LADY DRAGON BASKETBALL - GAME 13 No. 2 Hutchinson Lady Dragons (12-0) vs. No. 4 Iowa Western Reivers (13-0)
Date: Friday, December 14, 2012
Tipoff: 5 p.m.
Site: Bell Family Arena, Rocky Amar Court (Capacity: 3,000), Olathe, KS
Video stream: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 4:45 p.m. (Glen Grunwald, PBP)
LADY DRAGONS TO MEET IOWA WESTERN IN TOP 5 NJCAA WOMEN'S MATCH-UP
The final game of 2012 for the Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team will be its toughest test of the season.
The No. 2-ranked Lady Dragons will meet No. 4 Iowa Western in a neutral-court meeting at 5 p.m. on Friday. The game will be played at Mid-America Nazarene University's Bell Family Arena in Olathe.
This matchup will be Hutchinson's first Top 10 regular-season meeting since last season when No. 6 Hutchinson met No. 6 Seward County in Liberal. It's only the third time that HCC will play in a battle of Top 5 teams. The first two occurrences came in last year's NJCAA Tournament when No. 2 HCC met No. 3 Central Arizona in the semifinals and No. 1 Trinity Valley in the championship game.
The Lady Dragons (12-0) enter Friday's game winners of 53 consecutive regular-season games. Last weekend HCC earned its first victory of the season when the Lady Dragons defeated No. 25 NEO 65-48. One night later, Hutchinson defeated the Bethany College JV, 102-32.
Iowa Western (13-0) comes into the game after defeating NJCAA Division II power Kirkwood 78-60 on Saturday.
HCC will be the fourth Jayhawk West team and sixth overall Jayhawk Conference team that Iowa Western has played. The Reivers have wins over Cloud County, Independence, Butler, Neosho County and Fort Scott.
HCC's Sports Arena winning streak up to 70 games
A 102-32 victory over Bethany College Junior Varsity on Dec. 8 extended the Lady Dragons' team-record home-court winning streak to 70 games.
The current streak started with an 80-26 victory over Pratt on Jan. 28, 2009. The last team to defeat the Lady Dragons at the Sports Arena was Barton.
HCC has won 84 of its last 86 games at home and are 97-3 at the Sports Arena under head coach John Ontjes.
HCC has had 11 streaks of at least 10 or more consecutive home victories.
HCC working on two other impressive streaks
+ Regular-season streak - The Lady Dragons won 53 consecutive regular-season games entering play vs. Iowa Western.
The last regular-season loss came on Jan. 15, 2011 at El Dorado, a 55-51 loss at Butler.
The current regular-season winning streak is the longest since HCC reeled off 25 straight regular-season wins from 1977-79.
+ Opponents shooting less than 50 percent - Opponents have not shot 50 percent from the field in 76 consecutive games.
The last time an opponent shot 50 percent or better came in the sixth game of the 2010-11 season when South Plains shot right at 50 percent (23 of 46) from the field. That's the only time in the John Ontjes era that an opponent has shot 50 percent.
Before that, the Lady Dragons went 117 straight games without allowing a team to shoot 50 percent or better.
Lady Dragons in the NJCAA National Poll
The HCC Lady Dragons ran their streak of being ranked in the Top 10 of the NJCAA Division I Women's Basketball Poll to 23 weeks with a No. 2 ranking this week.
The Lady Dragons maintained their No. 2 ranking this week after victories over No. 25 NEO and the Bethany College JV.
The No. 2 ranking ties the highest mark ever achieved by the Lady Dragons, matching an eight-week run at No. 2 during last seasons' 36-1 national runner-up season.
Hutchinson started the season ranked No. 6 after last season's national runner-up finish. The Lady Dragons were No. 5 in the first regular-season poll.
This is the fourth-straight season that the HCC women have appeared in the NJCAA preseason poll. The No. 6 preseason pick is the highest in team history, topping last season's starting point of No. 7. Two years ago, the Lady Dragons started the season ranked 17th in the preseason poll. Three years ago, Hutchinson opened the season at No. 10.
HCC's current run in the Top 10 is the longest since a 16-week run during the 1977 and 1978 seasons.
HCC has been a part of the NJCAA poll for 40-straight and 50 of the last 52 polls.
About the 2012-13 Lady Dragons
+ The Lady Dragons are second in the Jayhawk West in scoring average at 79.2 points per game and leads the league in field-goal percentage (47.0 percent) and 3-point shooting (39.0 percent). The Lady Dragons are shooting 61.7 percent from the free-throw line.
