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HCC ATHLETICS

Keanu Pinder had his first career double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in No. 18 Hutchinson's 75-65 Jayhawk West road win on Wednesday at Seward County. (Jessica Green/HCC Sports Information)				    Kalani Purcell hits two free throws with 3.9 seconds to play to cap off a 21-point, 16-rebound performance and left No. 1 Hutchinson to a 62-61 victory over No. 6 Seward County on Wednesday in Liberal. (Jessica Green/HCC Sports Information)				    The No. 18 Blue Dragon men meet Seward County at 8 p.m. tonight at the Greenhouse in Liberal. Catch all the action on the Blue Dragon Sports Network. (Jessica Green/HCC Sports Information)				    The No. 1 Blue Dragon men travel to No. 6 Seward County at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Greenhouse in Liberal. (Jessica Green/HCC Sports Information)				    The Blue Dragon men remain No. 18 in this week's NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball Poll. (Jessica Green/HCC Sports Information)
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SECOND-HALF SURGE LEADS BLUE DRAGONS TO ROAD WIN AT SEWARD

Basketball - Men | 01.29.15

LIBERAL – The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team shot 60 percent in the second half and cut down its turnovers in the final 20 minutes to get a big Jayhawk West road victory, defeating Seward County 75-65 on Wednesday at the Greenhouse.

Tied at 30-all at halftime freshmen Bashier Ahmed and Akbar Hoffman both had huge second halves to power the Blue Dragons to a fourth-straight victory and just the second win at the Greenhouse in the last nine trips to Liberal.

Hutchinson improves to 18-4 overall and 5-3 in the Jayhawk West. Seward County slips to 10-11 overall and 3-5 in the West. The Saints drop a conference game at home for the first time this season.

HCC raced out to a 15-4 first half lead, but stalled for the remainder of the half. HCC hit 12 of 30 shots in the first half, but turned the ball over 11 times. Seward County fought back to knot the game at 30-30 by halftime. The Dragons played a much cleaner half in the final 20 minutes. HCC was 12 of 20 shooting and had only seven turnovers. The Dragons also got to the free-throw line in the second half, hitting 20 of 25 free throws. Defensively, HCC held the Saints to 31.4 percent from the field as HCC outscored Seward 45-35 in the second half.

Ahmed scored 10 of his 18 points and Hoffman had 13 of his 16 points in the second half. Ahmed hit 7 of 10 free throws and finished with eight rebounds. Hoffman’s point total tied a conference season high and he had a season-high seven free throws in eight attempts. Hoffman added three assists.

Sophomore DeShawn Freeman had his 10th double-double of the season with 16 points on 8 of 11 shooting and 10 rebounds.

Freshman Keanu Pinder posted his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Pinder had season highs of five assists and five blocked shots.

The Blue Dragons hit 24 of 50 field-goal attempts (48.0 percent), hitting 4 of 11 from 3-point range and 23 of 29 from the free-throw line. HCC out-rebounded Seward County 44-33 and committed 17 turnovers.

The Saints were led by Secean Johnson’s 19 points. Tyreke Sharp had 14. Seward County was held to 22 of 65 shooting, hitting 9 of 27 from 3-point range and 12 of 21 from the free-throw line.

Hutchinson hit 6 of its first 10 shots to build a 15-4 lead after an Ahmed basket with 13:09 to go in the half. The game quickly turned with three quick Saints’ 3-point goals, the third by Mitchell Packard tied the game at 17-all with 9:29 to go in the first half.

The Dragons went on a 10-3 run and led 27-20 after a Hoffman 3-pointer with 6:02 to play in the half.  A Freeman dunk with 23 seconds left gave Hutch a 30-26 lead, but the Saints scored the final four points of the half to head into the locker room tied at 30-all.

Hutch started the second half on a 13-2 run to lead 43-32 with 15:55 to play after an Ahmed basket. But unlike the first half, the Dragons maintained a double-figure lead throughout most of the second half. An Austin Budke basket with 10 minutes to play pushed HCC to its largest lead of the game to 55-39.

Seward County missed its first nine 3-point attempts of the second half, but started to find the range after a Hoffman field goal with 4:21 to go gave HCC a 62-47 lead. The Saints then hit four-straight 3-pointers and got as close as five points at 70-65 with 48 seconds left in the game.

The Blue Dragons hit 7 of 8 from the free-throw line in the final 52 seconds to close out the victory.

