BLUE DRAGON MEN'S BASKETBALL
No. 22 Hutchinson (18-5, 9-5) vs. Northwest Tech (12-11, 4-10)
When: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
The Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team is slumping a bit as the regular season transitions into its stretch run.
A two-game losing stream, albeit to two ranked teams, has cost the Blue Dragons nine spots in the NJCAA national rankings. Now beginning the second time around the Jayhawk West on Wednesday, the Blue Dragons try to right the ship with a rematch against Northwest Kansas Tech.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and on sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) with Glen Grunwald (play-by-play) and Rusty Hilst (analysis) calling the action beginning at 7:20 p.m. The Blue Dragon Sports Network will provide the live video stream the game live at 7:20 p.m.
Hutchinson had to rally on January 14 when the Blue Dragons made their first-ever trip to Goodland. The Blue Dragons trailed by as many as six points in the second half only to rally and defeat the Mavericks 85-78. Rheaquone Taylor scored a career-best 23 points in that game. D.J. Mitchell had 22 points.
But the Blue Dragons will be without the services of Mitchell on Wednesday. He is serving a one-game suspension after being ejected from Saturday's game against Seward County.
Hutchinson has dropped its last two contests – 102-87 at Barton and 87-79 on Saturday at home to Seward County. The back-to-back losses have plunged the Blue Dragons into a third-place tie with Colby at 9-5. Hutch trails Seward County now by two games with seven to play.
The Blue Dragons had a rough second half last Wednesday against Barton and that carried over to Saturday's first half against the Saints. The Blue Dragons trailed 30-11 in the first half and was down 45-30 at halftime. The Dragons made a late comeback, pulling within two points, but couldn't complete the rally. The Dragons shot 64 percent in the second half compared to 38.5 percent in the first half.
While just 3-7 in its last 10 games, Northwest Tech has won two in a row, including a buzzer-beater in an 80-78 win over Seward County last week. That game-winner was provided by Miles Gibson, who is this week's Jayhawk Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week. The Mavericks defeated Dodge City 88-73 as Chris Freeman had 20 points to lead five Mavericks in double figures.
Northwest Tech makes its first appearance in the Sports Arena since 2014. The Mavericks first played in the Arena in an opening-round Region VI game in 2013 and pushed the Blue Dragons are, but Hutchinson prevailed 90-82 and ultimately won the Region VI Tournament.
The Blue Dragons will try to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 2016.
Hutchinson is still two victories shy of becoming the first junior college basketball program to reach 1,800 all-time wins.
The Blue Dragons are how 4-1 after losses this season.