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March 4, 2014

Lady Dragons to meet Independence in Region VI Quarterfinals

Game 30 - Region VI Quarterfinals
No. 3 Hutchinson (29-0) vs. Independence (17-10)
Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Tipoff: 7 p.m.
Site: Charles Koch Arena, Wichita, KS (Capacity: 10,656)
Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9), KWBW-AM/FM (1450/89.5), 6:50 p.m. Glen Grunwald (PBP); Rusty Hilst (analyst)
Internet Video, Live Stats: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 6:50 p.m.
Twitter: @bluedragonsport
Tickets: $10 per day

Lady Dragons to meet Independence in Region VI Quarterfinals on Wednesday

The Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team looks to advance to the Region VI Tournament semifinals for the sixth-straight season, but in order to get there, and old regional adversary awaits in the Independence Pirates.

No. 3-ranked Hutchinson (29-0), the tournament's second overall seed, will take on seventh-seed Independence (17-10) in the fourth of four quarterfinal games at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita.

The game will be videostreamed live by the Blue Dragon Sports Network and broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) beginning at 6:50 p.m.

Hutchinson and Independence will meet in the Region VI Tournament for the 12th time, the most HCC has played any opponent in the regional.

The last time HCC and Indy locked up was the 2012 Region VI championship game at Hartman Arena. HCC won 43-41 and wound up the NJCAA national runner-up.
Prior to last year, Hutch and Indy met six-straight years in regional competition. The Lady Dragons have a 6-5 advantage in the first 11 meetings.

HCC advanced to the quarterfinals defeating Allen 105-33 on Saturday, HCC's largest margin of victory over in a Region VI game. HCC won its 30th game in a row and 99th consecutive game at the Sports Arena.

The Pirates had a much tougher time advancing, but defeated Pratt 78-69 on Saturday.

This will be the second meeting of the season between Hutch and Pratt. The Lady Dragons won 79-49 on Dec. 14 at the Sports Arena.

Lady Dragon history in Region VI Tournament

The Lady Dragons are making their 37th appearance in the Region VI Tournament. Hutchinson is 47-32 all-time in the regional tournament.

Hutchinson has won four regional championships 1977, 2009, 2012 and 2013.
Last season, the Lady Dragons won the program's fourth regional title, defeating Cowley 70-43 in the championship game and advance all the way to the NJCAA Final Four, ultimately finishing third in the tournament.

Only three times have the Lady Dragons failed to appear in the regional tournament. Hutch failed to make the field in 1982 after a 14-11 season and in 1989 after a 17-12 season. Hutch didn't make the 2001 field because of an NJCAA probation.

The Lady Dragons have made five championship-game appearances and 3 in the last 4 years. HCC played Highland in 1977, Cowley County in 1978, Seward County in 2009, Cloud County in 2011, Independence in 2012 and Cowley last season.

HCC is now 28-9 in opening-round games, winning eight in a row. The Lady Dragons are 10-17 in quarterfinal games, 5-5 in semifinal games and 4-1 in championship games.

Before 2009, HCC went 21 seasons without a semifinal appearance.
The Lady Dragons and Independence meet for the 12th time in Region VI play, HCC holds a 6-5 advantage, winning the last four games with the Pirates.
Lady Dragons win 7th Jayhawk West title in 2014

A 73-61 victory over Cloud County on Feb. 19 at Concordia clinched an outright 2014 Jayhawk West women's basketball championship for the Lady Dragons.

The Lady Dragons have captured four-straight Jayhawk West crowns, posting a record of 60-2 over that stretch.

HCC's run of conference titles is second in league history behind Barton County's 12 consecutive titles from 1981 to 1992.

Hutchinson has won women's basketball Jayhawk West championships in 1977, 1978, 1980, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Lady Dragons have completed undefeated conference championship seasons in 1977, 1978, 1989 and 2012.

Noting The Lady Dragons

+ The Lady Dragons enter the Region VI quarterfinals scoring 81.2 points per game offensively. HCC is shooting 47.8 percent overall, 34.8 percent from 3-point range and 65.4 percent from the free-throw line. HCC is averaging 4.83 3-pointers per game.

