By Hutchinson CC Sports Information
HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Kiki Smith‘s scored a career-high 29 points to lead the No. 4-ranked Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team to its third victory over a nationally ranked opponent on Wednesday at the Sports Arena.
The Blue Dragons extended their Jayhawk Conference lead to a full three games after defeated the 12th-ranked Dodge City Conquistadors 82-77.
Hutchinson extends his sixth-best start in program history to 19-0 and is 13-0 in the Jayhawk Conference. Dodge City is now 16-3 and is tied for second in the KJCCC with Butler at 10-3. The Blue Dragons are off on Saturday and return to action next Wednesday at Colby.
Smith was 9 of 11 shooting overall, tying a career high with four 3-pointers and was 7 of 8 from the free-throw line. Smith added four assists, three rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot.
The Blue Dragon freshman scored 18 points in a first half that saw the three lead changes and three ties and was the highest combined scoring half this season (91 points) between the top-two scoring teams in the Jayhawk Conference.
The Blue Dragons trailed by as many as eight points in the second quarter and was down 38-31 with 4:26 to play in the second quarter. The Dragons turned the game around with a 13-0 run over the next 3:04. Smith had four points in that run and capped it with a transition jump shot that gave the Blue Dragons a 44-38 lead with 1:42 to play in the quarter.
The Blue Dragons shot 45.9 percent for the game (28 of 61), hitting 7 of 24 from 3-point range and 19 of 27 from the free-throw line. The Dragons were out-rebounded 42-30, but had only 10 turnovers to Dodge City’s 17.
Hailey Jackson had 12 points.
Dodge City was led by Paris Santacatarina’s opponent individual season high 26 points. She hit 4 of 6 from 3-point range and had six rebounds and three assists. Parris Atkins had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Conquistadors shot 44.6 percent overall (30 of 67), hitting 9 of 24 from 3-point range and 8 of 12 from 3-point range.
Santacatarina had nine first-quarter points to lead Dodge City early. She hit a 2-pointer after an offensive rebounds and then hit a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to give Dodge City an 18-11 lead with 2:35 to play in the opening quarter. A Duffy three-point play with 2:19 remaining dropped Dodge City’s 10-3 run. Smith scored two of her first-quarter eight points with 11 seconds to play to cut the Dragon deficit to 22-18 after the first quarter.
After a Duffy basket to open the second quarter, cut the Dodge lead to two, the Conquistadors scored six quick points to open a 28-20 lead with 8:01 to play in the period. The Dragons answered that with an 8-2 run and pulled within 30-28 after a Smith 3-pointer with 6:02 to go. The Conquistadors rebuilt a 38-31 lead with 4:26 remaining. Duffy stopped that run with a jumper in the paint. She scored two more field goals to give the Blue Dragons a 39-38 lead with 2:40 to go. Armstead knocked down a 3-pointer and Smith scored to cap a 13-0 Hutchinson run. The Dragons led 44-38 with 1:42 to play and led 46-45 at halftime.
The Blue Dragons scored the first seven points of the third quarter, building a 53-45 lead after an Armstead layup with 7:58 to play. Dodge whittled the Hutchinson lead down to one points at 56-55 with 5:03 to go. Jackson halted that advance with a 3-pointer at the 4:38 mark. Smith then hit a trey for a 62-55 lead with 3:59 remaining. Dodge City again made it a one-possession game, but Akaysha Muggeridge hit a jumper with 41 seconds left to give the Dragons a 66-62 lead after three quarters.
Santacatarina hit a 3-pointer to start the final quarter to pull Dodge City within one point. The Dragons extended their lead back to 72-66 after a Jackson free throw with 5:35 to play. Jackson scored again with 34 seconds left to push the lead to 78-71. Dodge again made it a one-possession game with 5 seconds left, but Smith completed her career-high night with two free throws to seal the victory.
GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 76-30 all-time vs. Dodge City, including 38-14 at the Sports Arena. … The Dragons extend the seventh-longest win streak in program history to 19 games. … Kiki Smith had her fifth 20-point game this season. … The Dragons had their ninth 20 assist game this season. … The 45 points in the first half and 23 points in the second quarter by Dodge City were opponent highs this season. … The Dragons are 12-0 at the Sports Arena this season. … Dodge City is only the third opponent to shoot 40 percent or better this season against Hutchinson.