Hutchinson CC Sports Information
INDEPENDENCE – Another bout of massive early foul trouble had the No. 9 Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team in trouble on Saturday in the Blue Dragons' first Jayhawk Conference road trip of the season.
Despite losing a pair of sophomores to fouls with about 5 minutes to play in the fourth quarter, the Blue Dragons rallied from a first-quarter deficit to defeat the Independence Pirates 61-51 at the ICC Fieldhouse.
The Blue Dragons improve to 9-1 overall and 2-0 in the Jayhawk West. Hutchinson will play host to Neosho County at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Sports Arena. Independence falls to 3-5 and 1-1 in the Jayhawk East.
Independence scored the game's first five points and immediately, center Brooklyn Betham got into foul trouble. Betham was quickly joined by Abby Ogle and Lauryn Mapusua. The Dragons trailed 18-15 after one quarter.
The Blue Dragons finally started to find the range in the second quarter as sophomore Makayla Vannett and freshman Tor'e Alford combined for four 3-pointers as the Dragons rallied to lead 33-28 at halftime.
The Dragons had two key plays in the third quarter to ended the lead to nine. First, Betham scored inside to push the lead to 41-32. Then with 0.7 seconds left in the third quarter, Nafatoumata Haidara took an inbound pass and scored to give the Blue Dragons a 46-37 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Independence had one final push in the fourth quarter, going on an 8-2 run to pull within 48-45. On back-to-back possessions, Alford's steal turned into a Sasha Francis layup, then Mapusua got a steal and scored her only points of the game for a 54-45 lead with 4:58 to play in the game.
The Dragons had one more key defensive play inside of 3 minutes to play. Francis blocked a 3-point attempt and then ran the floor for an easy layup for a 59-51 lead.
Hutchinson's defense helped turned things around, forcing 27 Independence turnovers and limited the Pirates to 34.7 percent overall shooting (17 of 49). The Blue Dragons also held Indy's leading scorer, Brittany Reeves – she averages 21.4 points per game – to six points on 2 of 10 shooting.
Alford and Haidara had 13 points each to lead the Blue Dragons Alford hit 3 of 6 from 3-point range. Haidara was 5 of 11 from the field and added six rebounds
Francis and Vannett had nine points each. Betham had six points and five rebounds
The Dragons finished the game shooting 22 of 56 (39.3 percent), hitting 8 of 20 from 3-point range and 9 of 18 from the free-throw line. The Dragons were out-rebounded 41-37. Hutch had 19 turnovers.
Maisa Marcel had a game-high 20 points to lead the Pirates. No other Indy play had more than seven.