SAINT GEORGE, Utah — Freshman Shannon Gough has silently been waiting her turn toward the end of Dixie State head coach Angie Kristensen’s bench. Saturday night she scored 12 points, connecting on four three pointers, capitalizing on the opportunity to lead the Red Storm past Point Loma Nazarene University 80-63 at the Burns Arena.
Entering tonight’s game, the guard from Reno, Nevada, had connected on only one attempt in six tries and averaged just less than seven minutes a game. Gough, who is known for her three point shooting prowess, connected on four of five three pointers in 22 minutes to help DSC separate themselves from the Sea Lions.
“I thought Shannon Gough was a game changer tonight,” Kristensen said. “I knew she would have a chance since they play mostly zone.”
Despite the solid play from Gough, the rest of the team struggled to find their groove and flow. The Red Storm shot just 38.5 percent from the field, well below their season average of 43.1 percent.
“This is always a tough week with finals and we are literally just taking it one game at a time," Kristensen said.
The Sea Lions jumped out to an early 11-5 lead, only to see the Red Storm take back the lead and build a five-point advantage 22-17 on an Erica Hayes jumper with 7:56 remaining in the half.
A scrappy Point Loma team, playing without its two leading scorers, scratched its way back to tie at 24-24 on a three pointer by Callie Rhoads with 4:48 left in the first half. Rhoads finished with a game-high 19 points.
The Red Storm ended the half on a 8-2 run to give them a 34-26 lead at intermission.
It was all Dixie State in the second half. Johnna Brown grabbed seven of her 12 rebounds and scored six of her 13 points to earn her fourth consecutive and sixth double double of the season.
Jordan Giles lead all DSC scorers with 14 points.
The gaurd play of Giles and Gough guided the Red Storm as they committed a season low 11 turnovers for the game.
“We have talked about taking care of the basketball and we did a great job of that tonight,” Kristensen said.
With the win, Dixie State, winners of five consecutive, remains atop the PacWest standings at 4-0 and improve to 6-3 overall. Point Loma drops to 3-3 and 1-1 in PWC play.
DSC now has just two days to prepare for a difficult Las Vegas Challenge at the Orleans Arena.
“I am very excited about this tournament and these two teams we play will be big time competition and we must be ready to go,” concluded Kristensen.
Dixie State opens the Challenge on Tuesday at 6:00 pm MT against No. 28 ranked Central Missouri and Wednesday the team hosts No. 18 ranked Pittsburg State at 5:00 pm MT.
Jeff Cluff is the Coordinator of Media Relations at Dixie State College Athletics. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company