HCC closes out a two-game road trip at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Dodge City. The game will be played at the Dodge City Civic Center.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 69-28 all-time vs. Seward County. … This was all-time win No. 1,672 for the HCC men. … HCC is 4-1 in true road games this season. … This was the 12th game for HCC to hold an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting. .. DeShawn Freeman has 12 career double-doubles.

(HCC Sports Information)


LATE PURCELL FREE THROWS HELP NO. 1 HCC WOMEN DEFEAT NO. 6 SEWARD

Basketball - Women | 01.29.15

LIBERAL – Trailing in the final minute of a game for the first time this season, the No. 1-ranked Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team answered the challenge and survived a major threat by No. 6 Seward County and defeated the Saints 62-61 on Wednesday at the Greenhouse.

Trailing 61-60, sophomore Kalani Purcell was fouled while battling for an offensive rebound with 3.9 seconds to play in the game. Purcell, who posted her 15th double-double of the season with 21 points and 16 rebounds, knocked down two free throws to give HCC a one-point lead. The Dragons then had to hold their breath as Seward County’s Rebekah Hatchard drove the length of the floor and got a good shot off that just missed the mark at the buzzer.

Hutchinson improves to 22-0 overall and 8-0 in the Jayhawk West. HCC extends its winning streak over the Saints to 11 and its Jayhawk West winning streak to 28.

Purcell entered the Blue Dragons’ career Top 10 scoring list on Wednesday. She now has 887 career points.

Purcell was one of three players to have a double-double for Hutchinson against Seward County.

Freshman Cynthia Petke posted her ninth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Clemence LeFebvre had her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Sydney Benoit was also in double figures with 11 points.

Hutchinson shot 40.0 percent for the game (24 of 60), including 4 of 17 from 3-point range. HCC hit 10 of 13 free throws. The Blue Dragons doubled-up Seward County 52-26 in rebounding, but had to overcome 21 turnovers.

Davis finished with a team-high 19 points for the Saints (18-2, 6-1). Axelle Bernard had 13 points with three 3-pointers. Galindo had 12 points, knocking down three 3-pointers. Tamara Seda, Seward County’s leading scorer, was held to two points and eight rebounds on 1 of 7 shooting.

The Saints shot 35.4 percent (23 of 65). They hit 8 of 21 from 3-point range and 7 of 8 from the foul line. Seward committed only 10 turnovers.

The game had four lead changes and three ties in the first five minutes of the game. Tied at 11-all, HCC ran off seven unanswered points to lead 18-11 after LeFebvre hit 1 of 2 free throws with 9:55 to go in the half. The Dragon run ballooned to 18-2 and HCC led 29-13 after a Purcell layup with 4:54 to play in the half.

Trailing 31-17, a Galindo 3-pointer with 3:03 remaining started a run of seven straight scoring possessions by the Saints. Seward County scored 11 of the game’s next 15 points and pulled within 33-26 in the final minute of the half. Benoit gave Hutch a needed boost before halftime, knocking down a jumper with 19 seconds left and gave HCC a 35-26 halftime lead.

Seward County opened the second half on a 9-2 run to pull within 37-35 with 16:04 to play in the game. The Dragons immediately answered with an 11-2 run to go up 48-37 with 13:03 to play after a LeFebvre bucket. Alyx Bloom then drained a 3-pointer to give Hutch its largest lead of the second half at 53-41 with 11:29 to go.

HCC then missed six consecutive shots and turned the ball over five times in its 5 minute, 49 second scoring drought. The Saints tied the game at 53 on a Galindo three-point play and then led 56-53 on a Galindo 3-point goal with 5:57 remaining.

The lead changed hands six times in the final 6 minutes. HCC led 60-59 after a Purcell 15-foot jumper with 1:13 to play. HCC got a stop, but couldn’t convert on the offensive end. Seward’s Kyndal Davis hit two free throws with 30.1 seconds to play to give the Saints a 60-59 lead.

The Blue Dragons got two shots off in the final 11 seconds to try and take the lead. After a Bloom scoop shot came up short on the second attempt, Purcell grabbed the loose ball and was fouled with 3.9 seconds to play. The two subsequent free throws were her only attempts from the line in the game.

Hutchinson will close out its two-game road trip at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at Dodge City. The game will be played at the Dodge City Civic Center.

GAME NOTES – Hutchinson is now 34-9 against nationally ranked teams under head coach John Ontjes. … HCC now 42-39 all-time against Seward County. … Kalani Purcell has 33 career double-doubles. … Seward County is only the fifth opponent to score at least 60 points against HCC. … HCC has held 21 opponents to less than 40 percent shooting. … Cynthia Petke tied a season high with five assists. … Kalani Purcell had a season high with four blocked shots.

