Hutchinson CC Sports Information
Freshman D.J. Mitchell made his first career Hutchinson Community College men's basketball start a memorable one Saturday night.
Mitchell scored a season-high 24 points to lead the No. 13 Blue Dragons to their first Jayhawk Conference victory of the season, defeating the Independence Pirates 83-51.
The Blue Dragons improve to 10-1 overall and 1-1 in the Jayhawk West. Hutchinson travels to Neosho County on Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff in Chanute. Independence falls to 6-5 overall and 1-1 in the Jayhawk East.
Mitchell provided an offensive spark by hitting a season-high 5 of 7 shots from 3-point range and 8 of 11 overall shots to record his sixth 20-point game of the season.
Mitchell hit a pair of 3-pointers in Hutchinson's decisive 27-10 run in the first half. The Blue Dragons trailed 14-13 with 13:42 to play in the first half. After that run, the Dragons led 40-24 and 41-26 at halftime and were never threatened in the second half.
The Blue Dragons had their best defensive game of the season holding Independence to a season-low offensive output. The Pirates shot 35.2 percent (19 of 54) for the game, but was limited to 28.6 percent (8 of 28) in the second half. The Blue Dragons forced 23 Independence turnovers as the Dragons owned a 22-5 advantage in points off turnovers.
In addition to Mitchell's big game, three other Blue Dragons scored in double figures,
The Blue Dragons finished 28 of 67 (41.8 percent) overall. The Dragons shot 9 of 19 from 3-point range and 18 of 25 from the foul line. The Blue Dragons out-rebounded Independence 45-33 with freshman Josh Perkins leading all rebounders with a season-high 10 boards.
No Independence player reached double figures. Jibril Harris had a team-high eight points.
The Blue Dragons defeated Independence for the 12th consecutive time.