Jada Mickens had a double-double to lead the Blue Dragon women to a 78-70 victory over No. 18 Cowley on Wednesday in Arkansas City (Joel Powers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Jada Mickens had a double-double to lead the Blue Dragon women to a 78-70 victory over No. 18 Cowley on Wednesday in Arkansas City (Joel Powers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

ARKANSAS CITY – The Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team knocked off its second-straight nationally ranked opponent, moved into a four-way tie for first place in the Jayhawk Conference and extended its winning streak to 10 games on Wednesday night at Scott Auditorium.

Led by double-doubles from Jada Mickens and Dejanae Roebuck and key fourth-quarter performances from Alicia Brown and Sara Cramer, the Blue Dragons defeated No. 18 Cowley 78-70. On Saturday in Fort Myers, Florida, the Blue Dragons knocked off No. 21 Florida Southwestern State and are now 2-1 against ranked opponents.

Hutchinson's win over Cowley combined with Seward County's win over Independence and Barton's win over County, means the Blue Dragons, Saints, Tigers and Pirates are all tied for first place in the Jayhawk with 8-2 records. The Blue Dragons improve to 12-2 overall heading into Saturday's home game against the Allen Red Devils at the Sports Arena.

The Blue Dragons led by as many as 10 points with 9:46 to play in the fourth quarter and still led 67-61 with 1:59 remaining in the game. Cowley scored six unanswered point to tie the game at 67 with 1:14 to play. Cramer hit two free throws with 1:04 left and Cowley's Brittany Hall hit 1 of 2 free throws with 49 seconds left to give the Dragons a 69-68 lead. Out of a Hutch timeout, Tia Bradshaw drove into the lane and kicked out to Cramer, who pump faked, drove the baseline and hit a clutch 15 footer with 28 seconds left to give Hutch a 71-68 lead.

The Blue Dragons were 15 of 18 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, including 9 of 10 in the final 1:04, to outscore Cowley 26-25 in the period and preserve the win.

Mickens led the Blue Dragons with her eighth double-double of the season, collecting 22 points and 11 rebounds. Mickens, who was 8 of 10 shooting from the floor, scored 17 points in the first half.

Roebuck posted her seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Roebuck also had five assists.

Brown scored eight of her 15 points in the fourth quarter. Cramer scored six of her eight points in the final 10 minutes. Tia Bradshaw and Kayla Barber chipped in seven points each.

The Blue Dragons broke out of a five-game shooting slump with 48.1 percent shooting (25 of 52). The Dragons were 6 of 18 from 3-point range and 22 of 27 from the foul line. The Dragons doubled up the Tigers in rebounding 46-23, but had to overcome 31 turnovers, their second-highest total of the season.

Defensively, the Blue Dragons held Cowley to 39.4 percent shooting (26 of 66). The Tigers were 1 of 22 from 3-point range and 17 of 29 from the line. Cowley had just nine turnovers.

Kaitlyn Potter, the Jayhawk Conference's leading scorer, had 16 points on 7 of 17 shooting, including 0 of 7 from 3-point range. Brenda Silva had 18 points to lead the Tigers.

Mickens was dominant in the first half with 10 points in the first quarter and seven more in the second. Her jumper with 56 seconds left in the period tied the game at 16 – the sixth tie of the first quarter. The game was tied despite the Dragons shooting 50 percent in the period. But the Dragons committed nine turnovers in the first 10 minutes.

Tied at 25 in the second, a Barber layup sparked a 7-0 Hutch run. Mickens hit a 3-pointer and then a long 2-pointer to give the Blue Dragons a 32-25 lead with 1:59 to play in the period. Cowley scored four-straight points before Mickens closed out her superb first half with a jumper in the paint to give Hutch a 34-29 lead at halftime.

Cowley started the second half on a 12-6 run to take a 41-40 lead after a Fatou Jallow free throw with 3:19 to go. The Dragons immediately reclaimed the lead as Cramer hit a short jumper to spark a 12-2 Hutch run. Barber nailed a 3-pointer with 39 seconds to play and Hutch led 52-43. Hutch led 52-45 heading into the final quarter.

A Kelsey Brett 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter gave Hutch a 55-45 lead, but Cowley used an 11-2 run over the next 6 minutes to pull within 57-56 on a Julia Nygard jumper with 6;03 to go. The Dragons again responded and built a 67-61 lead on a Brown drive to the hoop with 1:59 to play.