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Lady Dragons Meet Chipola in HCC's 3rd-Straight Semifinal Berth!

March 21, 2014

Points could be at a premium in Friday night’s second national semifinal of the 2014 NJCAA Division I Women’s Tournament as the No. 3-ranked Hutchinson Community College women will meet No. 2 Chipola College at 8 p.m.

The game will be videostreamed on NJCAATV.com. The Blue Dragon Sports Network will provide an audio-only stream and live stats. Blue Dragon Flagship Station KHUT-FM (102.9) will broadcast live beginning at 7:45 p.m.

Two of the nation’s top 5 defensive teams will meet in the second semifinal - No. 1 Trinity Valley and No. 5 Central Arizona meet in the first semifinal.

Hutchinson (34-0) is fifth in the nation in scoring defense allowing 50.9 points per contest. Even better is Chipola, the No. 2 defensive team in the land at 46.2 points per game. HCC allows opponents to shoot 30.8 percent overall and 26.2 percent from 3-point range. The Indians allow 33.3 percent overall shooting and 22.4 percent from distance.

To reach their third consecutive semifinal and fourth Final Four ever, the Lady Dragons orchestrated the largest postseason comeback in team history, rallying from 18 points down to defeat No. 11 Tyler Junior College 87-77 in the quarterfinals on Thursday night.

HCC appeared in national semifinals in 1977, 2012 and 2013, winning in 2012.

Chipola got a huge test from No. 6 Butler in Thursday’s quarterfinal, defeating the Grizzlies 64-54. Butler led 43-40 with 7:20 remaining, but Chipola outscored the Grizzles 24-11 the rest of the way.

HCC enters the game on a 35-game winning streak. Chipola has won 22 in a row.

Game 35 - NJCAA Semifinals
No. 3 Hutchinson (34-0) vs. No. 2 Chipola College (33-1)
: Friday, March 21, 2014
Tipoff: 8 p.m.
Site: Bicentennial Center, KS (Capacity: 7,500)
Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9), 7:45 p.m. Glen Grunwald (PBP); Steve Carpenter (analyst)
Internet Video: NJCAATV, 8 p.m.
Live Stats: Blue Dragon Sports Network
Twitter: @bluedragonsport
Tickets: $12 daily

Lady Dragons make 5th NJCAA Tourney appearance
The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team makes its fifth NJCAA Division I Women’s National Tournament appearance and third in a row.

Last season was the No. 3 overall seed and advanced to the Final Four. HCC fell in the national semifinals and defeated Gulf Coast State 63-61 in the third-place game.

The Lady Dragons magical 2012 season went all the way to the NJCAA national championship game where it lost to Trinity Valley to finish the year 36-1.

The Lady Dragons’ 2009 NJCAA Tournament appearance broke a 32-year national tournament drought for HCC women’s basketball. Hutchinson dropped a heartbreaker the tournament opener to Shelton State, falling 60-59 in overtime. HCC trailed by as many as 12 points before rallying to tie the game. In the consolation round, HCC defeated 65-59 before being eliminated 67-61 by Vincennes University.

In Hutchinson’s only other national tournament appearance, coach Larry Brin and his Lady Dragons went 3-2 in the tournament and finished fourth in the nation.

The 1977 Lady Dragons opened with a 51-47 victory over Monroe (N.Y.). HCC then defeated Faulkner State 85-61 and St. Clair College 70-58 to enter the semifinals with a perfect 26-0 record.

Panola College ended the Lady Dragons’ title hopes with a 62-56 victory, and then Temple College defeated Hutchinson 93-57 in the third-place game.

Hutchinson has a 12-6 record in the NJCAA Tournament. The Lady Dragons are 1-1 in third-place games and 2-2 in consolation games.

Noting The Lady Dragons
+ The Lady Dragons enter the NJCAA Tournament scoring 79.9 points per game offensively. HCC is shooting 47.4 percent overall, 34.3 percent from 3-point range and 65.4 percent from the free-throw line. HCC is averaging 4.71 3-pointers per game.

+ Defensively, HCC has led the Jayhawk Conference all season, is No. 2 in the NJCAA in field-goal defense and is No. 5 in the country in scoring defense. The Lady Dragons allow 50.9 points per game. Opponents are shooting 30.8 percent overall and 26.2 percent from distance.

+ In six postseason games, HCC is averaging 76.0 points per game offensively, shooting 48.9 percent overall, 35.1 percent from 3-point range and 66.9 percent at the foul line. Defensively, the Lady Dragons are allowing 50.2 points, 32.8 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from distance.

+ All-Jayhawk West first-team guard Jamie Patrick is HCC’s leading scorer at 17.7 points per contest. Patrick is shooting 53.3 percent overall. She has a team-high 62 3-pointers and is shooting 39.0 percent 3-point range. Patrick is shooting a team-high 79.8 percent at the free-throw line. Patrick averages 5.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game.  

+ Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year Kalani Purcell is averaging a double-double with 13.4 points and 10.3 rebounds in her freshman season. Purcell has 20 games of 10 or more rebounds and a team-high 16 double-doubles this season. Purcell is shooting 52.6 percent from the field. Now No. 2 on the single-season steals list with 123, Purcell also is second on the team with 127 assists and a team-high 47 blocks.

+ Sophomore point guard Jen’Von’Ta Hill, a second-team all-conference performer and Region VI Tournament MVP, is averaging 11.4 points per game. She is shooting 38.9 percent overall, 25.3 percent from 3-point range and 60.0 percent from the foul line. Hill led the Jayhawk West in assists this season. One of four HCC players ever with 300 or more career assists, Hill ranks No. 5 in single-season assists with 172 assists. She is second on the team in steals with 97, which is tied for fourth on the season list.

+ Sophomore forward Kiarra Jones was the Jayhawk West leader in field-goal percentage at 55.6 percent. She is averaging 7.2 points and 5.4 rebounds.

+ Sophomore Briana Starks is averaging 7.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Starks is averaging 7.3 points and shooting 44.7 percent from the field in six postseason games.

+ Freshman Shakira Harding averages 8.2 points per game. Second on the team in made 3-pointers, Harding has improved her shooting performance from long range to 37.3 percent. She shoots 76.2 percent at the free-throw line. She is averaging 10.3 points in postseason.

+ Freshman Chelsea Dewey is averaging 6.2 points and 2.2 rebounds.

+ The Lady Dragons have out-rebounded all 34 opponents this season. HCC is averages 46.4 rebounds per game, including 14.8 offensive boards. HCC has 14 games of 50 or more rebounds this season, which includes a season-high 61 rebounds against Mesa.  HCC is allowing 31.6 rebounds per game.

+ The Lady Dragons are averaging a league-best 19.3 assists per game.

+ Turnovers have been an issue for HCC so far this season. The Lady Dragons are turning the ball over 16.8 times per game. HCC forces 21.3 turnovers per game. Shockingly, opponents haven’t been able to take full advantage of the Lady Dragon miscues. Opponents have averaged only 10.9 points off HCC turnovers per game.

+ Hutchinson leads the Jayhawk West in team steals at 13.7 steals per game.

+ The Lady Dragons are third in the West in blocked shots at 3.7 rejections per game.

Scouting Chipola
+ The Chipola Indians roll into the NJCAA national semifinals on a 22-game winning streak. The last, and only loss came on Dec. 7 at the hands of St. Petersburg College, 58-55.

+ The No. 2 overall national seed, Chipola has defeated ASA College 81-46 in the second round and Butler 64-54 in the quarterfinals.

+ Chipola is making its sixth national tournament appearance, appearing in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013 and this season.

+ The Indians average 71.9 points per game offensively. They shoot 42.6 percent from the field overall, 34.2 percent from 3-point range and 64.6 percent from the free-throw line. Chipola averages 7.3 made 3-pointers per game.

+ One of the top overall defensive teams in the NJCAA, Chipola ranks No. 2 in the nation in scoring defense at 46.7 points per game. Opponents are shooting just 33.3 percent overall and 22.4 percent from 3-point range, that’s the fourth-lowest in the nation. The Indians have held 18 opponents to less than 50 points this season.

+ Evelyn Akhator is Chipola’s leading scorer at 14.8 points per game. She is sixth in the nation in rebounding at 12.3 boards per game. Akhator shoots 53.6 percent from the field. She also averages a team-high 2.7 steals per game.

+ Guard Tiffany Lewis averages 10.6 points per game. She is shooting 39.2 percent overall and is 12th in the nation in 3-point shooting at 36.5 percent on 81 makes this season.

+ Forward Brianna Wright averages 10.4 points, shooting 48.4 percent from the field. She averages 6.6 rebounds per game.

+ Rahni Bell averages 7.9 points per game and Khadijah Bell averages 6.7 points per contest.

+ The Indians are averaging 37.9 rebounds per game, including 14.2 offensive boards per game. They are allowing 28.7 boards per contest.

+ Chipola is averaging 15.9 assists. Demonshia Sophis dishes out 5.6 assists per game.

+ The Indians average 12.4 steals and 4.5 blocks per game.

+ The Indians turn the ball over 15.2 times per game and force 21.9 per game.

Series History vs. Chipola
This will be the first meeting ever between Hutchinson and Chipola.

HCC is 4-0 all-time vs. state of Florida with victories over Gulf Coast State (2013 NJCAA Tournament, Hillsborough (2010), Northwest Florida State (2013 NJCAA Tournament), St. Petersburg (2010).

(HCC Sports Information)

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