+ Hutchinson leads the Jayhawk West in scoring defense, allowing 44.9 points per game. The Lady Dragons are second in field-goal defense at 29.7 percent. Opponents are shooting 22.3 from 3-point range, which ranks second in the league.
+ Sophomore Chrisstasia Walter comes off her third double-double of the season and is leading the team in scoring and leading the league in steals and assists. Walter is averaging 13.9 points per game, which ranks fifth in the Jayhawk West. She is shooting 46.5 points per game and she has scored in double figures in 11 of 12 games. Walter averages 5.3 rebounds and league highs of 5.75 assists and 4.17 steals per game.
+ Freshman Jamie Patrick is seventh in the KJCCC West in scoring averaging 12.8 points per game. She leads the West in field-goal percentage at 59.0 percent and 3-point field-goal percentage at 48.7 percent. She has a team-high 19 3-point goals. Patrick is averaging 6.1 rebound per game. Over her last five games, Patrick is averaging 14.2 points per game, shooting 58.7 percent from the field.
+ Sophomore Jasmine Patterson averages 10.3 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds. She also has a team-high 12 blocks, which is fourth in the Jayhawk West. Patterson ranks 10th in the KJCCC West in offensive rebounds at 2.7 per game.
+ Sophomore Aja Sorrells fell under double-figures scoring and is fourth on the team at 9.3 points per game. She is averaging 5.2 rebounds. Sorrells ranks third in the KJCCC West in free-throw percentage at 80.6 percent. She is fifth in steals at 2.58 per game.
+ The Lady Dragons average a league-best 22.0 assists per game. Walter has a team-high 69 and freshman Jen'Von'Ta Hill has 48. Hill is sixth in the league with 4.00 assists per game.
+ The Lady Dragons are out-rebounding opponents with a plus-11.8 rebounding margin. HCC is pulling down 43.7 rebounds, while giving up 31.9 boards. HCC is averaging 16.3 offensive rebounds per game.
+ HCC turns the ball over 15.6 times per game, while forcing 26.3 turnovers.
+ The Lady Dragons are scoring 27.9 points per game off the bench. Freshman Bri Starks is averaging 7.0 points and 4.8 rebounds. Freshman Tahniya Sweatt is averaging 8.3 points, but has missed the last eight games because of injury.
+ Starks ranks fourth in the Jayhawk West in field-goal percentage at 57.1 percent.
Scouting Iowa Western
+ Iowa Western coach Jim Turgeon is no stranger to the Jayhawk West. Before going to IWCC, Turgeon coached at Dodge City for six seasons.
+ Hutchinson will be the sixth Jayhawk Conference team Iowa Western has played this season. The Reivers defeated Neosho County 61-54, Independence 71-68 in overtime, Butler 66-62, Cloud County 76-73 and Fort Scott 86-37.
+ Offensively, the Reivers average 81.2 points per game. Iowa Western shoots at 41.0 percent overall and 65.3 percent from the free throw line.
+ Iowa Western isn't bashful about shooting from 3-point range. The Reivers have already cast 341 3-point goals, making 109. IWCC is shooting 32.0 percent from behind the arc, averaging 8.4 made 3s per game.
+ Defensively, Iowa Western is allowing 50.5 points per game.
+ Guard Leah Scott comes off the bench to lead Iowa Western in scoring at 12.5 points per game. She shoots 43.0 percent overall and averages 1.7 steals per game.
+ Sophomore point guard Tyisha Smith is averaging 11.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 4.1 steals per game.
+ Sophomore guard Bobbi Beckwith is averaging 11.2 points and is averaging 48.1 percent from 3-point range (38 of 79).
+ Iowa Western is a plus-20.3 rebounding, pulling down 50.2 rebounds per game.
+ The Reivers turn the ball over 18.3 points per game and forced 20.6 turnovers.
+ IWCC is averaging 19.7 assists, 15.1 steals and 3.3 blocked shots per game.
Series History vs. Iowa Western
This will be only the fourth meeting ever between Hutchinson and Iowa Western, the first since 2003.
The Lady Dragons have won all three previous meetings, which took place at the Sports Arena.
In the last meeting in 2003, the Lady Dragons defeated Iowa Western 44-42 on Natalie Purcell's putback of a missed shot at the buzzer.
Lady Dragons return to commercial radio
Beginning with the first Jayhawk West game of 2012, the Lady Dragons return to the local radio airwaves.
All 16 Lady Dragon Jayhawk West games and subsequent postseason games will be aired on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister station KWBW-AM (1450). Air times for games will be 10 minutes before scheduled tipoff.
Glen Grunwald will provide the play-by-play and Rusty Hilst will serve as analyst.