Tiylar Cotton and the No. 6 Blue Dragon men play host to Allen at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Sports Arena. (Joel Powers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Tiylar Cotton and the No. 6 Blue Dragon men play host to Allen at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Sports Arena. (Joel Powers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)


No. 6 Hutchinson (12-2, 8-2) vs. Allen (5-9, 3-7)

When: Saturday, January 6, 2018

Where: Hutchinson Sports Arena

Game Time: 7:30 p.m.

Live Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9); KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5), 7:20 p.m.

Live Video: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 7:20 p.m.

Twitter: @bluedragonsport

Promotion: Hutch Rec Commission Night with the Blue Dragons

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

The first game of 2018 wasn't a pleasant one for the No. 6-ranked Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team.

The defending national champion Blue Dragons look to recover from just their second loss of the season on Saturday when Hutchinson plays host to a much-improved Allen Red Devils team at 7:30 p.m. at the Sports Arena. The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) at 7:20 p.m. with Glen Grunwald (play-by-play) and Rusty Hilst (analysis) calling the action. The game will also be streamed on the Blue Dragon Sports Network.

Saturday is also Hutch Rec Commission Night with the Blue Dragons.

The Blue Dragons returned from a 25-day Christmas break on Wednesday and dropped an 81-74 decision at Cowley in Arkansas City. Hutchinson had a one-point lead with a bit more than 7 minutes to play, but Cowley hit three huge 3-pointers down the stretch and got several offensive rebounds to extend possessions to defeat the Dragons.

That decision and Barton's win over Cloud County means that the Blue Dragons, Tigers and Cougars are tied for first place in the Jayhawk Conference entering play on Saturday at 8-2. Coffeyville, which was upset by Garden City on Wednesday, is right behind at 7-3.

Sophomore J.J. Rhymes scored 25 points to lead the Blue Dragons, which shot 39.1 percent for the game, which was only the fourth time Hutchinson has shot less than 40 percent this season. Hutch was only 1 of 6 from 3-point range against Cowley, which hit 10 3-pointers in the game. The Blue Dragons were also out-rebounded for the second time in three games.

Rhymes continues to lead the Jayhawk Conference in scoring at 19.9 points per game. Devonte Bandoo, who had only two points on Wednesday, is second on the team in scoring at 13.3 points per game.

The Blue Dragons average 88.1 points offensively and 68.7 points defensively.

Allen returned to action on Wednesday with a 93-82 victory at home over Dodge City. That snapped a three-game losing streak. The Red Devils are 1-1 against the three teams tied for first in the KJCCC. Allen lost to Cowley 63-54 on December 2, one game after upsetting Barton 68-65 in Great Bend on November 29.

Jordan Marshall came off the bench to score 25 points to lead the Red Devils against Dodge City. Tyler Williams had 24 points.

Marshall has played only five games for the Red Devils this season and is averaging 19.2 point per game, shooting 53.1 percent overall and 44.0 percent from long range with 2.2 made 3-pointers per game. Williams averages 13.2 points as four Allen players average in double figures.

The Red Devils are averaging 75.2 points offensively and are allowing 81.5 points defensively.