Hutchinson CC Sports Information
GARDEN CITY – Mired in first-half foul trouble, the Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team got a huge lift from freshman Josh Baker in the second half Wednesday night at Garden City.
Baker scored 10 points in a key early second-half surge that keyed the No. 25 Blue Dragons to a 91-72 victory over the Broncbusters at Conestoga Arena.
Hutchinson wins consecutive games for the first time since December 4 and improves to 15-3 overall and keeps pace with Barton and Colby in the Jayhawk West at 6-3. Garden City dropped its seventh in a row and falls to 7-10, 1-7. Hutch snapped a two-game losing streak to Garden City, which swept the Blue Dragons in 2018-19.
The Blue Dragons had six players with at least two fouls in the first half, including inside players Majok Kuath, Fred Odhiambo, Matt Mayers and Saquan Singleton. Guard Jaden Okon had three fouls. The Busters took advantage by going 15 of 20 from the free-throw line in the first half. Still, Hutchinson managed a 42-39 lead.
Leading 45-41 early in the second half, Baker nailed a 3-poitner and followed that with another 2-point jumper to up the Dragon lead to 50-41 with 16:36 remaining. Baker than converted a three-point play and then took a steal in for a transition layup to cap a 14-0 Blue Dragon run and take a 59-41 lead with 13:37 remaining in the second half.
Baker wound up scoring 16 of his game-high 24 points in the final 20 minutes to help the Blue Dragons outscore Garden City 49-33 in the second half. The Dragons shot 58.6 percent in the final half.
Baker posted his fourth 20-point scoring game of the season, hitting 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Baker added five rounds, three steals and two assists.
Freshman Clarence King came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points.
Hutchinson finished shooting 52.5 percent (32 of 61), hitting 9 of 24 from 3-point range and 18 of 25 from the free-throw line. The Dragons out-rebounded Garden City 33-28 and had 19 assists and 10 steals.
The Busters shot 43.1 percent (22 of 51), hitting 7 of 20 from 3-point range and 21-26 from the foul line. Garden City had 20 turnovers.
Traylynn Spencer and Michael Frazier had 10 points each.
Hutchinson led 18-13 after a Brown dunk with 12:59 to play in the first half. Garden City countered with an 8-3 run to lead 21-18 after two Spencer free throws with 11:05 to go.
Tied at 34 late in the first half, the Dragons to a two-point lead on an Odhiambo jumper. An Odhiambo dunk with 1:27 to go gave Hutch another two-point lead, but this time King followed to score on a pair of layups to give the Blue Dragons a 42-36 lead. Garden City's Keith Favors converted a three-point play with 9 seconds remaining and cut the Hutch lead to 42-39 at halftime.
Brown hit a 3-pointer to start the second half and Spencer countered with a 2-pointer for Garden to cut the Hutch lead to 45-41. That's when Baker started the decisive 14-0 run. Baker's steal and layup with 13:37 remaining gave Hutchinson a 59-43 lead.
Two D.J. Mitchell free throws with 11:51 pushed the lead to 17 at 62-45. The Busters got with 62-52 when Baker nailed another Dragon trey to stop that Garden City advance. The Dragons eventually pushed the lead to 20 on a Mitchell free throw with 6:03 to go that make it 77-57. The lead never dipped below 15 points after that.
Hutchinson will travel to Pratt to meet the Beavers at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in Pratt.
GAME NOTES - Hutchinson is now 136-49 all-time against Garden City, including 52-36 in Garden City. … This was all-time win No. 1,821 for the Dragons. … This was the third-straight game to force an opponent into 20 or more turnovers by the Blue Dragons. … Garden City blocked an opponent high five blocked shots. … Hutchinson has 10 games shooting 50 or more points.