Blue Dragon Basketball becomes the first NJCAA school to reach 1,800 wins

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

PRATT – The Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team made NJCAA history on Monday night by becoming the first men's basketball program to reach the 1,800 win plateau.

To reach that milestone win, the No. 22-ranked Blue Dragons had to rally from deficits as large as nine points to defeat the Pratt Beavers 74-70 at the Dennis Lesh Sports Arena.

Starting its men's basketball program in the 1928-29 season, it took the Blue Dragons 2,397 games to reach 1,800 wins. The all-time NJCAA wins leader now has an all-time record of 1,800-597. Vincennes University is No. 2 in all-time wins with 1,772.

The Blue Dragons also reached 20 wins for the 53rd time in program history. Hutchinson improves to 20-6 overall and 11-6 in the Jayhawk West with Dodge City coming to town on Wednesday night. The Beavers fall to 11-15 overall and 4-13 in the Jayhawk West.

Hutchinson swept the Beavers in the season series, rallying late in the game in both occasions this year to earn wins.

Pratt built a 27-18 lead on the Blue Dragons after a Drew Maschoff 3-pointer with 4:07 to play in the first half. The Dragons then went on a 12-2 run and took a 30-29 lead with 1:14 to play after a D.J. Mitchell 3-pointer. But Pratt grabbed the lead right back when Tyvon Taylor popped a 3-pointer and the Beavers took a 32-30 lead at halftime.

The Blue Dragons trailed by six points twice in the second half – 39-33 with 17 minutes to go and 59-53 with 7:21 to play. A 6-0 Hutch run then pulled the Dragons tin a 59-all tie. Pratt answered back with a Blake Furcron 3-pointer and two Jerome Bivins' free throws for a 64-59 lead with 4:29 left. Back came Hutch with a Saquan Singleton inside basket and a James Rojas three-point play to tie the game again at 64-all with 4:06 to play.

From that point, the lead changed hands four more times. Malique Jacobs scored with 2:44 left for a 68-67 Hutch lead. Pratt took a 69-68 lead on a Taylor layup with 2:21 left. Jacobs grabbed the lead back for the Dragons in a tip-in of a missed shot for a 70-69 lead with 2:02 left.

The Dragons scored 4 of the game's final 5 points to secure the victory.

Rojas scored a game-high 24 points with nine rebounds and 8 of 9 shooting from the free-throw line to lead the Blue Dragons. Rheaquone Taylor had 15 points and seven rebounds and Jacobs had 10 points. Mitchell finished with ninth points for the Blue Dragons.

The Blue Dragons shot 37 percent in the first half, but improved to 58 .3 percent in the second half to close at 47.1 percent (24 of 51). The Dragons were 6 of 13 from 3-point range and 20 of 29 from the free-throw line. The Dragon had a 33-29 rebounding advantage in rebounds.

Maschoff hit 4 of 7 from 3-point range and led Pratt with 20 points. Bivins finished with 12 points and Taylor had 11 points.

Pratt was 24 of 54 shooting (45.3 percent), going 8 of 27 from 3-point range and 14 of 19 from the foul line.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 145-24 all-time against Pratt, including 66-11 in Pratt. … Rojas posted his eighth 20-point game of the season and the 10th of his career. … The Blue Dragons are now 3-6 in games when trailing at halftime.