D.J. Mitchell had a career-high 29 points to lead the No. 7 Blue Dragon men to a decisive 8-56 win over Butler on Saturday at the Sports Arena. (Casey Bailey/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
D.J. Mitchell had a career-high 29 points to lead the No. 7 Blue Dragon men to a decisive 8-56 win over Butler on Saturday at the Sports Arena. (Casey Bailey/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

The No. 7-ranked Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team had its best defensive effort against rival Butler since 2009 and build leads as large as 35 points on Saturday night at the Sports Arena.

Hutchinson's defense forced the cold-shooting Grizzlies into missing 37 of their first 48 shots and rolled to a 78-56 Jayhawk Conference victory in the 190th meeting between the two conference rivals.

Hutchinson won its sixth-consecutive game over Butler.

The Blue Dragons improve to 12-1 overall and are now 3-1 in the Jayhawk West. The Grizzlies drop their third-straight game and fall to 8-5 overall and 1-3 in league play. The Dragons will close the first semester on Wednesday night at Cloud County in an 8 p.m. tipoff in Concordia.

Hutchinson held Butler to less than 60 points in a game for the first time since 2009, a span of 21 games. The Blue Dragons limited Butler to 18 points on 6 of 24 shooting in a first half were points were hard to come by for both teams. Butler went scoreless for 4 minutes, 20 seconds and without a field goal for 7:09 as Hutch built a 22-9 lead with 3:49 to go after a D.J. Mitchell layup.

The Blue Dragons continued to pressure the Grizzlies in the second half. Butler missed 21 of its first 26 shot attempts in the second half and went scoreless for a span of 4:50 and Hutch rolled to a 67-32 lead with 4:50 to play.

Overall, Hutchinson held Butler to 30.5 percent shooting (18 of 59) and 4-21 from 3-point range. The Grizzlies started 1 of 18 from distance. The Grizzlies also had 23 turnovers.

Freshman D.J. Mitchell scored a career-high 29 points, the most by a Blue Dragon in a single game this season, Mitchell hit a career-best six 3-pointers and was 7 of 7 from the foul line to go with eight rebounds and a career-high three steals.

The Blue Dragons were only 7 of 28 shooting in the first half, but built a 27-18 lead by halftime. The Dragons shot 58.1 percent (18 of 31), including 7 of 10 from 3-point range and outscored the Grizzlies 51-38 in the second half.

Fred Odhiambo was the only other Blue Dragon to score in double figures with 11 points. Rheaquone Taylor finished with eight points, while Saquan Singleton and Tyler Brown finished with six point each.

Hutch was 25 of 59 overall, going 9 of 17 from 3-point range and 19 of 26 from the foul line.

The Blue Dragons were out-rebounded for the third time this season as Butler owned a 45-38 advantage on the board. The Dragons turned the ball over 16 times.

Mohamed Fofana had 11 points to lead the Grizzlies.

A Fofana layup with 10:47 to play in the opening half gave Butler an 8-6 lead. The Dragons went on an 8-0 run over Butler's first half drought and led 14-8 after a James Rojas free throw with 7:10 to go. The Dragons increased their run to 16-2 on Mitchell's layup with 3:49 to go and Hutch led 22-9. After Hutch built a 24-11 lead, the Grizzlies scored four in a row, but that run was stopped with a Mitchell 3-pointer with 1:16 to play and Hutch led 27-15.

The Dragons led 27-18 at halftime.

Hutchinson opened the second half on a 10-2 run over the first four minutes to lead 37-10 with 16:02 left after a Rojas jumper. The Dragons increased their lead to 52-30 on a Tyler Brown 3-pointer with 9:19 remaining. Hutch's lead grew to 30 for the first time on back-to-back 3-pointers form Mitchell to lead 62-32 with 6:33 to play.

This was the only regular-season meeting between the Blue Dragons and Grizzlies this season.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are 125-65 all-time against Butler. … This was the fourth time this season the Blue Dragons held an opponent to less than 60 points in a game. … The Dragons are 2-1 in games they were out-rebounded. … The 18 points by Butler in the first half was an opponent low this season for Hutchinson. … The Dragons had a 22-8 advantage in points off turnovers.