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Dixie State basketball: Trailblazers use second-half surge to defeat Dominican on Friday, 93-79

Dixie State women’s basketball snapped a four-game losing skid on Friday with a 93-79 victory over Dominican in Pacific West Conference action inside the Burns Arena.

The Trailblazers (7-7, 3-4 PacWest) exploded for 57 points in the second half and shot a blistering 51 percent (17-of-33) from the field and 55 percent (11-of-20) from 3-point range in the final two frames. Three DSU players set career scoring marks, led by Matti Ventling, who poured in 21 points (7-14 FG, 5-11 3FG) and grabbed 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Ventling also dished out five assists and recorded two steals. Ali Franks also finished with 21 points (5-8 FG, 4-5 3FG) and eight rebounds, while Keslee Stevenson added 20 points (7-13 FG, 5-10 3FG). Taylor Moeaki chipped in 11 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double.

Dixie State trailed by as many as 10 points at 31-21 early in the second quarter but responded to the deficit with an 11-0 run to retake the lead at 32-31 with 4:26 until halftime. Ventling scored the first nine points of the run and buried two triples with a traditional three-point play sandwiched between the outside shots. Morgan Myers capped the run with a steal and a score. The teams traded baskets during the final four minutes of the frame, and Dominican took a 38-36 lead into the break.

The Trailblazers picked up where they left off in the third quarter, opening the period with a 12-5 run to take a 48-43 lead at the 6:09 mark. Franks buried three triples during the stretch, including back-to-back 3-pointers to cap the run. Dominican later trimmed the lead to 53-52, but DSU answered with another run, this time a 12-4 stretch during the final four minutes to take a 65-56 lead into the final frame. Stevenson accounted for eight points during the run, including two 3-pointers.

Dixie State continued the run into the fourth quarter as the lead stretched to a game-high mark at 73-57 with 8:23 remaining. Stevenson and Franks each canned a trey, followed by a steal and score by Moeaki to build the 16-point advantage. The Trailblazers cooled off briefly during the next four minutes and didn't record their next field goal until Ventling converted a layup at the 4:23 mark.

Meanwhile, the Penguins slowly chipped away at the DSU lead and eventually pulled to within five points at 80-75. But the Trailblazers immediately extinguished any hopes of a Dominican comeback and closed the game on a 13-4 run, including two more 3-pointers from Ventling and another by Stevenson, to clinch the 93-79 victory.

For the game, Dixie State shot 39 percent (29-of-73) from the field, 38 percent from 3-point range (14-of-36) and 77 percent (21-of-27) from the free-throw line. DSU’s 93 points scored marks a season high in scoring, while the Trailblazers finished one triple shy of tying the program record for 3-pointers in a single game. Additionally, DSU recorded a season-high 64 rebounds on Wednesday, four rebounds shy of tying the program’s single-game rebound record.

The Trailblazers close their four-game homestand on Monday vs. California Baptist. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.

Keric Seegmiller is Assistant Coordinator of Media Relations at Dixie State University and the Voice of Trailblazer Athletics. Contact him at