LADY DRAGONS ROLL EARLY IN JAYHAWK WEST WIN OVER GARDEN CITY
The No. 3-ranked Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team scored the first eight points against Garden City on Wednesday night and never looked back in a 77-43 Jayhawk West victory over the Broncbusters at the Sports Arena.
Offensively, the Lady Dragons shot 54.2 percent and placed five players in double figures. Defensively, Hutchinson was dominant as the Broncbusters were held to a season low-tying 43 points and a frigid season-low 23.2 percent from the field.
The Lady Dragons (16-0) won their 93rd consecutive game at the Sports Arena. Dating back to last year, HCC has won 17 consecutive games, which is the fourth longest streak in team history. The 16-0 start ties the 1989-90 and 2004-05 teams for the fourth-best start in program history.
Freshman Kalani Purcell just missed a double-double, but had another solid performance with 16 points and nine rebounds to lead the Lady Dragons. Purcell was 7 of 10 shooting from the field. She added five steals, four assists and two blocked shots.
Freshman Shakira Harding tied a season-high with three 3-point goals and finished with 11 points. Sophomores Jamie Patrick, Bri Starks and Jen'Von'Ta Hill had 10 points each. Sophomore Kiarra Jones had nine points. Patrick chipped in a team- and season-high-tying five assists. Starks had seven rebounds and Hill had four assists, four rebounds and two steals.
After shooting a scalding-hit 64.3 percent in the first half, Hutchinson (16-0, 2-0 Jayhawk West) finished the game at 54.7 percent from the field (32 of 59). HCC made 7 of 12 3-pointrs and finished with a season-low six free throws on 12 attempts.
The Lady Dragons out-rebounded Garden City 43-36 and survived giving up 18 turnovers and 18 offensive rebounds.
Garden City (8-9, 0-2) was led by guard Shaqunna Collins, who finished with 21 points, the most by an individual opponent against HCC this season. Collins was 8 of 21 shooting overall. She also had an opponent-best six steals in the game.
The Busters were just 13 of 56 shooting overall, 3 of 10 from 3-point range and 14 of 26 from the free-throw line. Garden City is the 118th consecutive opponent that failed to shoot at least 50 percent against Hutchinson. Garden City also committed 20 turnovers.
Hutchinson scored the first eight points of the game and didn't led Garden City score until the 13:56 mark when Tori Spann in a pair of free throws. Garden City got its first field goal at the 12:38 mark.
Leading 15-6, Purcell hit just her second 3-pointer of the season to give HCC a double-figure lead with 11:50 to play. That was the start of a 13-2 run that pushed the Lady Dragon margin to 20 points at 28-8 after a Starks field goal with 6:14 to play in the half.
A Purcell steal and layup with 3:28 left upped the Hutch lead to its largest mark to that point in the game at 24 at 37-13. The Lady Dragons made 18 of 28 shots while holding Garden City to 7 of 24 from the field and carried a 42-21 lead at halftime.
Leading 50-25, the Lady Dragons held Garden City without a field goal for 7 minutes, 34 seconds and went on a 17-4 run to build a 65-29 lead with 9:23 remaining in the game.
The Lady Dragons cooled off to 45.2 percent in the second half, but defensively, Hutchinson never let up holding Garden City to just 6 of 32 shooting (18.8 percent).
Hutchinson will meet No. 9 Seward County for the first of two meetings this season at 6 p.m. on Saturday in Liberal.
GAME NOTES - Hutchinson is now 60-16 vs. Garden City, including 35-3 in Hutchinson. With two 3-pointers, Jamie Patrick became the ninth player in HCC women's basketball history to reach 100 career 3-pointers. She has 101. Jen'Von'Ta Hill moved into fifth place on the career assist list with 238. This was HCC's seventh game this season to shoot 50 percent or better. This was the 12th game this season that HCC had held an opponent to less than 30 percent shooting. Garden City's 15 steals were an opponent season high against HCC. This was the 11th time this season to force 20 or more turnovers in a game. Jessica Daughhetee tied a season high with five rebounds. Kalani Purcell had her ninth game of five or more steals.