ALLEN, SPENCER LEAD BLUE DRAGON SECOND-HALF SURGE VS. T-BIRDSFebruary 24, 2013
HCC Sports Information
Freshman Kadeem Allen and sophomore A.J. Spencer combined for 37 points on 11 of 13 shooting in the second half to lead the No. 6 Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team to a come-from-behind 86-76 Jayhawk West victory over Cloud County on Saturday night at the Sports Arena.
Hutchinson’s victory combined with Butler’s loss to Seward County means the Blue Dragons clinched a home game for the opening round of the Region VI Tournament next Saturday. The Blue Dragons (26-2, 12-2 Jayhawk West) remain tied with Seward County for the lead in the Jayhawk West.
Because of another huge winter storm that is supposed to strike late Sunday and into Monday, the Blue Dragons will play at Pratt at 5 p.m. on Sunday. The game was originally rescheduled for Monday, but with the final week of the regular season here, there were no more make-up dates available before the start of the regional tournament.
Hutchinson trailed at halftime for the only the third time this season as Cloud County reversed a seven-point HCC lead with 6:55 to play in the first half with a 15-3 run to lead HCC 35-30 at halftime.
Allen and Spencer keyed a second-half rally.
Allen scored 24 points on 6 of 6 shooting, including a 3-pointer, and 11 of 14 free throws. Spencer added 13 points, shooting 5 of 7 from the floor with a 3-pointer and 2 of 2 from the foul line. The Blue Dragons hit 17 of 25 shots in the second half (68 percent) and 19 of 28 from the foul out to outscore Cloud County 56-41.
Allen finished with a career-high 31 points on 9 of 13 shooting and 12 of 17 from the foul line to go with seven rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots.
Spender had 19 points on 7 of 9 shooting. He was perfect from long range sinking a career-high three 3-point goals.
Sophomore D’Von Campbell had 16 points, hitting 3 of 5 from 3-point range, and five assists. Sophomore Alex Davis had 12 points.
The Blue Dragons shot 54.9 percent for the game (28 of 51), hitting 7 of 12 from 3-point range and 23 of 36 from the foul line. Cloud County out-rebounded Hutchinson 41-30 and the Blue Dragons turned the ball over 15 times.
Cloud County shot 40.8 percent (29 of 71) overall, going 6 of 22 from 3-point range and 12 of 12 from the free-throw line. The Thunderbirds (14-15, 6-10) had 16 turnovers.
Marcus Fillyaw had 20 game-high points to lead Cloud County. Edward Dyson finished with 18, while Connor McDaniel had three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points.
The first three HCC baskets of the game and 4 of the first 5 were from long range and Spencer and Campbell had two 3-pointers each as part of the Blue Dragons building an early 16-10 lead with 13:23 to play. The Thunderbirds closed within 21-20 after two Gerrae Williams free throws with 9:18 to go.
Allen, Davis and Campbell all scored on consecutive possessions to rebuild the HCC lead to 27-20 with 6:55 to go. The game got a bit ugly for HCC for the remainder of the first half.
The Thunderbirds closed the half on a 15-3 run as HCC went without a field goal for five minutes. McDaniel’s 3-pointer gave the Thunderbirds a 31-28 lead and they carried that into a 35-30 halftime lead.
The Blue Dragons wasted no time in the second half to respond. Davis scored inside, Allen scored in transition and Campbell buried a 3-pointer to help HCC regain the lead at 37-35 with 18:37 to play. That was the first of five-straight lead changes over the next 1 minute, 8 seconds. Trailing, Campbell hit a jumper for a 41-40 lead with 16:29 remaining.
An Allen 3-pointer with 12:04 remaining gave Hutchinson a 51-42 lead. Two Allen free throws with 10:02 to play pushed the HCC lead to 58-46. But the Blue Dragons could never rid themselves of the Thunderbirds. The game never got down to two possessions, but HCC was far from secure until the final minutes.
A Derek Henry 3-pointer with 1:24 to play pulled Cloud County within 78-72 with 1:24 left. A Rozell Nunn basket made it a three possession game again, but Fillyaw scored inside to make it 80-74 with 1:03 to play.
The Blue Dragons sealed their 27th victory of the season by converting 3 of 4 free throws on a Flagrant I violation whistled on McDaniel and a subsequent technical foul on the T-Bird bench. The Blue Dragons also got the ball back and made it a game-clinching five-point play after Allen scored to make it 85-74 with 41 seconds to play.
The Blue Dragons will close out the 2013 regular season this week with road games on Sunday at Pratt and Wednesday at Seward County in what could be a one-game showdown for the Jayhawk West championship.
GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 41-16 all-time vs. Cloud County, including 23-2 at the Sports Arena. … This was all-time victory No. 1,623 for Hutchinson. … Alex Davis moved within 11 blocked shots of setting the career record He now has 141 blocks. … The 2012-13 Blue Dragons moved into second place in team history with 156 rejections. … The Blue Dragons are now 20-1 at the Sports Arena. … HCC is now 2-1 when trailing at halftime. … The Blue Dragons are 13-0 when shooting 50 percent or better. … The seven 3-poitners tie for second most this season. … HCC’s nine blocked shots are fourth most this season. … This was Kadeem Allen’s second 30-point game in his Blue Dragon career. … The 56 points in the second half is a Blue Dragon season high.