(HCC Sports Information)


BLUE DRAGONS END LEAGUE’S FIRST HALF WITH ROAD TRIP TO SEWARD COUNTY

Basketball - Men | 01.28.15

The No. 18-ranked Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team opens a two-game road trip Wednesday with a pivotal Jayhawk West matchup at Seward County.

Game time is at 8 p.m. at Seward County’s Greenhouse. The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) beginning at 7:20 p.m. The game will also be streamed live on the Blue Dragon Sports Network at 7:20 p.m.

Wednesday’s game will be the halfway point to the 2015 Jayhawk Conference season.

Hutchinson (17-4 overall) is currently tied for third with Dodge City at 4-3. Seward County (10-10) is tied with Pratt for fifth at 3-4. The Jayhawk West champion will receive a first-round Region VI Tournament bye, while the Nos, 2, 3 and 4 finishers will play home games in the opening round.

The Blue Dragons won their third-straight game in dramatic fashion on Saturday. In front of the largest crowd of the season that pushed 4,000, the Blue Dragons rallied from four points down with 1:22 remaining to defeat Cloud County 77-74 on Bashier Ahmed’s tip-in and three-point play with 0.5 seconds remaining in regulation.

Sophomore forward DeShawn Freeman continues to pace the Blue Dragons. Freeman is the Jayhawk West’s leading scorer at 20.1 points per game and is No. 2 in rebounding at 9.4 boards per game.

While Ahmed’s 20-point game streak ended at four last Saturday, the freshman is still averaging 24.6 points over his last five games.

Seward County has had an up-and-down season to this point, but the Saints are the four-time defending Jayhawk West champions.

The Saints dropped an 82-58 decision at No. 4 Butler on Saturday in  El Dorado. The Saints have lost 3 of 4. Forward Nick Singleton and guard Darius Polley were Seward County’s leading scorers against Butler with 12 points each.

The Greenhouse hasn’t been the most hospitable places for the Blue Dragons in recent years. Hutchinson has dropped 7 of 8 game played in Liberal, although the Blue Dragons still have a 26-19 all-time advantage at the Greenhouse.

The Blue Dragons will close out the road trip on Saturday at Dodge City.

Game 22: No. 18 Hutchinson at Seward County
Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Time: 8 p.m.
Site: Greenhouse, Liberal, KS
Live Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9); KWBW-AM (1450); KWBW-FM (98.5), 7:50 p.m.
Live Video: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 7:50 p.m.
Live Stats: Blue Dragon Sports Network
Twitter: @bluedragonsport

HUTCHINSON BLUE DRAGONS
2014-15 Record: 17-4
2015 Jayhawk West Record: 4-3
NJCAA National Rank: No. 18
Head Coach: Steve Eck, 6th season

SEWARD COUNTY SAINTS
2014-15 Record: 10-10
2015 Jayhawk West Record: 3-4
NJCAA National Rank: Unranked
Head Coach: Bryan Zollinger, 8th season

About the 2014-15 Blue Dragons
+ The Blue Dragons are averaging 84.1 points offensively, which is fourth in the Jayhawk West. HCC shoots 47.5 percent from the field (5th in West). The Dragons average a league-low 4.9 makes from deep and shooting 33.4 percent from behind the arc.

+ Getting to the free-throw line is a huge part of the Blue Dragons’ game. HCC is shooting 65.5 percent as a team. The Dragons are sixth in the Jayhawk and 19th in the NJCAA in made free throws at 19.9 per game.

+ The Blue Dragons are allowing 72.5 points per contest, which is fourth best in the Jayhawk West. The Blue Dragons are No. 1 in the Jayhawk West and No. 18 in the NJCAA in defensive field-goal percentage at 38.8 percent. The Blue Dragons are allowing 33.1 percent from behind the 3-point line with opponents averaging 7.8 made 3s. HCC has allowed 10 or more 3-pointers seven times this season.

+ In conference play, HCC is averaging 83.9 points per game offensively, shooting 45.1 percent overall and 31.7 percent from long range. HCC has shot just 62.6 percent from the free-throw line. Defensively, the Blue Dragons allow 79.6 points per game and are allowing 43.2 percent overall and 35.0 percent from the 3-point line.

+ Sophomore forward DeShawn Freeman leads the Jayhawk West in scoring and is one of three players in double figures at 20.1 points per game. Freeman is fifth in the league shooting 55.5 percent overall and 64.0 percent from the foul line. Freeman is No. 2 in the Jayhawk West in rebounding at 9.4 caroms per game. Freeman has nine double-doubles this season.

