ST. GEORGE, Utah --- Two-time defending Pacific West Conference Champion Dixie State opened with an 18-5 run and never looked back in getting a big 77-59 win over California Baptist University before a crowd of 2,135 inside the Burns Arena Tuesday night.
The loss is the Lancers' second straight, the first time they have lost back-to-back games this year. They fall to 15-5 overall, 9-4 PacWest.
The PacWest-leading Red Storm improve to 18-4, 13-1 with their 11th straight win.
Justus Von Wright led all scorers with 18 points, but the Lancers were done in by 17 turnovers that led to 26 Dixie State points.
The Lancers played catch-up all night.
The Red Storm bench also outscored the Lancers' bench 30-17, getting a team-high 14 points from Derek Owen, who went 5-for-6 from the floor. McKay Massey (13 points) and Maurice Cole (11 points) also scored in double figures for the Red Storm, who shot 68.4 percent (13-for-19) in the second half.
Ivan Patterson made a free throw to start the game, but Cole converted a jumper on the ensuing possession and the Red Storm never trailed again. They led 8-5 and scored 10 straight points to take a 13-point lead just 12:05 into the game. The Lancers had seven turnovers and took just four shots in the first eight minutes.
Dixie State led by as many as 18 points in the first half before settling in for a 38-25 halftime lead.
The Lancers scored nine straight points, five from Von Wright, to get within 44-36 with 15:23 to play, but reserve Dalton Groskreutz buried a three-pointer seven seconds later and the Lancers never got within single digits the rest of the way.
The Red Storm led by as many as 23 (74-51) with 2:56 to play. Groskreutz came off the bench to score nine points. He and Owen combined for 23 points, going 9-for-11.
Luke Evans finished with 10 points. Patterson added nine. Josh Deanne came off the bench and scored seven points to go along with five rebounds. Von Wright also grabbed five rebounds.
The Lancers shot 42.6 percent from the floor and were 15-for-22 (68.2 percent) from the free throw line.
These teams play again Saturday night in Riverside for the Lancers' Homecoming. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Luxury Box users
returning customers, please login here.