two weeks in in the Burns Arena, head coach Jon Judkins’ squad pulled off the biggest upset in the program’s history.
In the same punch, they also ruined the Lopes chances of sharing the conference regular season title. The upset was led by Hunter Schofield who had 18 points and Dancell Leter who finished with 15.
A perfectly placed entry pass to Schofield from Frank Staine led to an and-one basket and the lead with 17 seconds left.
Lopes’ guard Holland Woods attempted to go ISO. But Isaiah Pope provided lock down defense to seal the win in front of the home crowd.
1. Utah Tech 80, Utah Valley 75 – February 19, 2022
The number one win of 2022 came in February over Fardaws Aimaq and Utah Valley in front of a packed Burns Arena.
Again, trailing late in the game, it took some Trailblazer heroics to just send the game into overtime. And the heroics came from Cameron Gooden.
With six seconds left and trailing by three, Gooden drove straight into Big Maple himself to draw the and-one basket to tie the game. A clutch block from Dancell Leter sent the game to overtime where the Trailblazers wouldn’t be denied as they outscored UVU 10-5.
Make no mistake about it, Utah Tech is coming. Gone are the short-lived days of smooth sailing when teams play the Trailblazers. 2022 was a great year for basketball in St George and 2023 will see even more success.