ONTJES EARNS 200TH VICTORY AS NO. 3 LADY DRAGONS KNOCK OFF MESA
MESA, Ariz. - Hutchinson Community College head women's basketball coach John Ontjes won his 200th game on the Lady Dragon bench Friday as No. 3-ranked HCC completed its Arizona holiday trip with a convincing 65-46 victory over NJCAA Division II, No. 9 Mesa Community College on Friday at Heap Gym.
In his seventh season, Ontjes is the second Lady Dragon head coach to reach 200 victories - Tom Worthing has 225. Ontjes is the fastest to reach 200 victories (224 games). His record at Hutchinson is 200-24, which includes 52-11 on opposing floors, 75-6 vs. non-conference competition and 24-8 against nationally ranked opponents.
On Friday, the Lady Dragons posted their 49th consecutive regular-season non-conference victory by holding Mesa (9-3) to season lows in points scored and field-goal percentage (26.8 percent). The Lady Dragons led by as many as 15 points in the first half and never let the game get back into single digits with a stifling defensive performance.
Mesa becomes the 116th consecutive HCC opponent to shoot less than 50 percent in a game. The Thunderbirds are the 10th opponent this season to shoot under 30 percent against the Lady Dragons this season.
The Lady Dragons dominated the boards with a season-high plus-31 rebounding advantage as HCC rolled up a season-high 61 rebounds. Three different Lady Dragons reached double figures in rebounds led by freshman Kalani Purcell's season-high 15 boards. Sophomores Jamie Patrick and Kiarra Jones had 11 rebounds each.
Patrick and Jones both posted double-doubles.
Patrick finished with a game-high 23 points for her third double-double of the season and fifth of her career. Patrick was 8 of 15 shooting, including 3 of 8 from 3-point range. She moved into the career Top 20 in scoring, now in 19th place with 737 points.
Jones posted her second double-double of the season with 10 points.
Sophomore point guard Jen'Von'Ta Hill finished with 12 points, six rebounds and six assists. Hill moved up to No. 8 on the career assist list with 226.
The Lady Dragons finished the game shooting just 36.6 percent (26 of 71), including 3 of 14 from 3-point range and 10 of 18 from the free-throw line. The Lady Dragons committed 15 turnovers.
Madi Austin had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead Mesa, which was the preseason No. 1 pick in NJCAA Division II this season. Peace Amukamara had 10 points.
The Thunderbirds were 15 of 56 overall, 6 of 26 from 3-point range and 10 of 14 from the free-throw line. Mesa had just 12 turnovers.
Trailing 3-2, the Lady Dragons scored seven unanswered points - a Patrick trey, a Jones layup and a Chelsea Dewey bucket in the lane - to take the lead and not give it up again. When Starks scores inside with 12:28 to play in the half, that completed a 14-3 Lady Dragon run.
After back-to-back baskets helped Mesa cut the HCC lead to 16-10, the Lady Dragons held Mesa to just two points and no field goals over a stretch of 6 minutes, 33 seconds. HCC outscored Mesa 11-2 over stretch, taking a 27-12 lead on a Purcell bucket with 4:33 to play in the opening half.
HCC closed the half with a 6-2 run, getting buckets by Dewey, Purcell and Patrick to lead 35-22 at intermission. Hutchinson held Mesa to 28 percent in the first half (7 of 28).
Mesa got the deficit down to 11 points three times early in the second half, but never drew closer. A three-point play by Patrick started a 6-0 run that pushed the lead back to 17 at 45-28 with 13:56 to play.
When Jones scored with 9:53 to play, the HCC lead grew to 50-32. An Austin 3-pointer and a Mariah Willadsen layup after a turnover capped a 9-4 Mesa run that pulled the Thunderbirds with 54-41 with 6:09 to play. HCC closed the game with an 11-5 run to complete a third-straight undefeated non-conference season.
The Lady Dragons will return to frigid Kansas on Saturday and have a week off before opening Jayhawk West competition next Saturday night against Colby in a 5:30 p.m. tipoff at the Sports Arena.
GAME NOTES - Jamie Patrick completed the trip to Arizona with 48 points. With three more 3-pointers, she has 96 for her career, which is ninth. HCC is now 16-3 in holiday games. Patrick's 11 rebounds tied a season high. Kalani Purcell recorded her seventh game of the season with 10 or more rebounds. HCC outscored Mesa 16-2 in second-chance points. The 30 second-half points were a season low for HCC. The three 3-pointers tied a season low and the 10 free throws were a season low for HCC. Mesa's Madi Austin's 11 rebounds were the most by a Lady Dragon opponent this season.