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March 23, 2014
Hutch women one W short
SALINA - For the second time in three seasons, the Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team's march to a national championship fell one step short and was halted once again by Trinity Valley.
The Cardinals put Hutchinson in a deep early hole and the No. 3 ranked Lady Dragons never were able to climb out in a 65-46 setback in the championship game of the 2014 NJCAA Women's Division I National Tournament at the Bicentennial Center in Salina.
Over the last three seasons, HCC finished twice as national runner-up (2012 and this season) and finished third last season. HCC's overall record over those three years was 107-4. For the second time in three years, HCC had a 36-game winning streak snapped by Trinity Valley (36-1), which captured its third-straight national championship and third in a row.
Freshman Kalani Purcell and sophomore Jamie Patrick were named to the All-Tournament team for Hutchinson.
Purcell had her fourth double-double of the national tournament and tied a school record with her 18th double-double of the season. Purcell scored 20 points and had 11 rebounds. The freshman forward finished the tournament with 87 points and 49 rebounds.
Patrick, Hutchinson's career and single-season scoring record holder, struggled on Saturday night finishing with six points.
The Lady Dragons (36-1) had a season-low offensive output, shooting just 31.4 percent (16 of 51), including 1 of 10 from 3-point range and 13 of 22 from the foul line. The Lady Dragons were out-rebounded for the first time this season, 36-32 and committed 20 turnovers.
The Cardinals were led by tournament MVP, Adut Bugak, who had 17 points and 15 rebounds. Deborah Meeks hit three early 3-pointers to put HCC in an early deficit and finished with 13 points. Sylvia Smith-Gaston had 10 points. Roddricka Patton dished out 10 assists.
Trinity Valley shot 46.3 percent overall (25 of 54), including 5 of 21 from 3-point range and 10 of 15 from the line. TVCC had 19 turnovers, but 11 steals, six from Patton.
Hutchinson had a season-low 15 points in the first half, hitting just 5 of 24 shots and going 0 of 4 from 3-point range. When Meeks hit her second 3-pointer at the 15:09 mark, HCC trailed 12-4. When Bulgak popped a 3-pointer with 11:12 to go, the HCC deficit grew to 19-5.
HCC trailed 24-9 with 7:02 to play, but went on a 6-0 run, holding Trinity Valley scoreless for 6 full minutes. Meeks' third 3-pointer of the half stymied HCC's building momentum and the Cardinals took a 27-15 halftime lead.
The teams traded baskets early, but Trinity Valley put the game away with 14-4 run early in the second half as a Jazmine Spears transition layup boosted the Trinity Valley lead to 45-25 with 9:32 remaining.
GAME NOTES - HCC is now 13-7 all-time in the NJCAA Tournament. The HCC sophomores - Jamie Patrick, Jen'Von'Ta Hill, Briana Starks and Kiarra Jones finish with a 71-3 overall record, the second most wins by a sophomore class in HCC history. Jamie Patrick finishes her career with 1,099 points and 627 points this season. Jen'Von'Ta Hill finishes second in career assists (322) and second in career steals (171). Kalani Purcell finished just four rebounds shy of Ariella McGhee's single-season rebound record with 371.