[ By STEVE CARPENTER ]
[ BLUE DRAGON SPORTS INFORMATION ]
GARDEN CITY, Kan. — The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team got snowballed on Saturday.
A pair of late first-half 3-pointers gave Garden City the momentum it needed to overwhelm the Blue Dragons in the second half as Hutchinson suffered a 93-58 loss to the Broncbusters a Conestoga Arena.
The loss was a historical one for Hutchinson. It was the worst loss against the Broncbusters in the 184 games played. The 35-point loss was also the third-worst loss the Blue Dragons have suffered in program history. Hutchinson was swept by Garden City in a season series for the first time since 2005.
Hutchinson falls to 19-6 overall and 10-6 in the Jayhawk West. The Blue Dragons travel to play at Pratt on Monday night. Garden City improves to 10-15 and 5-11.
The Blue Dragons had leads as large as five points in the first half, leading 21-16 with 8:03 to play in the half. Two James Rojas free throws with 5:47 left matched the largest advantage. The Blue Dragons went scoreless for 3 minutes and their lead dwindled to 30-29. Garden’s Claiborne Kyles hit a 3-pointer to take a 32-30 lead. A Malique Jacobs basket tied the game at 32, but Kyles struck again from distance with 18 seconds left to give Garden City a 35-32 lead at halftime.
Garden City scored the first five points of the second half and build a 44-37 lead with 17:14 to go. The Busters then surged with a 12-0 run to lead 56-37 with 14:35 to go.
The Broncbusters went on to outscore Hutchinson 58-26 in the second half shooting 17 of 28 (60.7 percent) with seven 3-pointers.
Rojas led the Blue Dragons with 20 points, including a career-high 3 of 5 from 3-point range. Rojas also had six rebounds. Rheaquone Taylor finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Blue Dragons were held to a season-low point total and shooting 35.5 percent (22 of 62), going only 3 of 14 from 3-point range and 11 of 17 from the free-throw line. The Dragons had a season-low 25 rebounds and was outrebounded 41-25.
Jamir Miller had 19 points on 11 of 12 shooting with three 3-pointers to lead the Broncbusters. Miller added seven rebounds and six assists. Kyles finished 5 of 7 shooting from 3-point range and had 17 points. Russhard Cruickshank had 14 points.
The Busters shot 56.4 percent for the game (31 of 55), hitting 12 of 22 from 3-point range and 19 of 22 from the free-throw line.
Coach Eck compared team stats to understand the game’s turnout:
GAME NOTES – The worst previous loss to Garden City was 26 points, a 93-67 loss on December 26, 1955. This was Rojas’ seventh 20-point game this season and ninth of his career. The 58 points allowed in the second half was an opponent season high against Hutch. Garden City is just the third team to shoot 50 percent against the Blue Dragons this year. In two games this season, Garden City’s Jamir Miller had 52 points and 19 rebounds against the Blue Dragons.