By Hutchinson CC Sports Information
HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Sophomore Mya Williams reached to 20-point mark for the 15th time in her career while fellow sophomore Kali Howard posted her first career double-double as the No. 9-ranked Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team earned another opening-night victory.
The Blue Dragons shot 48.0 percent from the field in an 88-44 victory over the Bethany College Junior Varsity in the 2022-23 season opener on Tuesday night at the Sports Arena.
The 1-0 Blue Dragons have now won 22 consecutive opening-night games. Hutchinson will next play Mineral Area at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in the opening round of the BSN Sports Tipoff Classic at the Sports Arena.
Williams hit 8 of 17 total shot attempts, including 3 of 7 from 3-point range to finish with a game-high 21 points. Williams added three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Howard had her first career double-double with career highs of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Howard was 5 of 8 shooting and hit her fifth career 3-pointer.
Freshman Monae Duffy had a strong Blue Dragon debut, knocking down 7 of 11 total shots, including 3 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc to finish with 19 points and six rebounds. Duffy added three assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
The Blue Dragons missing 14 of their first 20 shot attempts, but finished at 48.0 percent for the game (36 of 75). The Dragons were 10 of 24 shooting from 3-point range and 6 of 9 from the free-throw line. After being out-rebounded in the first half, the Dragons finished a plus-7 in rebounding, 47-40. The Dragons had 22 assists to only 10 turnovers.
Kassi Ballard had a team-high 13 points to lead the Swedes. Jerika Moore had 11 points. Bethany shot 25.8 percent overall (17 of 66), hitting 5 of 26 from beyond the arc and 5 of 6 from the foul line. The Swedes had 21 turnovers.
The Dragons led just 7-6 at the first media timeout with 4:32 remaining in the first quarter. Hutchisnon closed the quarter on a 10-2 run, getting a Duffy 3-pointer and a Morgan Browning jumper in the final 1:25 of the period to lead 17-8 after the opening quarter.
Hutchinson extended that run to 23-2, scoring the first 13 points of the second quarter. Back-to-back Howard jumpers in the paint gave the Blue Dragons a 30-8 lead with 5:59 remaining in the period. Howard nailed a 3-pointer with 4:46 to play to build a 25-point lead at 35-10. After shooting just 30 percent in the first quarter, the Dragons shot 73.3 percent in the second period and led 42-21 at halftime.
The Dragons opened the second half on an 18-2 run and led 60-23 after a Ziya Simms free throw with 5:15 remaining in the quarter. The lead reached 40 points on a Duffy 3-pointer with 8 seconds remaining in the quarter for a 71-31 lead. The Dragons’ largest lead of the game was 46 at 77-31 after two Duffy free throws with 8:39 remaining.
GAME NOTES – The Dragons are now 41-8 all-time in season openers. … The Blue Dragons are 37-0 all-time against Bethany and 30-0 at the Sports Arena. … The 44 points are the first time the Bethany JV broke the 40-point mark against Hutchinson since 2005. … The Dragons owned a 44-18 advantage in the paint and outscored the Swedes 21-2 in points off turnovers.