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Smith’s 26 Powers Dragons past Thunderbirds


By Hutchinson CC Sports Information


CONCORDIA, Kan. – Freshman guard Kiki Smith scored a game-high 26 points to help the No. 11-ranked Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team to a convincing 77-50 Jayhawk Conference victory over the Cloud County Thunderbirds on Wednesday at the Arley Bryant Gym.


The Blue Dragons won their 11th consecutive game to start the season and remain unbeaten in Jayhawk Conference play at 5-0. Hutchinson closes out the first semester on Saturday with a 5:30 p.m. matchup against Cowley at the Sports Arena. Cloud County is now 6-5 overall and 2-4 in the league.

Smith scored 10 first-quarter points with a pair of 3-pointer to help the Blue Dragons race out to a 23-9 lead. Hutchinson then went through a 6-minute, 36-second scoring drought and Cloud County pulled within 23-18. A Hailey Jackson three-point play ended the drought and sparked the Blue Dragons to a 15-3 run to close the half and take a 36-21 lead at halftime.

Smith had her third 20-point game of the season hitting 11 of 24 total shots, including a pair of 3-pointers. She added four assists and three steals and a season-high two blocked shots.

Jackson was the only other Blue Dragon to score in double figures with 11 points. She also had eight rebounds, a career-high five assists and two steals.

Journey Armstead finished with nine points, seven rebounds and four assists. Monae Duffy and Madi Denison had seven points each. Duffy and Bree Horyna had a team-high nine rebounds.

The Blue Dragons finished shooting 47.0 percent for the game (31 of 66), hitting 6 of 20 from 3-point range and 9 of 15 from the foul line. The Dragons were out-rebounded 48-44, but committed only nine turnovers to Cloud’s 15.

The Thunderbirds shot 27.9 percent (19 of 68), which is the seventh time this season Hutchinson has held an opponent to less than 30 percent shooting. Cloud County was 5 of 21 from distance and 7 of 19 from the foul line.

Destiny Smith had 11 points and Josephine Igherighe had 10 to lead Cloud County.

Hutchinson, which never trailed in the game, led 8-7 with 4:28 to play in the opening quarter. The Dragons held Cloud County without a field goal and just two free throws over the remainder of the opening quarter. Smith’s fastbreak layup with 1:56 to play completed a 10-0 run for an 18-7 lead. Denson scored inside and Smith buried a 3-pointer to give the Dragons a 23-9 lead after 10 minutes.

The Blue Dragons came out cold in the second quarter as Cloud County chipped away with a 9-0 run over the first 5:28 of the period. Hutchinson’s scoreless streak ended at 7 minutes, 16 seconds when Jackson scored inside and was fouled with 3:34 to play in the quarter. Smith and Jada Pleasant both scored in transition and after Akaysha Muggeridge‘s transition layup, the Dragons reeled off 11 unanswered points to lead 34-18 with 1:22 to play. Despite shooting only 4 of 14 in the quarter, Hutchinson outscored Cloud County 13-12 in the period and led 36-21 at halftime.

Horyna’s 3-pointer with 2:28 to play in the third quarter pushed the Hutchinson lead past the 20-point mark for the first time at 58-36. The Dragons’ largest lead of the game was 29 at 77-48 after an Armstead free throw with 2:09 remaining in the fourth quarter.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 49-28 all-time against Cloud County and 23-14 in Concordia. The Dragons have won 8 of their last 11 games in Concordia. … Monae Duffy tied a career high with two blocked shots. … The 13 points scored in the second quarter were the second fewest scored in a single quarter this season. … With 23 assists, the Dragons had their fifth 20-assist game this season. … The Dragons had their third game with less than 10 turnovers in a game. … The Dragons tied a team season high with six blocked shots. … The Dragons outscored Cloud County 46-24 in the paint. … Journey Armstead has 26 assists in her last four games and surpassed the career 200-assist mark with 206 assists.