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LATE FIRST-HALF SURGE POWERS BLUE DRAGONS IN SEASON OPENER
 November 2, 2012

 

HCC Sports Information

Five players scored in double figures as the 13th-ranked Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team opened its 82nd season on Thursday night with an 85-63 victory over Allen on the first night of the 2012 Quarterback Classic at the Sports Arena.

The Blue Dragons won on Opening Night for the fifth-consecutive time, won their 12th-straight Quarterback Classic game and defeated Allen for the eighth-straight time as HCC used a 26-11 run over the final 9 minutes, 46 seconds of the first half to break open a close game.

Allen’s Bryce Schippers drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game at 15-all, but the Blue Dragons immediate responded with an Alex Davis bucket just 7 seconds later, which started the decisive run.

Hutchinson opened the game missing their first five shot attempts, but closed the first half making 7 of 8 at one point during the run and was 11 of 16 over the final 10 minutes of the first half to lead 41-26.

Davis led the Blue Dragons with 14 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Kadeem Allen finished with 13 points and four rebounds in his HCC debut. Sophomore D’Von Campbell had 12 points and four assists. Sophomore A.J. Spencer had 12 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Tafari Whittingham finished with 11 points.

The Blue Dragons, after shooting 59.3 percent from the floor in the first half, finished at 49.3 percent overall (34 of 69).  The Dragons hit just 1 of 9 from 3-point range and were 16 of 26 from the foul line. Hutchinson owned a 54-36 rebounding advantage, converting 17 points off 18 offensive rebounds. Four players had at least three assists as HCC totaled 18 assists for the game. The Dragons did have 16 turnovers.

Allen’s Cameron Blue led all scorers with a double-double performance of 19 points and 14 rebounds. Schippers had 11.

The Blue Dragons overcame eight 3-point field goals by the Red Devils, who were 8 of 27 from long range and 21 of 69 overall (30.4 percent). Allen hit 13 of 18 free throws and committed 15 turnovers.

Hutchinson didn’t score its first point until the 16:24 mark when Allen sank a pair of free throws. The Dragons didn’t score their first field goal until the 15:58 mark.

The Red Devils couldn’t take advantage of the slow HCC start as they scored only four points over the first 6:45 of the contest. Schippers hit the first of his two 3-pointers to pull Allen within 10-7 and his second tied the game at 15-15 with 9:59 remaining in the half.

With HCC leading 21-20, the Dragons went on a 10-2 run with sophomore Jack Pyle’s 3-pointer capping the run giving the Dragons a 31-22 lead with 5:28 to play in the half. A Blue basket pulled the Devils within 31-26, but HCC closed the half on a 10-0 run over the final 3:38. Freshman Mike Taylor’s bucket with 43 seconds remaining gave Hutchinson a 41-26 halftime advantage.

The lead grew to 21 points in the second half on a huge Davis dunk gave HCC a 50-29 lead with 14:57 to play. The Dragons maintained nearly a 20-point margin for the next six minutes, leading 59-40 after a Whittingham point-blank basket from a Taylor assist.

Allen started chipping away and pulled within 12 at 62-50 when a blue 3-pointer capped a 10-3 Red Devil run and prompted a Blue Dragon timeout. Out of that timeout, the Dragons responded with three quick buckets from Spencer inside, an Allen alley-oop dunk and a Campbell transition hoop that gave HCC a 68-50 lead with 6:50 to go.

HCC’s largest lead was 24 at 83-59 on a Whittingham basket.

The Blue Dragons will meet Northeastern Oklahoma A&M on Day 2 of the Quarterback Classic at 7:30 p.m. Mesa and the Friends University JV will meet in the other men’s game at 3:30 p.m.

GAME NOTES – Mesa defeated NEO 89-80 in the first game on Thursday night. … This was all-time victory No. 1,598 for the Blue Dragons, the second-winningest team in NJCAA basketball history. … The Blue Dragons are now 63-19 in season openers and 68-14 in home openers. … HCC now has a 32-7 all-time record vs. the Red Devils. … Both benches scored 30 points each in Thursday’s game. … Hutchinson and Allen will play again on Nov. 17 at Iola. … The Blue Dragons are 10-0 in the Quarterback Classic under Steve Eck.





























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