ST. GEORGE, Utah – BYU-Hawaii men's basketball held a lead at the half, but were unable to hold off Dixie State in an 88-74 loss Thursday at Burns Arena.
Tanner Nelson led the Seasiders (5-14, 3-10 PacWest) with 22 points and eight rebounds, shooting 46.7 percent from the field. Shad Watson followed with 20 points and Gabriel Andrade added four steals.
Marcus Bradley carried the Trailblazers (15-5, 12-2 PacWest) with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Trevor Hill finished with 18 points and three blocks.
Dixie State built a small lead as the teams traded points at the start of the game. Dunks by Hill and Bradley pushed the Trailblazers ahead 16-10 with ten minutes remaining in the half, but Watson answered with an 8-point run of his own to give BYU-Hawaii its first lead at 18-16 with 8:14 to go.
Dixie State regained a slight lead before the Seasiders went on a 5-0 run to hold a 25-20 advantage with 6:34 left in the half. Back-to-back Trailblazer layups closed the gap to 27-26 two minutes later, but 3-pointers by Nelson and Watson extended the BYU-Hawaii lead to 33-26 with 3:40 to go. Seesaw scoring continued and the Seasiders went into the break leading 41-34.
A 7-2 run by Dixie featuring a dunk by Bradley quickly closed the gap to 43-41 with 18 minutes to play. Zac Hunter and Austin Montgomery each hit shots to give the Trailblazers the 47-45 advantage at 16:14 and Hill then reeled off six-consecutive points to push the lead to six.
Watson hit a three to make it 56-53 with 12:17 in the game before a 7-2 Dixie run extended their lead to 71-62 with 6:44 to go. The Trailblazers used several free throws to go on an 8-point streak and build a double-digit lead 82-69 in the last three minutes.
BYU-Hawaii will return to action Saturday at California Baptist at 7 p.m. PST. Live stats and video will be available online.