By Hutchinson CC Sports Information
GREAT BEND, Kan. – The No. 5-ranked Hutchinson Community College Women’s Basketball team built a 20-point first-half lead over the Division II, No. 6-ranked Labette Cardinals on Friday at the Best Western/Cougar Booster Club Classic at the Barton Gym.
That lead dwindled to a scant two points with 8:15 to play in the fourth quarter. Then Blue Dragon All-American Mya Williams caught fire, scoring 14 points in the final 8 minutes to help the Blue Dragons pull away for a 74-63 victory over the Cardinals.
The Blue Dragons improved to 5-0 to start the season and will play their final non-conference game on at 1 p.m. on Saturday against the Redlands Cardinals.
Morgan Browning‘s jumper with 7:07 to play in the second quarter capped a 14-3 run to help the Blue Dragons build a 33-13 lead. Browning’s basket turned out to be the final field goal of the first half for Hutchinson. Labette closed the first half on a 12-2 run to slice the Dragon lead to 35-25 at halftime.
Journey Armstead had six points during a Dragon 8-0 run in the third quarter that pushed the advantage of 13 points at 43-30 with 6:07 to play in the period. Labette once again surged and pulled within 50-47, but Browning hit a 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining to give the Blue Dragons a 54-47 lead after three quarters.
Labette scored the first four points of the final quarter and pulled within 53-51 with 8:15 remaining. Williams then took over. Williams hit two 3-pointers and Kali Howard added a 3-pointer. When Williams scored with 4:00 minutes to play, the Dragons regained control with a 68-55 lead.
Freshman Journey Armstead hit four 3-pointers and scored 13 of her game-high 23 points in the first quarter to lead the Blue Dragons. Armstead added four assists and three steals. Armstead hit 4 of 6 3-pointers.
Williams had her fifth-straight 20-point game to start the season, finishing with 21 points. Williams was 4 of 9 from 3-point range. Her fourth 3-pointer of the game was the 100th of her career, making her the 13th Blue Dragon to reach that milestone. Williams had a team-high-tying six rebounds.
Browning finished with 14 points and four rebounds. Howard scored 11 points and tied for team-high rebounding honors with six boards.
The Blue Dragons shot 51.9 percent (27 of 52), hitting 11 of 24 3-pointers and 9 of 16 from the free-throw line. The Blue Dragons and Cardinals were tied at 32. The Dragons had 14 turnovers.
Labette shot 40.3 percent (25 of 62), going 6 of 22 from 3-point range and 7 of 9 from the free-throw line. The Cardinals had 14 turnovers. Nisea Burrell had 18 points and Janiya Reed had 17 points to lead the Cardinals.
GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons won their fourth-straight game over Labette and is 19-6 all-time against the Cardinals. … The Dragons have had 10 or more 3-pointers in 3 of 5 games this season. … The 74 points scored on Friday are a season low for the Blue Dragons.