In conference play, Freeman is averaging 17.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game shooting 50.0 percent.

+ Freshman Bashier Ahmed has seven double-doubles. He second on the team in scoring and fifth in the Jayhawk West at 16.4 points per game. Ahmed has scored 123 points in his last five games. He is shooting 47.4 percent from the field and has 26 3-pointers, shooting 35.6 percent from deep. Ahmed is HCC’s second-leading rebounder at 7.8 boards per game, which is fifth in the Jayhawk West. Ahmed has improved at the free-throw line, now up to 71.8 percent.

Ahmed is at 19.0 points per game, shooting 46.2 percent in conference play.

+ Sophomore Austin Budke has a pair of 20-point games and three double-doubles  this season. He is third on the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game. Budke is shooting 44.0 percent and 73.9 percent from the foul line (10th in the league). Budke has been a workhorse in both league games, averaging 13.1 points and 5.0 rebounds.

+ The Blue Dragons are averaging a strong 28.5 points per game off the bench. Freshman forward Che Bob, who had a career-high 31 points against Northeast Nebraska, is the top scorer off the bench for the Blue Dragons at 10.4 points per game. He is shooting 46.8 percent overall, 36.7 percent from 3-point range and 73.7 percent from the foul line. Freshman guard Akbar Hoffman is at 10.0 points per game with 25 3-pointers.

+ Hutchinson ranks second in the Jayhawk West in rebounding at 45.5 rebounds per game, including 15.9 offensive rebounds. The Blue Dragons allow 34.9 rebounds and 13.0 offensive caroms. HCC is a plus 10.6 rebounding margin in league play.

+ The Blue Dragons rank seventh of nine teams in the Jayhawk West in assists at 15.4 per game. Sophomore Zach Winter has a team-high 65, with 25 assists and no turnovers in his last four games.

+ Turnovers have been an issue for the Blue Dragons this season. HCC has had 15 or more turnovers in 14 of 21 games so far and more than 20 in six of those games with a season high 27 against both Western Texas and North Lake College. The Dragons are turning the ball over 17.9 times per game, while forcing only 15.8.

+ Ahmed’s 34 steals leads a Dragon team that is fifth in steals at 8.7 per game.

+ The Dragons are the Jayhawk West leader and rank ninth in the NJCAA in blocked shots at 6.4 rejections per game. Keanu Pinder has a team-high 34 blocked shots. Moataz Aly has 23, Freeman has 23 blocks and Bob has 21.

Scouting Seward County
+ Already down one of their best returning players before the season started because of injury, the Saints opened 2014-15 on a four-game losing streak, but are 10-6 since then.

+ The Saints are averaging a league-low 75.8 points per game - the Jayhawk West as a group averages 83.0 points per game. The Saints are shooting 43.6 percent overall and 30.0 percent from 3-point range with 5.6 makes per contest. Seward County is second in the league in free-throw shooting at 69.2 percent.

+ Defensively, the Saints are allowing 74.4 points per game. Opposing teams are shooting 43.2 percent overall and 34.4 percent from the foul line.

+ Kevin Sims and Secean Johnson are tied for the Saints’ scoring lead at 13.7 points per game. Sims is shooting 40.5 percent overall, 31.4 percent from 3-point range and 72.2 percent from the free-throw line. Johnson shots 37.7 percent overall and is sixth in the Jayhawk West in free throws at 78.1 percent. Sims also ranks sixth in the Jayhawk West in steals at 1.8 thefts per game.

+ Jamal Poplar is third in scoring at 11.6 points per game. She shoots 50.7 percent from the floor.

+ Seward County ranks ninth in the league in rebounding, seventh in rebounds allowed and ninth in rebounding margin. The Saints are averaging 34.6 boards and allow 38.7 rebounds per game.

+ The Saints average 13.0 assists, 9.4 steals and 3.4 blocked shots per game.

Series history vs. Seward County
Wednesday’s matchup will be the 97th between Hutchinson and Seward County in a series that started in 1970. HCC leads the overall series 68-28.

The Blue Dragons lead the Saints 41-5 in games played at the Sports Arena. The Dragons lead 26-19 in games played in Liberal, although Seward County has won 7 of the last 8 games at the Greenhouse. HCC is just 1-4 in Region VI meetings against Seward County.

(HCC Sports Information)


NO. 1 BLUE DRAGON WOMEN TRAVEL TO NO. 6 SEWARD COUNTY ON WEDNESDAY

Basketball - Women | 01.28.15

The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team plays its most significant game of the season on Wednesday with first place on the line in the Jayhawk West.

