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Dragons Hit 16 3’s in BSN Tipoff Classic Win Over NEO

By Hutchinson CC Sports Information


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Freshman Ty Frierson hit six of the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team’s 16 3-pointers against NEO as the No. 13-ranked Blue Dragons held on for a 117-107 victory on Saturday in the final game of the BSN Sports Tipoff Classic at the Sports Arena.

The Blue Dragons improve to 3-0 to start the season. Hutchinson will play Labette at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Sports Arena.

Frierson is the third Blue Dragon already this season to hit six or more 3-pointers in a single game. The 16 made 3’s for the Blue Dragons are the second most in single-season history, bested only by the 16 3-pointers made four days before against Fort Scott.

Frierson became the third-different player in as many games to lead the Blue Dragons in scoring. The freshman guard hit 9 of 16 overall shots, including 6 of 12 from distance, to score a season-high 25 points.

Frierson scored seven first-half points as Hutchinson lead 57-50 at intermission. Frierson then scored 10 points, including three 3-pointers, in the first 4:49 of the second half to key an 18-10 run to start the second half for a 75-60 lead.

Redshirt freshman Aaron Franklin had his third-straight 20-point game and posted his first career double-double with 20 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Franklin also had five assists. Franklin was 9 of 20 shooting with a pair of 3-pointers.

Freshman Jackson Leyba provided a huge spark off the bench in the first half with 16 points on 3 of 7 shooting from 3-point range. The Dragons trailed 8-0 when Leyba came into the game. Leyba scored five points and made numerous hustle plays to spark a 28-5 Dragon run to turn the game around. Jackson’s two free throws capped the run and gave the Dragons a 28-15 lead with 8:42 left in the first half.

Freshman Antonio Green had his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Aaron Potter finished with eight points, while Kernan BundyRa’Sean Frederick and Jayden Garrison had seven points each.

The Blue Dragons shot 41.5 percent for the game (39 of 94), going 16 of 46 from 3-point range and 23 of 32 from the free-throw line. The Dragons out-rebounded NEO 63-39 and had to overcome 22 turnovers.

NEO was led by Julian Mackey with 26 points, Always Wright with 25 and Jordan Johnson with 22 points. The Golden Norsemen shot 51.4 percent (36 of 70), hitting 8 of 28 3-pointers and 27 of 46 from the foul line. NEO had 18 turnovers.

The Dragons didn’t score for the first 4:08 of the game and trailed 8-0 and 11-2 after a Johnson 3-pointer. Hutchinson countered with a 28-5 run to lead 28-15 after two Leyba free throws with 8:42 left in the quarter.

Trey McClure free throw with 3:48 left in the period gave the Dragons a 45-33 lead, but NEO scored seven in a row to pull within 45-40 with 2:52 left. Bundy countered that advance with a three-point play and 1 of 2 technical free throws.

NEO pulled within 53-47, but free throws from Green with 1:06 left and Leyba with 33 seconds left pushed the lead back to 10. Wright hit a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left in the half and Hutchinson led 57-50 at halftime.

After Frierson’s hot start to the second half helped the Dragons increase the lead to 15 at 75-60, the lead grew to 20 after a Garrison three-point play gave Hutchinson a 96-76 lead with 7:35 to play. NEO chipped away and put together a 17-5 run over the next 3 minutes to pull within 101-93 with 4:35 left in the game. The Dragon lead dwindled to four at 107-103 after a Julian Mackey dunk with 1:58 to go.

The Dragons held off NEO with 8 of 8 shooting from a foul line and a Franklin layup.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons have won nine games in a row against NEO and are now 18-8 overall, including 14-4 in games played in Hutchinson. … Ty Frierson’s six 3-pointers ties for the seven-most made treys in single-game Blue Dragon history. … Franklin has scored 80 points in his first three games of the season. … The 117 points scored vs. NEO is the most in series history by the Blue Dragons. The 224 combined points scored are also the most in series history.