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December 30, 2013

Hutch women back to action

GAME 13 - No. 3 Hutchinson (12-0) at Scottsdale (3-9)

Date: Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tipoff: 5:30 p.m. (CT)

Site: Artichoke Gymnasium (Capacity: 2,000), Scottsdale, AZ

Live Radio: None

Internet Stream and Live Stats: www.bluedragonsports.com

GAME 14 - No. 3 Hutchinson (12-0) at DII-No. 9 Mesa (8-2)

Date: Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tipoff: 6:00 p.m. (CT)

Site: Heap Gym (Capacity: 2,500), Mesa, AZ

Live Radio: None

Internet Stream and Live Stats: www.bluedragonsports.com


After a 19-day layoff for the holidays, the No. 3-ranked Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team will begin the 2014 portion of its schedule in the Valley of the Sun.

The Lady Dragons will play Arizona Division II programs Scottsdale and Mesa on Thursday and Friday. The Lady Dragons are 12-0 entering play in Arizona. Scottsdale was 3-9 with a New Year's Eve game pending against South Plains. Mesa, currently ranked No. 9 in Division II after being selected as the preseason No. 1 team, is 8-2 pending a New Year's Day game with Howard College.

HCC will play Scottsdale at 5:30 p.m. CST on Thursday and take on Mesa at 6 p.m. CST on Friday. Both games will be videostreamed on the Blue Dragon Sports Network.

This is Hutchinson's ninth holiday break tournament all time and second to the state of Arizona. The Lady Dragons played in the Phoenix area right before Christmas in 2007, defeating Scottsdale 77-62 and Glendale 74-51. HCC is 14-3 all time in Holiday tournament games.

The last time out, the Lady Dragons passed a key non-conference test with a 79-49 victory over Jayhawk East rival Independence on Dec. 14. Jamie Patrick hit a career-high six 3-pointers and scored 24 points in the 30-point victory.

Noting The Lady Dragons

+ Over the last six games, the Lady Dragons have been very impressive on both ends of the floor. Hutchinson, over its last six games offensively, has averaged 94.3 points (breaking 100 three times), has shot 52.5 percent from the floor and 39.1 percent from long range. Defensively over that same span, the Lady Dragons have allowed just 43.7 points and 24.8 percent field-goal shooting while forcing 27.2 turnovers per game.

+ Offensively, the Lady Dragons rank third in the Jayhawk West in scoring at 84.6 points per game. HCC ranks third in the West in field-goal percentage (46.5 percent), third in 3-point percentage (34.0 percent) and fifth in free-throw percentage (65.6 percent). The Lady Dragons are third in the league in made 3-pointers at 5.42 per game.

+ Defensively, Hutchinson continues to be dominant. The Lady Dragons are allowing a Jayhawk West-low 45.8 points per game. The Lady Dragons are No. 1 in the West in defensive field-goal percentage (26.2 percent) and 3-point defense (22.0 percent).

+ Only two players are scoring in double figures in a balanced HCC offensive attack that has seven players averaging 7 or more points per game.

+ Averaging 20.5 points per game over her last seven games, sophomore Jamie Patrick is HCC's leading scorer at 18.1 points per contest, which is third in the Jayhawk West. Patrick is shooting 51.6 percent overall, ranks fifth in the league in 3-point percentage at 34.9 percent and is third in made 3's (1.83/game). She is shooting 74.4 percent from the free-throw line. Patrick is averaging 6.33 rebounds per game.

+ Freshman Kalani Purcell is second on the team and is 11th in the Jayhawk West in scoring at 12.6 points per game. Purcell is shooting 50.4 percent from the field. She leads the Lady Dragons and ranks fourth in the Jayhawk West in rebounding at 8.83 boards per game. Purcell leads the league in steals (4.17/game) and is third in blocks (1.50/game).

+ Sophomore point guard Jen'Von'Ta Hill is tied for third in scoring at 8.8 points per game. She is shooting 31.3 percent overall, 25.7 percent from 3-point range and 64.2 percent from the foul line. Hill leads the Jayhawk West in assists at 6.25 per game.

+ Sophomore Kiarra Jones is fourth in the Jayhawk West in FG percentage at 56.7 percent. She is ninth in the league in rebounds at 7.8 per game. Jones is averaging 8.8 points per game.

+ Freshman Chelsea Dewey is averaging 8.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

+ Freshman Shakira Harding has climbed averages of 8.4 points and 2.7 assists. She is fourth in the KJCCC West in free-throw percentage at 80.0 percent.

+ Sophomore Briana Starks is averaging 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

+ The Lady Dragons are second in rebounding in the Jayhawk West at 51.7 rebounds per game. They have nine games of 50 or more rebounds this season. HCC also leads the league in rebounding margin at plus-17.75.