No. 1 Hutchinson (21-0, 7-0 Jayhawk West) will meet No. 6 Seward County (18-1, 6-0) in a 6 p.m. matchup at the Greenhouse in Liberal. The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and on sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) beginning at 5:50 p.m. The game will also be streamed live by the Blue Dragon Sports Network beginning at 5:50 p.m.

Hutch and Seward County have been the dominant teams in the Jayhawk West for several seasons. Since 2002, the Dragons and Saints have won a combined 10 Jayhawk West titles and eight Region VI crowns.

This season, Hutchinson has won its first seven conference games by an average of 47.7 points per game. Seward County, in its six league games, has remained perfect in conference play by a winning margin of 18.7 points per contest.

Hutchinson plays in its fourth game this season against a ranked opponent, but first in the Top 10. Wednesday’s meeting with Seward County will be the third-straight Top 10 matchup between the two games.

In their first game as the No. 1 team in the country, the Blue Dragons races out to a 37-point halftime lead en route to its 27th consecutive Jayhawk West win and 113th straight at the Sports Arena in a 104-46 victory over Cloud County.

Seven players scored in double figures for Hutchinson and leading scorer Kalani Purcell wasn’t one of the seven. Freshman Cynthia Petke had 16 points to lead a Blue Dragon team that shot 56.5 percent in scoring the most points ever in the series against Cloud County. Purcell did contribute five points and 12 rebounds to become only the second HCC women’s basketball player to reach 600 career rebounds.

Seward County won its sixth in a row on Saturday, defeating Butler 61-48 in El Dorado. Four players scored in double figures led by Daniela Gallindo’s 17 points off the bench, hitting four 3-point goals,

The Saints can be extremely explosive offensively. Averaging 74.5 points per game, Seward County sizzled in the first half of an 86-52 at Barton on January 12. The Saints shot 74.1 percent in the opening half, including 7 of 12 from 3-point range.

Hutchinson enters play leading the Jayhawk West in scoring offense (85.6 ppg.) and scoring defense (48.3 ppg). Seward County ranks third in scoring offense and third in scoring defense (56.0 ppg).

Game: 22: No. 1 Hutchinson Blue Dragons at No. 6 Seward County Saints
When: Wednesday, January 28
Game Time: 6 p.m.
Site: Greenhouse, Liberal, KS
Live Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9); KWBW-AM (1450); KWBW-FM (98.5), 5:50 p.m.
Live Video: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 5:50 p.m.
Live Stats: Blue Dragon Sports Network
Twitter: @bluedragonsport

HUTCHINSON BLUE DRAGONS
2014-15 Record: 21-0
2015 Jayhawk West Record: 7-0
NJCAA National Rank: No. 1
Head Coach: John Ontjes, 8th season

SEWARD COUNTY SAINTS
2014-15 Record: 18-1
2015 Jayhawk West Record: 6-0
NJCAA National Rank: No. 6
Head Coach: Toby Wynn, 10th season

About the Blue Dragons
+ The Blue Dragons lead the Jayhawk West and are fifth in the NJCAA in scoring offense at 85.6 points per game. Hutchinson now leads the nation in field-goal percentage at 50.1 percent, shooting 50 percent or better in 11 of the last 16 games. HCC is shooting 33.2 percent from the 3-point line, averaging 4.9 made treys per game. The Dragons are shooting 72.2 percent from the free-throw line, which is now third in the Jayhawk West and 11th in the country.

+ Defensively, the Blue Dragons are tops in the Jayhawk West and are sixth in the nation in scoring defense allowing 48.3 points per contest. The Blue Dragons lead the league and are No. 2 in the nation in field-goal defense at 28.6 percent. Opposing teams are shooting 25.3 percent, allowing 5.4 made treys per game.

+ In Jayhawk West play, the Blue Dragons are averaging 90.3 points per game, shooting 51.3 percent overall. HCC is averaging 5.5 made 3-pointers per game and have shot at a 39.8 percent clip. The Dragons are shooting 75.5 percent at the free-throw line. Defensively, HCC is allowing 42.6 points per game. Opponents are shooting 27.3 percent from the field and are shooting 22.0 percent from 3-point range.

+ Sophomore forward Kalani Purcell has 14 double-doubles and the only triple-double in program history this season. The future BYU Cougar is second in the Jayhawk West in scoring at 17.8 points per game. She leads the league and is 11th in the NJCAA in field-goal percentage at 59.4 percent. Purcell ranks No. 1 in the Jayhawk West (17th in NJCAA) in assists at 5.0 per game, No. 1 in steals (11th in NJCAA) at 3.4 per game); No. 1 in rebounding (16th in NJCAA) at 11.0 per game and No. 7 in blocked shots at 1.0 per game. She is now No. 10 in the West in free-throw shooting at 74.4 percent.

