BLUE DRAGONS SURVIVE EPIC DOUBLE-OVERTIME BATTLE WITH NEONovember 17, 2013
The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team needed not one, but two overtimes to hold off the 3-point barrage of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, defeating the Norsemen 108-105 on Saturday night to close out the Blue Dragon Classic at the Sports Arena.
Hutchinson was playing in its second overtime game in five days, but had not played in a double-overtime game since 1972.
The Blue Dragons saw a 16-point second-half lead disappear, still leading by 11 with 4:48 to play. But NEO tied the game at 85-85 when Lionel Green Jr. scored with 1.9 seconds.
NEO was a defensive stop from pulling off the upset of the No. 4 Blue Dragons at the end of the first overtime. With NEO leading by two, sophomore Coreantae DeBerry scored with 12.8 seconds left to tie the game at 96-96 and HCC got the defensive stop to force the second overtime.
The second overtime featured five lead changes. The final lead change came on two Darrick Wood free throws with 36 seconds left for a 106-105 Blue Dragon lead. With hardly any time between the game and shot clock, NEO was running the clock down for a final shot. Ja’mill Powell was looking to go 1-on-1 with sophomore Nathan Jackson, but Jackson won the battle with a blocked shot and HCC got the rebound.
Wood hit two more free throws with 7.4 seconds left to put HCC up 108-105. Thomas tried a desperation 3-pointer for NEO, but it was off the mark.
There were 21 lead changes and 11 ties between Hutchinson (6-0) and NEO (5-2).
Sophomore Kadeem Allen capped off a huge week for him to lead the Blue Dragons with 31 points on 11 of 19 shooting, 3 of 6 from 3-point range and 6 of 7 from the foul line. Allen added eight assists and four rebounds. For the week, Allen averaged 32.3 points per game in three Blue Dragon wins. On Friday, Allen had the first triple-double in HCC history.
Four Blue Dragons scored in double figures for Hutchinson. Freshman DeShawn Allen finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Wood drilled three 3-pointers, including a huge trey in the second overtime, to finish with 13 points, four rebounds and four assists.
DeBerry and Nathan Jackson had 12 points each. Both had season high in rebounds – DeBerry had nine and Jackson seven. Jackson added a career-high five assists.
The Blue Dragons shot 40 of 82 overall (48.8 percent), including a season-high nine 3-point goals in 16 attempts. HCC was 19 of 31 from the free-throw line.
The last time HCC scored at least 108 points in a game came in 2006 against Murray State (108-87).
The Dragons out-rebounded NEO 57-29 with 23 offensive rebounds. Sophomore Tafari Whittingham had a career-high 15 rebounds. HCC turned the ball over 15 times.
Powell had 25 points to lead NEO, hitting 5 of 9 from 3-point range. Thomas knocked down 4 of 7 from long range and finished with 23 points. Erikk Wright Jr. had 14 points, while Jake Roach had four 3-pointers had four 3-pointers and had 12 points. Igor Ibaka had 11 points and 15 rebounds.
NEO hit 14 3-pointers on 29 attempts, the most allowed by Hutchinson this season. Overall, NEO shot 46.4 percent for the game (39 of 84) and 13 of 23 from the free-throw line. The Norsemen had 14 turnovers.
With NEO reaching 100 points on Saturday, Hutchinson’s streak of not allowing an opponent 100 points ended at 401 games. The last team to score 100 points against Hutchinson was Barton on Jan. 24, 2004. The last team to score 100 points against Hutchinson at the Sports Arena was Garden City on Feb. 5, 2000.
The Norsemen came out hot from long range, hitting four 3-pointers in the first 6 minutes to lead 16-9 with 14:05 to play in the opening half. HCC quickly responded with a 7-0 run to knot the game at 16-16 on a Wood 3-pointer with 10:09 to play.
Freshman Austin Budke had three first-half 3-pointers. His third with 3:48 to play gave HCC a 35-31 lead. Christian Leach hit a couple of 3-pointers for NEO, but Allen buried a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining in the first half to give HCC a 43-37 halftime lead.
NEO hit 9 of 13 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes.
A 7-0 HCC run bumped the HCC lead to 14 points when Andre Sands scored with 15:11 left to give Hutch a 61-45 lead. Back-to-back dunks by Freeman have Hutchinson a 65-50 lead with 11:57 to go. The lead was still double figures on a DeBerry basket with 4:48 to play as the Blue Dragons led 80-69.
NEO closed regulation on a 16-5 run. HCC still led 85-81 but Green scores with 10 and 1.9 seconds left sandwiched two Blue Dragon missed free throws to tie the game at 85-all.
Down 94-92 in the first overtime, Allen tied the score at 94-all with two free throws with 1:05 to go. NEO reclaimed the lead with an Ibaka inside hoop with 43 seconds left, but HCC fought back and tied the game at 96-apiece with a DeBerry hoop.
The teams traded baskets in the second overtime. Down 100-99, the Blue Dragons grabbed the lead back on a Wood 3-pointer. Wood, who had seven points in the second overtime, hit 4 of 4 free throws in the final 36 seconds to finally secure the win for the Blue Dragons.
Hutchinson will have a short turnaround and play at Butler at 7:30 p.m. on Monday night in El Dorado.
GAME NOTES – This was Hutchinson’s first double-overtime game since a 91-90 two-OT win over State Fair in 1972. … The Blue Dragons are 3-0 in double-overtime games and 30-15 all-time in overtime games. … Under head coach Steve Eck, HCC is 8-0 in overtime, including 2-0 this season. … This was all-time victory No. 1,634. … The Blue Dragons are 11-8 all-time vs. NEO. … This was Steve Eck’s 115th win at Hutchinson. He is now three wins shy of moving into sixth place. … Kadeem Allen has his fourth career 30-point game. … Austin Budke finished with season highs of three 3-pointers and nine points. … HCC-NEO wasn’t the only double-overtime game on Saturday at the Sports Arena. Redlands defeated the Bethel College JV 107-102 in two overtimes in the first game of the night.