DRAGONS, SAINTS MEET IN NJCAA TOP 10 MATCHUP

Milan Schimmel and the No. 3 Blue Dragon women's basketball team meets the No. 8 Seward County Saints for the 8th Annual Blue Dragon Pink-Out Night tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the Sports Arena. (Bre Rogers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Milan Schimmel and the No. 3 Blue Dragon women's basketball team meets the No. 8 Seward County Saints for the 8th Annual Blue Dragon Pink-Out Night tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the Sports Arena. (Bre Rogers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Information Box

BLUE DRAGON WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

No. 3 Hutchinson (22-0, 13-0) vs. No. 8 Seward Co. (20-2, 12-1)

When: Saturday, February 2, 2019
Where: Sam Butterfield Court, Hutchinson Sports Arena
Game time: 5:30 p.m.
Live Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9); KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5), 5:25 p.m.
Live Video: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 5:25 p.m.
Live Stats: BlueDragonSports.com
Twitter: @bluedragonsport
Game Sponsor: Midwest Superstore
Promotion: 8th Annual Blue Dragon Pink-Out Night

Blue Dragon Sports Information

For the second time this season, the Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team will play in a NJCAA Top 10 matchup at the Sports Arena.

Back in December, then No. 6 Hutchinson defeated then No. 8 Butler 77-61.

On Saturday night, the top two teams in the Jayhawk West meet when No. 3 Hutchinson plays host to No. 8 Seward County in a 5:30 p.m. Jayhawk West tipoff.

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) with Glen Grunwald (play-by-play) and Rusty Hilst (analysis) calling the action beginning at 5:25 p.m. The game will be streamed live on the Blue Dragon Sports Network at 5:25 p.m.

Saturday is also the eighth-annual Blue Dragon Pink-Out Night sponsored by Midwest Superstore.

The Jayhawk West has become a two-team race with 22-0 Hutchinson leading the way at 13-0. The 20-2 Saints are right on Hutch's heels just a game behind at 12-1. Hutch or Seward County has won 7 of the last 10 Region VI championships.

A Hutchinson win gives the Blue Dragons a two-game lead and an early direct tie-breaker over the Saints. A Seward County win would knot both teams atop of the West standings and the Saints would have the early tie-breaker. The teams meet again on Feb. 23 in Liberal to wrap up the regular season.

Hutchinson brings a 22-game winning streak into the game. Seward County rides a 14-game winning streak.

The Blue Dragons, who will try to match the fourth-best start to a season with a victory on Saturday, come off their most complete victory of the season on Wednesday at Great Bend in a 93-48 win over third-place Barton. The Dragons shot 63.5 percent in the first half in build a 53-23 lead. The Dragons held a strong Barton offense to a season-low production and 26.2 percent shooting.

Hutchinson continues to be ranked No. 4 in the NJCAA in scoring defense at 49.5 points per game and No. 3 in defensive field-goal percentage at 29.9 percent. Over their last six games, the Blue Dragons have allowed an average of 47.8 points while opponents have shot just 26.6 percent shooting.

The Blue Dragon defense will get a stern test from a Seward County offense that is fifth in the Jayhawk Conference in scoring at 76.8 points per game. The Saints are the third-best overall shooting team at 43.8 percent and fourth best from 3-point range at 32.3 percent.

Seward County's offense has broken 90 points in 3 of its last 4 games, including a 93-77 win on Wednesday at Northwest Tech. The Saints blistered the Mavericks with 15 of 22 shooting from 3-point range. Lexi Hernandez nailed 7 of 10 3-pointers and Karolina Szydlowska was 4 of 5 from distance.

Seward County is just 1 of 2 Jayhawk West teams the Blue Dragons have a sub-.500 record against. Seward County leads the all-time series with Hutchinson 46-44. Last season, the Saints swept the Blue Dragons in two games played.