[ By STEVE CARPENTER ]
[ BLUE DRAGON SPORTS INFORMATION ]
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Garden City’s Russhard Cruickshank hit a pair of free throws with 12.2 seconds left in regulation and the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team couldn’t come up with the answer on the other end and a 10-game winning streak against the Broncbusters was snapped.
The Broncbusters upset the No. 9 Blue Dragons 70-69 on Wednesday night at the Sports Arena, sending Hutchinson to its first home loss of the season.
Hutchinson drops to 15-3 overall and 6-3 in the Jayhawk West. Garden City improves to 8-10 overall and 3-6 in the Jayhawk West. The Blue Dragons play host to Pratt at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Sports Arena.
This was Garden City’s first win over Hutchinson since Feb. 10, 2014 at Garden City. It was the Busters’ first win at the Sports Arena since 2010, a span of nine games.
Hutchinson trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half thanks to 38.7 percent shooting and seven turnovers. The Dragons trimmed that deficit to 35-28 at halftime.
The Blue Dragons trailed 57-51 with 7:16 to play in the second half before an 8-0 run sparked by two long D.J. Mitchell 3-pointers gave Hutch a 59-57 lead. Mitchell’s second trey, from beyond NBA distance, gave Hutch the lead with 5 minutes to play.
Trailing by two points with 2 minutes to play, Chris Giles hit his own long 3-pointer for a 66-65 Dragon lead. Then it became a free-throw contest. The Busters hit 7 of 8 from the line in the final 2 minutes to Hutch’s 3 of 4.
Saquan Singleton’s free throw with 35 seconds left gave Hutch a 69-68 lead, but final of 42 combined fouls went against the Blue Dragons with 12.2 seconds left and Cruickshank nailed both free throws to give Garden City a 70-69 lead.
Malique Jacobs drove into the lane on Hutch’s final possession, but couldn’t convert with 1.2 seconds left.
Garden City hit 19 of 26 free throws, while Hutchinson was 21 of 32. But the Blue Dragons had eight critical free-throw misses in the second half.
Five players scored in double figures led by Mitchell, who had 17 points, hitting 3 of 8 from 3-point range.
Giles knocked down 3 of 5 from distance and finished with 16 points.
Singleton finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Rheaquone Taylor had 11 points and nine rebounds. Jacobs finished with 10 points.
The Blue Dragons were 21 of 52 shooting (40.4 percent), including 6 of 14 from 3-point range. The Blue Dragons were out-rebounded 40-30. Those 30 rebounds were a season low for the Blue Dragons.
Jamir Thomas scored 22 points on 8 of 10 shooting with eight rebounds to lead Garden City. Tony Hopkins had 12 points while Cruickshank and Jakobi Pearson had 10 points each.
The Busters were 23 of 50 shooting (46.0) percent, including 5 of 17 from 3-point range.
The Blue Dragons improved to 42.9 percent shooting in the second half to outscore Garden City 41-35 in the period.
Coach Eck talked about the upsetting ending of Wednesday night’s game:
GAME NOTES – Hutch is now 135-48 all-time against Garden City, including 73-10 at the Sports Arena. The Blue Dragons are 7-1 at the Sports Arena this season. The Blue Dragons are now 4-3 when getting out-rebounded and 2-3 when getting out-shot in games this season.