J.J. Rhymes scored 30 points, but the Blue Dragons were upset by Allen 87-86 on Wednesday in Iola. (Allie Schwiezer/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
J.J. Rhymes scored 30 points, but the Blue Dragons were upset by Allen 87-86 on Wednesday in Iola. (Allie Schwiezer/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

IOLA – The Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team saw an eight-point second-half lead slip away as the Allen Red Devils punished the Blue Dragons from 3-point range to upset the No. 11 team in the country on Wednesday at the Allen Gym.

Allen had 17 3-pointers and became the first team this season to shoot better than 50 percent overall as the Red Devils upset the Blue Dragons 87-86.

The Blue Dragons fall to 23-5 overall and 19-5 in the Jayhawk Conference. The Dragons fall out of a three-way tie for the conference lead with two games to play. Residing at the bottom of the KJCCC standings, Allen improves to 8-20 overall and 6-18 in league play.

This was Hutchinson's first loss on the Allen Gym court in 14 games played there. The Red Devils snapped a 17-game losing streak to the Blue Dragons that dated back to 2007.

Statistically, many numbers would have pointed to a Blue Dragon victory.

J.J. Rhymes led four players in double figures with 30 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. The Blue Dragons outrebounded Allen 49-26, grabbing 22 offensive rebounds. Hutch held a huge 68-24 advantage in point scored in the paint and the Blue Dragons had five more total field goals than did the Red Devils.

But where Allen held its main advantage came from beyond the 3-point line. The Red Devils knocked down 17 of 32 3-point attempts, while the Blue Dragons were shut out from distance going 0 of 8. Allen's Tyler Williams hit 6 of 8 from 3-point range and Rayce Hoepker was 5 of 8 from distance.

Allen hit nine first-half 3-pointers in building leads as six points and carrying a 42-39 lead at halftime. The Red Devils hit eight more treys in the second half, which was a key in erasing an eight-point Blue Dragon lead with 8:17 remaining in the game. From that point in the game, Allen hit four 3-pointers and the Blue Dragons missed two free throws and committed two turnovers in the final two minutes of the game. Hutch went scoreless for the final 2:06 of the contest.

Devonte Bandoo had 16 points for the Blue Dragons. Kai Mitchell posted his second-straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Mitchell also had five assists. Sal Nuhu finished with 11 points and three blocked shots. Nuhu moved in the career Top 10 Blue Dragon blocks list, now tied with Darrell Allen (1978-81) for ninth with 90 blocked shots.

Hutchinson hit 36 of 74 total shots (48.6 percent). The Dragons were 14 of 23 from the free-throw line. The Dragons had 22 turnovers.

Williams had 23 points to lead Allen. Jordan Marshall had 17 points, followed by Hoeeker with 15 and Perry Carroll, who had 13 points and nine assists.

Allen hit 31 of 61 total shots (50.8 percent), hitting 8 of 16 from the line.

The Blue Dragons had an 18-13 lead after a Rheaquone Taylor tip-I with 10:28 to play in the period. The Red Devils retaliated with five consecutive made 3-pointers as part of a 15-4 run that helped Allen build a 28-22 lead with 7:08 to play in the period. Sinking 9 of 16 from beyond the arc, the Red Devils led 42-39 at halftime and extended that lead to 51-43 with 16:45 remaining in the game after a Marshall tip-in.

The Dragons responded with their best stretch of the game, using an 18-3 run to grab the lead. Back-to-back dunks from Nuhu and Mitchel and a Rob Whitfield layup gave the Dragons a 57-54 lead with 13:47 to go. A Rhymes' layup with 12:08 to play gave the Dragons a 61-54 lead.

Hutch's running back helped the Blue Dragons build an eight-point lead when they turned an Allen miss into a quick transition dunk from Bandoo gave the Dragons a 72-64 lead with 8:17 to play. From that point, Allen regained its touch from the 3-point line.

Allen hit four 3-pointers in a row to cut the Hutch lead to 82-80 and tied the game on a Marshall tip-in with 3:15 remaining to knot the score at 82. A Mitchell tip-in with 2:55 left gave the Dragons the lead again. Rhymes hit 1 of 2 free throws with 2:06 left for an 86-84 lead. Those were the last Blue Dragon points of the game.

Allen tied the game at 86 on a Carroll putback with 1:10 left and took the lead when Patterson hit 1 of 2 free throws with 19 seconds left. The final three possessions for the Dragons were two turnovers and desperation 3 at the buzzer.

The Blue Dragons play host to Independence on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Sports Arena in the final regular-season game.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 41-8 all-time against Allen. … This was J.J. Rhymes' sixth career 30-point game. … Rhymes is now tied with Samajae Haynes-Jones for ninth place on the Blue Dragon career scoring list with 1,163 points. … This was the fourth time in the last seven games that the Blue Dragons have allowed 14 or more 3-pointers in a game.