In conference play, Purcell is averaging 16.4 points and 10.9 rebounds per game while shooting 58.9 percent from the floor.

+ Freshman Cynthia Petke is Hutchinson’s second-leading scorer at 15.8 points per game, which is sixth in the Jayhawk West. Petke is third in the league in field-goal percentage at 57.0 percent. She is at 67.3 percent from the foul line. Petke has eight double-doubles this season. She is No. 3 in rebounding in the conference at 10.7 boards per game. She ranks sixth in the league in assists at 2.8 per game.

Petke is averaging 16.0 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in league play. She is shooting 51.2 percent overall and at 76.3 percent from the foul line in league play.

+ Freshman Clemence LeFebvre is HCC’s third-leading scorer and No. 9 in the Jayhawk West at 13.8 points per game. She is eighth in the league in field-goal percentage at 48.6 percent and is seventh in free-throw percentage (77.9 percent). LeFebvre is fourth in assists in the league at 3.4 per game. She averages 13.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in league play, shooting 53.8 percent overall and 52.4 percent from 3-point range.

+ Sophomore Sydney Benoit has back-to-back-to-back games of 10 or more points after breaking a 10-game double-figure scoring drought against Colby. She  averages 9.0 points per game. Benoit is shooting 39.2 percent (fourth in Jayhawk West) from 3-point range with a team-high 29 3-point goals. She shoots 45.2 percent overall. Benoit improved to 6.9 points per game in conference play.

+ Sophomore point guard Alyx Bloom has stepped up her overall game in the last nine games. For the season, Bloom is averaging 6.8 points and 3.2 assists per game (fifth in Jayhawk West). She is shooting 92.3 percent from the free-throw line.  

+ The Blue Dragons are getting 22.4 points per game off the bench. Sophomore Taylor Jones is HCC’s leading scorer off the bench at 7.9 points per game, shooting 49.5 percent overall and 40.6 percent from 3-point range. After missing the first eight games because of injury, sophomore Shakira Harding is averaging 7.0 points off the bench.

+ The Blue Dragons lead the West and are No. 11 in the NJCAA in rebounding at 49.3 rebounds per game. HCC grabs 16.5 offensive rebounds. HCC allows 27.9 total rebounds and 9.1 offensive rebounds per game. HCC is a plus 19.6 in rebounding in conference games. HCC is averaging 49.3 rebounds to 27.9 boards by opposing teams.

+ Hutchinson is No. 1 in the NJCAA in assists at 22.3 per game. The Blue Dragons have had 20 or more assists in 18 of 21 games this season. Four HCC players rank in the Top 6 of the Jayhawk West in assists.

+ In comparison to other seasons, the 2014-15 Blue Dragons aren’t forcing as many turnovers this season at 19.2 takeaways per game. HCC is averaging 16.6 turnovers. In league play, the Blue Dragons have cut their turnovers to 13.9 points per game and are forcing 20.9 turnovers per contest.

+ Hutch is No. 3 in the league in steals at 11.0 per game.

+ The Dragons are second in the Jayhawk West in blocked shots at 4.4 rejections per game.

Scouting Seward County
+ The Saints are off to an 18-1 start to the season and are 6-0 in the Jayhawk West. The only loss came to No. 11 Salt Lake in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic. The Saints are winning by a margin of 18.9 points per game.

+ Seward County is third third-highest scoring team in the Jayhawk West at 74.9 points per game. The Saints are third in field-goal percentage at 42.5 percent and fifth in 3-point percentage at 29.4 percent. The Saints average 5.9 made 3s per game. The Saints shoot 66.6 percent from the free-throw line.

+ Defensively, the Saints are third in scoring defense at 56.0 points per game. They are fourth in field-goal defense at 33.6 percent and fourth in 3-point defense at 28.2 percent.

+ Forward Tamara Seda is Seward County’s top scorer at 15.8 points per game, which is seventh in the Jayhawk West in scoring. She ranks fourth in field-goal percentage (55.3 percent) and is fourth in rebounding at 9.9 rebounds per game.

+ Guard Brooklyn Artis is averaging 11.9 points per game, shooting 41.0 percent from the field, 29.0 percent from long range and is eighth in the Jayhawk West in free throws at 76.7 percent. Artis is ninth in the league in assists at 2.7 per game.

