ALLEN POSTS TRIPLE-DOUBLE; BIG 2ND HALF POWERS BLUE DRAGONS INTO QUARTERS
The first player to post a triple-double in Hutchinson Community College men's basketball history posted the program's second and the Blue Dragons rallied from a halftime deficit to advance to the Region VI Tournament quarterfinals.
All-American Kadeem Allen had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the defending Region VI champion Blue Dragons to a 93-83 opening-round victory over the Allen Red Devils on Saturday afternoon at the Sports Arena.
The No. 4 overall seeded Blue Dragons (24-7) will now play rival Butler for the third time this season in Thursday's men's quarterfinals at Charles Koch Arena. Official game times will be released on Sunday.
Allen became the first Blue Dragon ever to achieve a triple-double when he had 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against Redlands on Nov. 15. Allen's second triple-double came in a game where the Blue Dragons trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half and 37-35 at halftime
The Blue Dragons have trailed six times this season at halftime and Saturday was only the second time they have rallied to win.
Hutchinson hit 16 of its first 18 shots of the second half to begin the rally and made 24 of 32 total shots (75 percent) as HCC outscored Allen 58-46.
Three different Blue Dragons had 18 points in the regional opener.
In just his second game back from injury, freshman DeShawn Freeman had 18 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Darrick Wood had 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Sophomore Nathan Jackson finished with 15 points and four assists. Freshman Darius Freeman had a season-high 11 points. It was Darius Freeman who sparked the Blue Dragon's first half comeback from the double-digit deficit.
The Blue Dragons shot 57.1 percent for the game (36 of 63), hitting just 2 of 6 from 3-point range and 19 of 26 from the free-throw line. The Dragons out-rebounded Allen 41-33. HCC had 10 of hits 17 turnovers in the first half.
For the second-straight game, a Red Devil player scored the most individual points against Hutchinson this season. Courtney Stockard had 38 points to move past teammate Raheem Tyner's 37 scored against HCC in January. Stockard hit 14 of 23 from the field, including 5 of 11 from 3-point range and 5 of 5 from the foul line.
The Red Devils hit 30 of 73 field goals (41.1 percent), including 10 of 28 from 3-point range and 13 of 17 from the foul line. Allen had 16 turnovers.
For the second-straight game, the Blue Dragons found themselves down by a double-digit deficit early in the first half, only to get the game close by halftime and explode in the second half.
Josh Sweet's 3-pointer at the 9:21 mark of the first half gave Allen a 21-9 lead. After a Steve Eck timeout, Things quickly started to turn around and reserve guard Darius Freeman came off the bench to play a huge in role in the comeback.
Darius Freeman hit a 2- and 3-pointer during a 13-2 HCC run to pull within 23-22 with 7:17 to play in the half. The Devils rebuilt a six-point lead, but DeShawn Freeman scored back-to-back buckets and Darius' second 3-pointer of the game tied the game at 31-all with 3:11 to go.
Allen withstood the Dragon rush and took a 37-35 lead into halftime. The Blue Dragons shot just 38.7 percent in the first half and turned the ball over 10 times.
HCC opened the second half with eight unanswered points, taking a 43-37 lead with 17:55 to go after a DeShawn Freeman dunk. A Tray Fountain field goal with 13:49 remaining pulled the Devils within 52-50, but they didn't have a true defensive answer for HCC in the second half.
By the time HCC completed its run of 16 makes in 18 attempts to start the second half, HCC led 72-57 with 7:07 to go.
Allen had one more rush in it, going on an 11-3 run to pull within 77-68 with 4:10 to play after a Cody Sluder 3-pointer. HCC answered the challenge and put the game away with an 8-0 run. Jackson's inside hoop with 2:06 left bumped the Hutch advantage to 87-68.
Hutchinson outscored Allen 58-46.
GAME NOTES - The Blue Dragons are 121-43 all-time in Region VI games, 5-1 vs. Allen. HCC won its seventh-straight opening-round regional game. This was all-time Blue Dragon victory 1,652. Steve Eck moved within four victories of moving past Dave Farrar into fifth place on the Blue Dragon coaching wins list. Kadeem Allen now has 1,376 career points, moving into fourth place on the career list. Allen becomes the sixth Blue Dragon in history to score 800 points in a season (805). Allen moves into seventh place on the single-season assists list with 173. The Blue Dragons finish 18-3 in the Sports Arena in 2014. HCC is 10-0 when shooting 50 percent or better.