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No. 2 Blue Dragons roll by Cloud County

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By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

Five players scored in double figures and the Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team shot better than 50 percent for the fourth time this season to remain undefeated on Saturday.

BOX SCORE

Kiki Smith scored a game-high 20 points to pace the No. 2-ranked Blue Dragons to a 92-62 Jayhawk Conference victory over the Cloud County Thunderbirds at the Sports Arena.

The Blue Dragon improved to 23-0 and opened their Jayhawk Conference lead to 3.5 games over second-place Dodge City – the Conquistadors lost at Cowley on Saturday – with a 17-0 conference record. Hutchinson travels to Cowley at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Cloud County fell to 12-11 overall and 8-10 in the league.

The 2023-24 Blue Dragons’ 23-0 start to the season tied the 2012-13 Blue Dragons for the fourth-best start in team history. Hutchinson’s current 23-game win streak ties the 2012-13 Dragons for the fifth-longest win streak in the program’s 50-year history.

The Blue Dragons shot 52.9 percent (37 of 70) for the game, including 58.3 percent in the first half. Hutchinson hit 12 of 26 from 3-point range and 7 of 13 from the foul line.

Smith’s seventh 20-point game consisted of 9 of 16 overall shooting with two 3-pointers. Smith had four steals and three rebounds.

Point guards Journey Armstead and Akaysha Muggeridge combined for 30 points and 11 assists. Armstead was 7 of 9 shooting with a 3-pointer. She added six assists, a career-high-tying five steals and three rebounds. Muggeridge was 6 of 7 shooting, going 3 of 3 from distance, with five assists.

Kahlen Norris scored a career-best 12 points with two 3-pointers. Hailey Jackson had 12 points and seven rebounds. Jackson sank a pair of 3-pointers.

The Blue Dragons were out-rebounded 36-34, but had their second-straight game with less than 10 turnovers, finishing with nine combined to Cloud’s 21 miscues.

Cloud County shot 42.6 percent (23 of 54), hitting 3 of 12 from 3-point range and 14 of 21 from the free-throw line.

Josephine Igherighe had 19 points and nine rebounds to lead the Thunderbirds. Maimouna Sissoko had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

After Bailey Burns hit a 3-pointer to start the game for the Thunderbirds, the Blue Dragons scored 11 unanswered points. Armstead’s layup with 5:44 to play in the period capped the run for an 11-3 Hutchinson lead. Cloud pulled within five with a 6-3 run, but the Dragons countered with a 7-0 run. Smith’s 3-pointer with 2:11 to play gave the Dragons a 21-9 lead. Cloud scored the next four points, but Muggeridge hit a long 3-pointer just a couple of steps inside half-court at the buzzer for a 24-13 Hutchinson lead at the end of the first quarter.

The teams pretty much traded baskets in the second quarter, but the Blue Dragons outscored Cloud County 24-17 in the period. Leading by 14 with 1:27 to play, the Dragons closed the half with field goals from Smith and Armstead for a 48-30 halftime lead.

The Blue Dragons put the game away with a 17-3 run over the first 6:08 of the third quarter. Muggeridge led the surge with five points and three rebounds. Norris hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Dragons a 73-49 lead after three quarters.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are 14-0 at the Sports Arena this season. … The Dragons are now 50-28 all-time against Cloud County, including 22-12 at the Sports Arena. … Kahlen Norris had a career high two 3-pointers and career-high-tying four field goals. … This was Hutchinson’s sixth game of 90 points or more this season. … This was Hutchinson’s 11th game of 20 or more assists (22 assists). … Akaysha Muggeridge surpassed 200 career points (202). … Kiki Smith became the 58th Blue Dragon to reach 400 points in a season (403).