DEFENSE DOMINATES AS NO. 1 LADY DRAGONS WIN 75TH-STRAIGHT HOME GAMEJanuary 31, 2013
HCC Sports Information
The Jayhawk Conference’s top defensive team turned in a gem of a performance on Wednesday night at the Sports Arena. That stifling effort helped the nation’s No. 1 team win its 75th consecutive game on its home court.
The top-ranked Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team held Seward County to a season-low point total and forced 30 turnovers as the Lady Dragons pulled away in the second half for a 64-36 Jayhawk West victory.
Now 8-0 in the Jayhawk West at the mid-point of the league season, the Lady Dragons (22-0) have a two-game lead on the field heading into Saturday’s home game against Dodge City.
In addition to extending its team-record Sports Arena winning streak, Hutchinson won its 63rd-straight regular-season game and 36th-straight game in Jayhawk West play. The Lady Dragons have won six in a row against the Saints (14-7, 5-3).
While it took a while for the offense to get going, the Lady Dragons used suffocating defense to build a seven-point halftime lead and then outscore Seward County 40-19 in the second half.
HCC held the Saints to 16 of 51 overall shooting (31.4 percent) and only 4 of 20 from 3-point range. The Saints did not attempt a free throw in the game.
Hutchinson’s unrelenting defense forced 30 Saints turnovers, 24 by steals. Sophomore Jasmine Patterson had a career-high seven steals and sophomore Chrisstasia Walter added six steals. Eight different Lady Dragons had at least one steal.
The 36 points allowed tied for the second fewest points scored by Seward County against Hutchinson in series history.
Patterson led the Lady Dragons with her third double-double of the season and fourth of her career. Patterson finished with 16 points and a career-high-tying 12 rebounds.
Sophomore Aja Sorrells had 13 points on 6 of 10 shooting with four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Walter added nine points and six assists. Freshman Bri Starks came off the bench for eight points.
The Lady Dragons shot 39.3 percent for the game (24 of 61), going just 2 of 9 from 3-point range and 14 of 23 from the foul line. HCC out-rebounded Seward County 42-34 and turned the ball over just 13 times. HCC had 22 assists on 24 made baskets.
Fabiana Monte had 11 points to lead Seward County. Ricquia Jones had eight points.
Neither team lit it up from the field in the opening half. Hutchinson was 9 of 29 shooting (31.0 percent) in the first half, while the Saints were just 7 of 27 (25.9 percent) in the opening 20 minutes.
The Saints used three early 3-pointers – two from Jones and one from Monte – to force an 11-all tie with 8:43 to play in the opening half. It took more than 10 minutes for one team to reach double figures on the scoreboard.
A three-point play from Sorrells and a Patterson inside basket gave the Lady Dragons a 16-11 lead with 7:55 to play. Monte scored to cut the lead to three, but the Saints went on a scoreless drought of nearly 5 full minutes as Hutchinson slowly put together an 8-0 run to lead 24-13 after freshman Jen’Von’Ta Hill hit 1 of 2 free throws with 2:59 to play.
That Hill free throw was the final points of the first half for Hutchinson. The Saints couldn’t capitalize, scoring just four points in the final 2:13 and HCC took a 24-17 lead at halftime.
The teams traded baskets early on in the second half. Leading 28-21, a Sorrells’ layup off a Saint turnover sparked an 11-0 run over a span of 2 minutes, 26 seconds. A Starks layup capped the run and gave HCC a 39-21 lead with 15:36 to play in the second half.
With HCC up 44-28 with 11:26 to go, Seward County went on another extended scoreless drought – this time of 5 minutes, 23 seconds – and the Lady Dragons scored eight unanswered points to lead 51-28 after a Hill field goal in the lane.
Hutchinson closed the game on a 7-0 run, holding Seward County scoreless for the final 4:17 of the game.
The Lady Dragons will close out this two-game homestand on Saturday with a 5:30 p.m. tipoff against Dodge City. It will be the second-annual Blue Dragon Pink-Out Night as HCC helps the fight against Cancer. All proceeds raised will go to the Cancer Council of Reno County.
GAME NOTES – HCC’s 22-game winning streak is the third-longest in team history. … HCC’s 22-0 start to the season is the third-best in team history. .. The Lady Dragons held their 86th-straight opponent to less than 50 percent shooting. … The 2013 sophomores won their 58th game. … HCC is now 37-39 all-time against Seward County. … Chrisstasia Walter moved up to a tie for third on HCC’s single-season steals list at 87. She is tied with Missy Schomaker (2000). … Walter is tied for 13th with Deni Bickel (1980) and Lancia Lawrence (2012) for 13th on the single-season assist list with 127. … This was all-time victory No. 801 for HCC. … HCC’s five blocked shots tied for fourth most this season. … HCC’s 24 steals were the second most this season. Hutch had 28 steals vs. the Ottawa University JV. … HCC outscored Seward County 27-7 in points off turnovers.