+ Guard Kyndal Davis averages 11.6 points per game. She is sixth in free-throw shooting at 77.8 percent. Davis also averages 6.7 rebounds.

+ Rebekah Hatchard averages 10.3 points and Daniela Gallindo averages 10.0 points. They are Seward's primary 3-point threats. Galindo is ninth in 3-point percentage at 39.3 percent and third in made 3s at 2.0 per game. Hatchard is 10th in 3-point percentage at 38.5 percent and sixth in made 3s at 1.7 per game

+ The Saints are a plus-5-2 in rebounding margin. Seward County is fourth in the Jayhawk West at 44.1 rebounds per game, while allowing 38.9 boards. The Saints grab 14.2 rebounds per game.

+ Seward County averages 17.8 turnovers and force a Jayhawk West-best 22.4 turnovers per game.

+ The Saints are No. 2 in the league in assists (16.1/game), first in steals (11.2/game) and third in blocked shots (3.5/game).

Series History against Seward County
Wednesday’s matchup will be the 81st all-time meeting between Hutchinson and Seward County in a series that dates back to 1977.

The Blue Dragons have a narrow lead the overall series 41-39, winning the last 10 consecutive games. HCC is 22-16 in games played in Hutchinson and is 16-21 in games played in Liberal. HCC leads 3-2 on neutral floors and 5-2 in Region VI Tournament games.

The last postseason meeting came in the 2013 Region VI Tournament quarterfinals. The teams met in the Region VI championship game.

(HCC Sports Information)


BLUE DRAGONS STEADY AT NO. 18 in NJCAA DIVISION I MEN’S POLL

Basketball - Men | 01.27.15

Winners of three-straight games since a three-game losing streak, the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team steadied itself in the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball poll at No. 18.

The Blue Dragons had a pair of impressive victories in the last polling period, winning 103-90 at high-scoring Pratt last Wednesday and had to rally from four points down with 1:22 remaining in the game to defeat Cloud County 77-74. Bashier Ahmed scored the game-winning shot on a putback with 0.5 seconds to play in the game.

The Blue Dragons ran their record to 17-4 and 4-3 in the Jayhawk West, which is tied for third place with Dodge City. Hutchinson plays a pair of road contests this week; at Seward County on Wednesday and at Dodge City on Saturday.

The Blue Dragons have appeared in 39 of the last 40 polls released by the NJCAA. The only interruption was the final regular-season poll of last season when an injury-induced losing streak knocked the Blue Dragons out of the poll. HCC returned to the poll in this season’s preseason listing at No. 22.

Hutchinson is one of four Jayhawk Conference teams in this week’s Top 25. Butler (21-0) remains No. 4, Coffeyville (19-4) remains No. 21 and Barton (18-3) jumps into this week’s poll at No. 25.

By a single point, Northwest Florida State overtakes Vincennes University at No. 1. This is the first week all season that Vincennes has not been ranked No. 1.

(HCC Sports Information)

NJCAA DIVISION I MEN’S POLL                     Record    Points      LW
  1. Northwest Florida State College (7)          21-0         342           2
  2. Vincennes University (8)                              20-0         341           1
  3. College of Southern Idaho (1)                    23-0         324           3
  4. Butler CC                                                        21-0         309           4
  5. Hill College                                                     20-1        293            5
  6. Connors State College                                 19-1        274           6
  7. Mineral Area College                                     21-1        260           8
  8. Jones County Junior College                      13-0        250         10
  9. Eastern Florida State College                     21-2        228         12
10. South Georgia State College                      20-1        220         13
11. Trinity Valley CC                                             19-3        204          14
12. Southwest Tennessee CC                          15-2        191            7
13. Indian Hills CC                                              19-3        176            9
14. Georgia Highlands College                        18-2        147          16
15. San Jacinto College                                     17-3        124          22
16. Harcum College                                            19-3        118          20
17. Williston State College                                 18-3        114          19
18. Hutchinson CC                                               17-4        110          18
19. Pearl River CC                                                13-2          98          15
20. South Plains College                                    16-4          72           25
21. Coffeyville CC                                                 18-4           70           21
22. Southeastern CC                                           19-4           61           11
23. Broward College                                            19-4           50           17
24. Motlow State CC                                             15-3           33          RV
25. Barton CC                                                        18-3           29          NR
     Others receiving votes: Northwest College (18-4, 24 points); Shelton State CC (16-4, 16 points); McLennan CC (18-4, 11 points); Odessa College (16-4, 9 points); Northeast CC (18-4, 6 points); Northeastern Junior College (16-5, 6 points); Daytona State College (16-6, 1 point); Northern Oklahoma College-Enid (16-3, 1 point).


