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No. 1 Dragons Rally to Top Butler for All-Time Win No. 1,100

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By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (BlueDragonSports.com) – All-time victory No. 1,100 in Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball history saw the No. 1-ranked Blue Dragons rally from down 10 points in the first half and a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat the 21st-ranked Butler Grizzlies on Saturday at the Sports Arena.

BOX SCORE

Kiki Smith sparked the comeback by scoring 15 of her game-high 29 points in the final two quarters to lead the Blue Dragons to a 71-65 victory over the Grizzlies.

The Blue Dragons extended the fourth-best start to a season to 25-0. The Dragons maintain a 3.5-game lead over second-place Dodge City in the Jayhawk Conference at 19-0. The Dragons are 4-0 against nationally ranked opponents this season. The Blue Dragons travel to Northwest Tech on Wednesday in Goodland.

Hutchinson trailed by 10 points on three different occasions in the first half. Trailing 32-22 in the final minute of the second quarter, Smith buried a 3-pointer with 5 seconds to play to cut the Dragon deficit to 32-25.

The Dragons trailed 48-46 after three quarters, but took the lead for good with a 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter. Smith had 11 points in the fourth quarter and Journey Armstead added eight as the Blue Dragons completed the comeback with a 25-17 advantage in the fourth quarter.

The Blue Dragons completed the second-biggest comeback of the season – the Dragons rallied from 12 down to defeat Dodge City in November – and it was the 15th time in the John Ontjes era that Hutchinson has rallied to win from 10 point or more.

Smith hit 7 of 13 overall shots, going 5 of 7 from 3-point range and had a season-high 10 free throws in 13 attempts to post her eighth 20-point game of the season. Smith added five assists and three rebounds.

Armstead scored 15 points with five rebounds, five steals and four assists. She hit 6 of 7 free throws.

Monae Duffy had nine points and six rebounds. Hailey Jackson had eight points and six rebounds.

The Blue Dragons shot 41.3 percent (19 of 48), hitting 6 of 18 from 3-point range and 27 of 8 from the free-throw line. The Dragons had to overcome 20 turnovers and were out-rebounded 36-28.

Randi Harding led Butler with 21 points on 4 of 6 3-point shooting. Freddie Wallace had 15 points and five rebound.

The Grizzlies shot 39.3 percent (22 of 56), going 4 of 16 from 3-point range and 17 of 27 from the free-throw line. Butler had 19 turnovers

Butler jumped out to a 15-5 lead in the first 7 minutes of the game. Hutchinson was still down 22-12 early In the second quarter, but rallied to tie the game with a 10-0 run, knotting the game at 22-all after two Armstead free throws with 3:30 to play in the period.

Butler then stung the Blue Dragons again with an 11-1 run to lead 33-22 with 52 seconds left to play in the first half. Smith hit her fourth 3-pointer of the opening half to cut the Butler lead to 32-25 at halftime.

A driving Armstead layup with 8:35 to play in the third quarter started a 13-4 Blue Dragon run. Down a point, Duffy converted a three-point play to cap the run and give the Blue Dragons a 38-36 lead with 6:18 to play in the third quarter. From that point until the end of the third quarter, there were three lead changes and two ties. Down 46-44 late in the period, the Blue Dragons tied it on a Duffy fastbreak basket with 50 seconds left in the period. Butler scored with 16 seconds left to take a 48-46 lead into the fourth quarter.

Smith had four points and an Armstead transition layup was part of Hutchinson’s 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter and take the lead for good. That run was extended to 10-3 and the Dragons led 58-51 after a fastbreak Smith 3-pointer from the right corner with 7:04 to go. The Dragons’ largest lead of the period was nine at 61-52 with 5:44 to play.

Strapped with foul trouble with two players out of the after fouling out. Hutchinson didn’t have a field goal in the final 7:04 of the game. Butler mounted a 13-4 run to pull within 66-65 after a Harding field goal with 25 seconds to play. The Blue Dragons closed out the game going 5 of 6 from the free-throw line in the final 11 seconds.

GAME NOTES – In the program’s 50th season, the Blue Dragons have an all-time record of 1,100-405. … Journey Armstead posted her seventh-straight game scoring in double figures and has had three-straight games of five or more steals. … The Dragons are now 61-34 all-time against Butler, 30-14 at the Sports Arena. … The Blue Dragons are 5-0 when trailing average the first quarter and 2-0 when trailing at halftime and after the third quarter. … The Blue Dragons are 5-0 when outrebounded.

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