+ The Lady Dragons are averaging a league-best 21.92 assists per game.

+ Turnovers have been an issue for HCC so far this season. The Lady Dragons are turning the ball over 18.0 times per game, while forcing 23.9 turnovers per game. Shockingly, opponents haven't been able to take full advantage of the Lady Dragon miscues. The first 12 opponents have averaged only 9.4 points off HCC turnovers per game. HCC has a league-best plus-6.08 turnover margin.

+ Hutchinson leads the Jayhawk West in team steals at 13.92 steals per game.

+ The Lady Dragons are second in the West in blocked shots at 4.75 rejections per game.

Scouting Scottsdale

+ Scottsdale's only victories this season have come against non-NJCAA opponents during their 3-9 start (the fighting Artichokes have a New Year's Eve game vs. South Plains scheduled).

+ Scottsdale is averaging 54.6 points per game offensively, shooting just 34.6 percent from the field. Through their first 11 games, the Artichokes have made 3.45 3-pointers per game and are shooting 26.0 percent from the arc. SCC shoots 64.1 percent from the foul line.

+ Opposing teams are averaging 77.9 points per game against Scottsdale this season. SCC is allowing 42.4 percent overall shooting but has been solid defending the 3-pointer at 29.0 percent.

+ Freshman guard Shaylin Heredia is Scottsdale's leading scorer at 16.2 points per game. She has played in only six games entering the holiday break. A 40.0-percent shooter from 3-point range (12 of 30), Heredia is shooting 32.3 percent overall. She also averages 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.

+ Marquel Angel is the only other SCC player averaging in double figures at 10.5 points per game. Alyssa Camacho averages 8.8 points. Kayla Quintana averages 7.8 and Kayla Miranda averages 7.4 points per game.

+ The Artichokes are a plus 2.3 rebounding margin, averaging 37.2 boards per game while allowing 34.9. Alyssa Camacho is averaging a team-high 6.4 boards per game.

+ Turnovers have been a huge problem for the Artichokes as they average 30.3 turnovers per game. SCC forces 27.8 turnovers per contest.

+ Scottsdale averages 7.6 assists, 8.6 steals and 1.7 blocks per game.

Scouting Mesa

+ The Mesa Thunderbirds return four starters from last year's NJCAA Division II national runner-up team that lost to Louisburg College in the 2013 national championship game.

+ The Thunderbirds started the season as the preseason ranked No. 1 team in NJCAA Division II. Mesa fell to both Phoenix College (56-52) and Central Arizona (78-74) - HCC opponent in the Division II national semifinals in 2012 and 2013 - and have since fallen to No. 9 in the Division II poll.

+ Mesa owns Division I victories over Odessa College, Snow College and South Plains College. The Thunderbirds play Howard College on New Year's Day.

+ Mesa averages 69.8 points per game this season through 10 games reported. The Thunderbirds shooting 41.8 percent overall and 3.2 percent from 3-point range, averaging 5.0 made 3-pointers per game. Mesa shoots 64.7 percent from the foul line.

+ Defensively, the Thunderbirds are allowing 55.5 points per contest, holding opponents to 39.2 percent overall shooting and 29.4 percent from 3-point range.

+ Four players average in double figures for Mesa, led by sophomore forward Madi Austin, who averages a team-high 15.0 points per game, 18.0 points in conference games. Austin shoots 39.1 percent and likes to shoot from long range, averaging 2.1 makes from distance at a 35.6 percent clip.

+ Sophomore guard Peace Amukamara averages 12.7 points per game, averaging 36.1 percent overall from the field and 33.9 percent from long range. Amukamara and Austin are tied with a team-high 21 3-pointers for the season. Amukamara averages 5.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.5 steals per game.

+ Amukamara is the sister of former University of Nebraska All-American and current New York Giants safety Prince Amukamara.

+ Mariah Willadsen is third in scoring at 1.2 points per game. Kylie Heard is averaging 10.1 points per game. Heard is shooting 54.8 percent from the floor.

+ Mesa is averaging 36.3 rebounds per game and allowing 28.2 per game. The Thunderbirds average 12.0 offensive boards per game. Austin has a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game.

+ Mesa is averaging 18.7 assists, 9.0 steals and 2.1 blocked shots per game.

+ The Thunderbirds average 14.8 turnovers per game and force 14.7 takeaways per game.

Series History vs. Arizona opponents

This will be the second meeting between Hutchinson and Scottsdale. The first meeting came on Dec. 20, 2007, a 77-62 victory for HCC at Scottsdale.

Hutch and Mesa will meet for the first time.

HCC is 3-1 all-time against teams from Arizona.

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