BLUE DRAGON MEN'S BASKETBALL
No. 16 Hutchinson (19-4, 15-4) vs. Garden City (15-8, 11-8)
When: Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Where: Hutchinson Sports Arena, Hutchinson, KS
Game time: 7:30 p.m.
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
In the past week, the No. 16-ranked Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team has won games with contrasting styles.
One week ago, the Blue Dragons scored 105 points in a shootout victory over Neosho County at the Sports Arena. Four days later, Hutch had to grind in a defensive battle against Colby, coming out on top 67-62.
The first time that Hutchinson met Garden City in December at Garden City, that game mirrored Sunday's win at Colby. Now two of the Jayhawk Conference's Top 5 defensive teams meeting on Wednesday at the Sports Arena when the Blue Dragons and Broncbusters play at 7:30 p.m. at the Sports Arena.
The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) beginning at 7:20 p.m. with Glen Grunwald (play-by-play) and Rusty Hilst (analysis) calling the action. The game will also be streamed live on the Blue Dragon Sports Network at 7:20 p.m.
Hutch is the No. 3-ranked defense in the Jayhawk Conference allowing 70.4 points per game. Garden City is No. 5 in the conference at 73.0 points per game.
The Blue Dragons defeated the Busters 68-64 on December 2 in Garden City. The Blue Dragons shot only 37.9 percent in that first meeting, hitting only 3 of 9 from 3-point range. Garden City was held to 39.1 percent and 5 of 20 3-point shooting. The difference was the Dragons hit 21 of 32 free throws to Garden's 9 of 15.
Hutchinson had to survive the big scoring night of Garden City's Jamir Thomas, who has 27 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots in the first half. The Blue Dragons countered with 15 points from J.J. Rhymes, 12 from James Rojas and 11 from Rheaquone Taylor.
Hutchinson ended an up-and-down January with a 105-95 victory over Neosho County last Wednesday and then earned a Sunday road victory at Colby. The Blue Dragons are on the cusp of its 52nd 20-win season entering play on Wednesday night with a 19-4 record.
The Blue Dragons are tied with Coffeyville for second play one game behind Barton.
Garden City comes into Wednesday on a two-game losing streak and have dropped 3 of its last five games. The Busters lost to Dodge City 87-70 on Saturday at home after dropping a76-72 home decision to Independence last week. The Busters are 8-5 at home and 7-3 on the road.
The Busters shoot 34.7 percent from 3-point range, which is sixth in the Jayhawk and they average 7.2 makes from distance per game. The Busters are also the No. 1 blocked shot team in the league at 8.5 rejections per game.
Four players average in double figures for Garden City led by Thomas' 13.7 point scoring average. He is shooting 50.2 percent from the field and averages 8.9 rebounds per game, which ranks third in the conference.
Pierre Johnson averages 12.9 points per game on 49.7 percent shooting and he leads the league with 4.9 assists per game. Kendale Hampton averages 12.7 points and Russhard Cruickshank averages 11.1 points per game.
Offensively, the Busters average 74.5 points per game, shooting 45.0 percent.