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Additional Headlines

Freshman Bashier Ahmed was named the Jayhawk Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week on Tuesday. (Jessica Green/HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Men | 01.27.15

CLUTCH PERFORMANCES NET AHMED SECOND KJCCC PLAYER OF WEEK AWARD

Track | 01.27.15

VANSYCKLE LEADS BLUE DRAGON TRACK TEAMS AT OCU INVITE

Blue Dragon teammates celebrate Bashier Ahmed's game-winning tip-in with 0.5 seconds left in regulation that lifted No. 18 HCC to a 77-74 come-from-behind vicotory over Cloud County on Saturday at the Sports Arena. (Jessica Green/HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Men | 01.25.15

BLUE DRAGONS RALLY LATE TO UPEND CLOUD COUNTY ON PINK-OUT NIGHT

Sophomore Alyx Bloom tied a career high with 15 points to pace No. 1 Hutchinson to a 104-46 Jayhawk West victoryo over Cloud County on Saturday at the Sports Arena. (Jessica Green/HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Women | 01.25.15

TOP-RANKED HCC WOMEN DELIVER EARLY KNOCKOUT PUNCH TO CLOUD COUNTY

				After back-to-back-strong performances, freshman Keanu Pinder and the 18th-ranked Blue Dragon men face Cloud County at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Sports Arena. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Men | 01.23.15

SURGING BLUE DRAGONS TO FACE T-BIRDS ON 4TH-ANNUAL PINK-OUT NIGHT

				The No. 1-ranked Blue Dragon women's basketball team plays host to Cloud County at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Sports Arena. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Women | 01.23.15

TOP-RANKED HCC WOMEN PLAY HOST TO CLOUD COUNTY ON PINK-OUT NIGHT

Athletics | 01.23.15

CHILI/PIE AND PINK-OUT NIGHT ON SATURDAY FOR HUTCH/CLOUD GAMES

For the second time in his tenure HCC women's basketball coach John Ontjes has taken the Blue Dragons to No. 1 in the NJCAA Division I poll. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Women | 01.22.15

HCC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CLIMBS TO NO. 1 FOR SECOND TIME IN HISTORY

				Bashier Ahmed's huge night of 36 points and 15 rebounds powered the No. 18 Blue Dragon men to a 103-90 Jayhawk West victory on Wednesday at Pratt. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Men | 01.22.15

AHMED'S 36 POINTS HELP BLUE DRAGONS DEFEAT PRATT IN A SHOOTOUT

Kalani Purcell had 23 points and 18 rebounds to lead the second-ranked Blue Dragon men's basketball team to an 85-34 Jayhawk West victory over Pratt on Wednesday at Pratt. (HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Women | 01.22.15

HCC WOMEN REACH 20-WIN PLATEAU WITH ROAD VICTORY AT PRATT

DeShawn Freeman and the Blue Dragon men's basketball team travels to Pratt on Wedneday to take on the Beavers at 8 p.m. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Men | 01.20.15

BLUE DRAGON MEN GET FIRST LOOK AT PRATT SINCE 2014 REGION VI FINALS

Snapping out of a shooting slump on Saturday, sophomore Sydney Benoit and the Blue Dragon women's basketball team travels to Pratt for a 6 p.m. game on Wednesday. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Women | 01.20.15

BLUE DRAGON WOMEN BACK ON THE ROAD WEDNESDAY TO FACE PRATT

Sophomore high jumper Lakin Liebst was one of three Blue Dragon athletes to qualify for the 2015 NJCAA Indoor Championships in March after winning the Cavalier Invitational on Friday in Overland Park (Photo courtesy Michaela Golliher)

Track | 01.20.15

BLUE DRAGON TRACK TEAM OPENS SEASON WITH THREE NJCAA QUALIFIERS

Freshman Jabari Craig finishes a alley-opp dunk from DeShawn Freeman in the final minute of the first half on Saturday as No. 12 Hutchinson defeats Colby 101-70 in a Jayhawk West battle at the Sports Arena. (Jai Chapman/HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Men | 01.18.15

DRAGONS SNAP SKID; ECK REACHED A PAIR OF MILESTONE VICTORIES

								Freshman Cynthia Petke had a game-high 22 points to lead the No. 2 Blue Dragon women's basketball team to a decisive 91-31 Jayhawk West victory over Colby on Saturday at the Sports Arena. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Basketball - Women | 01.18.15

BLUE DRAGON WOMEN RACK UP 60-POINT VICTORY AGAINST COLBY