ALLEN'S 41 HELPS BLUE DRAGONS OUT-GUN RED DEVILS IN ARENA SHOOTOUT
All-American Kadeem Allen scored a career-high 41 points and the Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team reached the 115-point mark for the first time in 37 years as the 13th-ranked Blue Dragons outlasted the Allen Red Devils 115-104 on Wednesday at the Sports Arena to close the non-conference schedule.
Usually coming off a 22-day break for Christmas, the offense is what shows rust. Wednesday's second meeting of the season between Hutchinson and Allen was a defense-optional track meet that produced 229 combined points. That tied for the ninth most in Blue Dragon history.
Coming off the bench for the first time in his career, Allen scored the fourth-most points ever by a Blue Dragon, going 13 of 20 from the field with a 3-pointer and 14 of 17 from the foul line.
This was the first individual 40-point game for the Blue Dragons since Darius Johnson-Odom's memorable school-record 47 points against Coffeyville in 2008. Richard Morsden's 45 points in 1972 and Eric Stevens' 43 points in 1991 are the only three individual performances better than Allen's on Wednesday.
Allen became the 13th member of the Blue Dragon career 1,000-point club on Wednesday. He vaulted into 12th place on the career list with 1,026 points.
Allen added seven assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots to his performance. In two games against the Red Devils this season, Allen had 74 points and 16 assists.
The Blue Dragons scored at least 115 points for the first time since November 1977 when they defeated Joliet Junior College 115-103 at the Sports Arena.
Reaching the 100-point mark - which occurred at the 5:31 mark of the second half - for the fourth time this season, the Blue Dragons shot a season-high 58.2 percent from the field (39 of 67). HCC hit 4 of 11 3-pointers and 33 of 39 from the free-throw line. HCC managed a season-low 10 turnovers.
Sophomore Tafari Whittingham had the second-highest point total of his HCC career with 26 points on 8 of 11 shooting from the field and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line. Whittingham added eight rebounds and four steals.
Freshman Austin Budke had 15 points, hitting 3 of 6 from 3-point range, and sophomore Nathan Jackson added 13 points.
Hutchinson allowed 100 points for the second time this season and still managed to win the game. The last time was HCC's 108-105 double-overtime victory over NEO on Nov. 16. The last time the Blue Dragons allowed 100 points in a regulation game and won came in November 1996 when they defeated Central-McPherson 106-103 at the Sports Arena.
This was the 10th time in team history to allow 100 points in a game and still win.
The Blue Dragons allowed Allen to score the most points in series history. The Red Devils shot 52.1 percent (38 of 73) and were able to stay in the contest with 10 3-pointers in 25 attempts.
Raheem Tyner scored 36 points - the most by any Blue Dragon opponent this season - to lead the Red Devils, shooting 11 of 15 from the field. He completed a double-double with 11 rebounds. Alex Miller poured in 6 of 10 from 3-point range and finished with 22 points. Miller's six treys were the most by an individual vs. HCC this season. Courtney Stockard finished with 14 points.
Allen started fast with leads of 6-2, 16-10 and 22-15 with 13:52 to play in the first half after a Tyner three-point play. The Blue Dragons finally got the offense going with nine unanswered points. Budke's 3-pointer with 12:31 to go gave Hutch a 24-22 lead.
That surge was part of an overall 28-6 Hutchinson run. An Allen steal and dunk gave the Blue Dragons a 43-28 lead with 5:52 remaining in the first half.
From that point, the remainder of the game was a series of runs by both teams.
After falling behind by 15 points, Allen closed the first half on an 18-10 run to pull within 53-46 at halftime. HCC shot 57.6 percent in the opening half and Allen countered with 48.5 percent from the field. Allen kept things close early in the second half. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Ben Uno and Tray Fountain pulled the Red Devils within 63-61 with 16:32 remaining.
The Blue Dragons then went in an 18-2 run over the next 3 minutes, 5 seconds to lead 81-63 after an Allen field goal with 13:27 remaining. Allen countered with an 8-0 run to pull within 86-76 with 9:33 to play. Tyner's bucket with 6:17 remaining pulled Allen within single digits at 94-85.
Allen, Whittingham and Andre Sands then led HCC on another 8-0 run to go up 102-85 with 4:28 to play. Miller then sunk his fifth and sixth 3-pointers of the game and Allen got the game back to single digits with 55 seconds to play at 113-104. Kadeem Allen's free throws with 49 seconds left - his 40th and 41st points of the game - provided the final margin of victory.
Hutchinson will open Jayhawk West play on Saturday when Colby comes to the Sports Arena at 7:30 p.m.
GAME NOTES - The Blue Dragons have won seven games in a row. ... Kadeem Allen's 41-point game was the fifth 40-point game in HCC history. This was all-time victory No. 1,642. HCC defeated Allen for the 11th consecutive time and now owns a 35-7 all-time series advantage. Kadeem Allen jumped from fifth to third in career free throws with 313. He jumped from ninth to seventh in career assists with 229 and moved into the career Top 10 in steals with 114. HCC is 5-0 when shooting 50 percent or better this season. Head coach Steven Eck used his sixth different starting lineup this season. The previous high point total for Allen against HCC was 86 points in 1987. The Blue Dragons are 5-1 against Jayhawk East Division I teams this season. The last time HCC gave up at least 104 points in a regulation game was in 1992 when Seward County scored 110.