ST. GEORGE, Utah — Freshman guard Brandon Simister scored 15 points in the second half leading Dixie State College to an 87-78 win over the Chaminade Silverswords in Pacific West Conference play Monday night at the Burns Arena.
McKay Massey led Dixie State (5-2, 2-0 PWC) with 17 points. Dalton Groskreutz added 16 points in 27 minutes, and Zach Robbins chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Silverswords (3-4, 0-1 PWC) were led by the guard duo of Lee Baily and Bennie Murray, each with 15 points.
“Our guys battled,” head coach Jon Judkins said. “We need to learn how to close out halves and games. Overall, I’m happy with the effort.”
Chaminade jumped out early to an 8-2 lead behind a pair if three pointers from Oregon State transfer Rhys Murphy.
After the Swords took a 15-14 lead, Dixie State made a major run with 10 straight points. Triples from Groskreutz and Massey combined with free throws and a Kimball Payne driving layup gave DSC a 24-15 lead.
After another late eight point DSC spurt pushed the lead to 14 with 2:01 left, Chaminade outscored the home club 8-1 to minimize the deficit to seven, 37-30, at the break.
Dixie State would extend the lead to as many as 18 points at the 8:46 mark on a pair of Derek Owen free throws. Chaminade lived by the long shot, but also died by it. Three shots from distance put CUH within 10 points before an empathetic Groskreutz left-handed dunk brought the crowd to its feet.
Simister took over as the Storm iced away the game. His first three pointer with 3:37 left in regulation allowed DSC to take a 10-point lead. A few minutes later, Simister drained a contested wing ball as the shot clock expired.
Simister, Massey and Groskreutz knocked down the final eight points from the foul line.
Dixie State shot over 60 percent from the floor for the third game this year (61.7%, 29-47), while hitting 7-of-12 from beyond the arc. Payne finished an assist shy of his career-best with eight.
The Red Storm continues Pacific West Conference play Saturday at Fresno Pacific beginning at 5:30 p.m. MST.
John Potter is the "Voice of the Red Storm" and an athletic media relation assistant at Dixie State College. Contact him at Potter@dixie.edu.