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Late Rally Carries Dragons to Win at Northwest Tech

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By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

 

GOODLAND, Kan. (BlueDragonSports.com) – The No. 15-ranked Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team overcame a season-high 29 turnovers with a late second-half comeback to survive an upset bid by the Northwest Tech Mavericks on Wednesday at Max Jones Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.

BOX SCORE

Led by J.P. Ricks’ career-high 26 points, he scored seven points in the final minute to lead the Blue Dragons to an 89-84 victory over the Mavericks.

Hutchinson improved to 22-4 overall and pulled within two games of first-place Barton with a 17-4 league record. The Blue Dragons travel to Seward County at 6 p.m. on Saturday in Liberal. Northwest Tech fell to 11-15 overall and 7-13 in the KJCCC.

The game featured 16 lead changes and 12 ties, but the Dragons struggled to gain control of the game with 29 turnovers. Northwest Tech parlayed those Dragon turnovers into a 36-13 advantage in points off turnovers.

The Blue Dragons scored 17 of his career-high 26 points in the second half. Ricks was 6 of 8 shooting from the field and 14 of 17 from the free-throwline. Ricks also had a career-high eight rebounds and dished out six assists.

Kamryn Thomas had three 3-pointers, finishing with 17 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Kernan Bundy had 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench with four assists.

The Blue Dragons shot 50.9 percent overall (27 of 53), hitting 4 of 11 from 3-point range and a season-high 31 free throws in 38 attempts. The Blue Dragons out-rebounded Northwest Tech 44-27.

Keyishon Miller had 19 points, Charles Fofanah had 18 points and Idris Williams had 17 points to lead the Mavericks. Northwest Tech shot 43.2 percent (32 of 74), hitting 3 of 12 from 3-point range and 17 of 21 from the free-throw line.

The Blue Dragons jumped out to a 10-4 lead after a Kobe Smith 3-pointer with 15:07 to play. But turnovers started to mount for Hutchinson and led turned the game around to lead 17-14 with 12:18 remaining in the first half.

Tech built a pair of four-point leads at 29-25 and 36-32 in the first half. Bundy tied the game twice with baskets and Edwin Daniels fast-break dunk with 55 seconds left tied the game at 40-all.

Tech led 42-40 at halftime, the sixth time the Dragons trailed at halftime this season.

The Mavericks scored the first points of the second half for a 44-40 lead. The Dragons went on a 14-1 run over the next 2:12 and took a 54-45 lead after two Ricks’ free throws with 17:08 remaining in the second half. Tech climbed back into the game with a 12-4 run and pulled within 58-57 with 12:06 to go.

Thomas hit a 3-pointer and Daniel added a bucket in the paint to build a 63-57 lead with 11:12 to go.

There were eight lead changes in the final 10 minutes. Tech built a 79-75 lead with 3:14 left after a Keither Florence free throw. The Dragons closed the game on a 14-5 run, doing most of their damage from the free-throw line.

Down 81-79, Ricks made three free throws to give the Dragons the lead for good. Ricks went 7 of 7 from the line in the final minute. Bundy added three more free throws to build an 89-81 lead with 8 seconds remaining in the game.

GAME NOTES – Valentino Simon had a season-high four blocked shots. … The Dragons are now 4-0 in games following losses this season. .. This was all-time Blue Dragon win No. 1,916. … The Dragons are 9-0 in true road games this season. … The Blue Dragons are 2-4 when trailing at halftime. … This was Hutchinson’s 10th game shooting 50 percent or better.

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