Dixie St. comes up clutch to advance
Red Storm hit 7 of 11 from long range to keep Silverswords at bay
ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Guard Jeremiah Barnes scored 22 points, including eight consecutive during a crucial juncture of the second half, as fourth-seed Dixie State defeated PacWest conference rival Chaminade 92-81 in the NCAA Division II Men’s West Regional basketball tournament at Nicholson Pavilion Friday.
Earlier third-seed Humboldt State fell to sixth-seed Alaska Anchorage 76-70 and seventh-seed BYU-Hawaii eliminated No. 2 Cal State Dominguez 83-76. BYUH will now take on UAA in Saturday’s first semifinal game. Both semifinals will match PacWest and Great Northwest Athletic Conference teams.
Barnes connected on 6 of 12 shots, including 3 of 3 treys. Two of those came after Chaminade had cut a 14-point deficit (69-55) with 8:26 left to three on a lay-up by Mamadou Diarra with 5:38 remaining.
Barnes, however, then went to work nailing a 3. He then got the rebound of a missed 3-pointer by Steven Bennett at the other end and scored on a lay-up to make it 75-67 with 4:51 left.
Chaminade then turned the ball over and Barnes nailed another 3 at 4:26 to extend the Red Storm lead to 78-67. Except for two brief periods of 16 and 38 seconds, Dixie played the rest of the contest with a double-digit lead.
Dixie coach Jon Judkins was pleased to get the win after losing in the first round of the regionals last year.
“These guys were focused,” Judkins said. “We’ve been here before and we were motivated to get back here. I’m just glad were still playing and will enjoy this for a couple hours and then concentrate on our next opponent.”
Chaminade coach Matt Mahar gave credit to Dixie, which beat Chaminade for the third time this season. “They set a lot of really good screens and did a good job of getting to the free throw line. They are a real tough team to defend.”
Dixie ended up outscoring Chaminade 33-13 from the foul line and also converted on seven of 11 3-pointers. The Red Storm made 33 of 45 charity tosses, compared to 13 of 24 by the Silverswords. Chaminade kept the game relatively close by outrebounding Dixie 47-36 and making 10 of 23 treys.
Diarra had a double-double for Chaminade with 10 points and 15 rebounds and also blocked a game-high four shots. Bennett had a team-high 16 points and a game-high seven assists for CUH, while Shane Hanson and De’Andre Haskins had 15 and 14 points, respectively. Chris Curtis was also in double figures with 10 points.
Joining Barnes in double figures for Dixie was Tim Whitehead with 12 points and Everton Araujo with 10. Whitehead had back-to-back baskets on a lay-up and dunk in the final 55 seconds of the first half as Dixie extended a four-point lead to eight at the break.