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Dixie State basketball: DSU men slip past Seattle Pacific in OT

Dixie State junior guard Trevor Hill (right-center) drives in for two of his game-high 21 points in the Trailblazers' 74-72 overtime win at Seattle Pacific on Saturday night.
Dixie State junior guard Trevor Hill (right-center) drives in for two of his game-high 21 points in the Trailblazers' 74-72 overtime win at Seattle Pacific on Saturday night.
Stan Plewe, Dixie State Athletics

Trevor Hill knocked down a pair of free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining in overtime to lift Dixie State to its first win of the season, a 74-72 decision at Seattle Pacific in the final game of the 2016 SPU Oak Harbor Freight Lines Classic on Saturday at the Brougham Pavilion.

The Trailblazers (1-3) led 37-30 at the half and came out of the locker room on fire thanks to the hot hand of Brandon Simister, who scored eight points on a pair of 3-pointers and a lay-in as part of a 12-5 run that gave DSU its biggest lead of the night at 49-35 with 16 minutes to play in regulation.

Dixie State kept a double-digit lead for most of the first 10 minutes of the stanza and held a 59-47 advantage with 9:28 to go. However, the Falcons (2-2) mounted a furious rally, scoring 13-straight points during a span of 3:17, to erase the deficit and take their first lead of the frame at 60-59 with 5:39 to go.

The Falcons pushed their lead to as many as four points at 66-62, but Hill would draw DSU to within a single point at 66-65 with 2:26 remaining when he converted a conventional three-point play after he was fouled on a lay-in. Hill struck again with 28 seconds remaining as was fouled on another made basket, and his free throw gave DSU a 68-66.

SPU’s Coleman Wooten then tied the game at 68-68 and had a chance to give the Falcons the lead back after he was fouled on a made jumper with 13 ticks on the clock. However, Wooten missed the free throw, which gave DSU an opportunity to win it in regulation, but Hill’s shot in the paint at the buzzer didn't fall and the Trailblazers found themselves playing an extra five-minute period for the second-straight night.

Dixie State won the tip to begin the overtime, and Hill cashed in the offensive possession with a 3-pointer to stake DSU to a 71-68 lead. Wooten then followed with a jumper that pulled the Falcons to within 71-70 at the 3:27 mark. Following nearly two scoreless minutes of play, Zac Hunter split a pair of free throws to put DSU up two, but Wooten was fouled on SPU’s ensuing possession and he connected on both of his charity tosses to knot the score at 72-72 with 1:21 to go.

Seattle Pacific had a chance to win with a final shot after Wooten cleared out an offensive rebound with 32 seconds to go, but Dub Price stepped in and stole the ball from Wooten to give the Trailblazers that final chance.

After a DSU timeout, Hill drove the lane and drew a foul with less than a second on the clock. Hill then stepped up and connected on both foul shots, while Olivier-Paul Betu’s desperation heave at the buzzer did not find its mark and the Trailblazers escaped with the two-point win.

“I was proud of how we came out in overtime because yesterday [vs. Central Washington] we came out flat in that situation,” DSU head coach Jon Judkins said. “We’ve got to figure out how to not have letdowns in the second half after we have the lead. Overall, I’m just happy with how we played and this weekend we played the way we’re supposed to play.”

Hill, who earned all-tournament honors, scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the second half and overtime to go with a game-high nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. In addition, Simister tallied 10 of his season-high 19 points after the halftime intermission, while Brandon Miller collected nine points and six boards off the bench and Josh Fuller finished with eight points and five caroms.

Dixie State shot 39.1 percent from the floor (27-of-69), though the Trailblazers were just 5-of-19 (.263) from the perimeter, compared to 11-of-33 (.333; +18 pts) by the Falcons. DSU did a better job at the foul line than the night before as the Trailblazers hit on 15 of their 20 free throws (.750), and Dixie State held a decisive 49-36 edge in rebounding, including a 16-7 count on the offensive glass that led to 16 second-chance points.

SPU shot 38.7 percent (24-of-62) from the field and 13-of-20 (.650) from the charity stripe. Tony Miller led four Falcons in double figures with 21 points off the bench, while Wooten finished with 11 points and eight boards.

After four games away from home, Dixie State opens the home portion of its 2016-17 schedule next weekend as the Trailblazers host the 2016 Dixie State/Wingate Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 25-26, at the Burns Arena. DSU will open the tournament against Sonoma State on Friday at 7:30 p.m., followed by a matchup vs. Western Oregon on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

In addition to the DSU games, Western Oregon will play Westminster College in the first game of the Classic on Friday at 5 p.m., while Sonoma State and Westminster will square off in game three on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Steve Johnson is the Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Collegiate Licensing at Dixie State University. For more DSU Athletics news, please visit www.dixieathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.