+ Defensively, HCC has led the Jayhawk Conference all season, leads the NJCAA in field-goal defense and is No. 5 in the country in scoring defense. The Lady Dragons allow 49.2 points per game. Opponents are shooting 29.6 percent overall and 24.3 percent from distance.

+ All-Jayhawk West first-team guard Jamie Patrick is HCC's leading scorer at 17.9 points per contest. Patrick is shooting 54.4 percent overall. She has a team-high 48 3-pointers and is shooting 37.2 percent 3-point range. Patrick is shooting a team-high 80.7 percent at the free-throw line. Patrick averages 5.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.93 steals per game.

+ Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year Kalani Purcell is averaging a double-double with 12.9 points and 10.1 rebounds in her freshman season. Purcell has 16 games of 10 or more rebounds and a team-high 12 double-doubles this season. Purcell is shooting 51.4 percent from the field. Now No. 2 on the single-season steals list with 108, Purcell also is second on the team with 108 assists and a team-high 37 blocks.

+ Sophomore point guard Jen'Von'Ta Hill, a second-team all-conference performer, is averaging 10.8 points per game. She is shooting 37.7 percent overall, 26.9 percent from 3-point range and 61.8 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. 6 in single-season assists with 149 assists. She is second on the team in steals with 82.

+ Sophomore forward Kiarra Jones was the Jayhawk West leader in field-goal percentage at 57.4 percent. She is averaging 8.0 points and 6.0 rebounds.
+ Sophomore Briana Starks is averaging 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Before a 5 of 7 game vs. Allen on Saturday, Starks was shooting just 32 percent over her last six games.

+ Freshman Shakira Harding averages 7.8 points per game. Second on the team in made 3-pointers, Harding has improved her shooting performance from long range to 40.3 percent. She shoots 74.1 percent at the free-throw line.

+ Freshman Chelsea Dewey is averaging 7.1 points and 2.3 rebounds.

+ The Lady Dragons have out-rebounded all 29 opponents this season. HCC is averages 47.7 rebounds per game, including 15.4 offensive boards. HCC has 14 games of 50 or more rebounds this season, which includes a season-high 61 rebounds against Mesa.

+ The Lady Dragons are averaging a league-best 19.8 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, although just 11.5 turnovers over their last four games. HCC forces 22.0 turnovers per game. Shockingly, opponents haven't been able to take full advantage of the Lady Dragon miscues. Opponents have averaged only 10.7 points off HCC turnovers per game.

+ Hutchinson leads the Jayhawk West in team steals at 13.8 steals per game.

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

Scouting Independence
+ First-year Independence head coach Leslie Crane is no stranger to the Jayhawk Conference. From 1993-97, Crane was the head coach at Kansas City, Kansas Community College, where she won the 1997 Region VI championship. Crane has also been a head coach at Western Illinois University and was an assistant coach at the University of Missouri.

+ The Pirates have won three games in a row and 6 of the last 7 games. Independence defeated Pratt 78-69 in the Region VI Tournament opening round on Saturday.

+ This will be Independence's second rematch of the Region VI Tournament. Pratt defeated Indy in double-overtime in November and the Pirates avenged that loss in the first round.

+ The game against HCC on Dec. 14 was a season-low point total.

+ Independence is averaging 75.2 points per game this season. The Pirates are shooting 45.2 percent overall and 30.0 percent from 3-point range, averaging 4.52 makes per game. Indy is shooting 73.2 percent from the free-throw line.

+ Indy has been much better defensively through the Jayhawk East season, now allowing 70.2 points per game. Indy had given up 80 or more points four times in the non-conference, but only twice since the loss to HCC. Opponents are shooting 43.8 percent overall and 31.5 percent from 3-point range.

+ Sabrina Berry is the 19th-leading scorer in the NJCAA at 19.7 points per game. The 6-foot sophomore forward is shooting 55.5 percent from the field and 71.3 percent from the free-throw line. She is averaging a team-best 7.0 rebounds per game.

+ Jasmine Martindale averages 11.6 points , shooting 46.2 percent from the field. She also averages 5.0 rebounds per game.

+ Kelsey Larson averages 10.1 points and shoots 38.2 percent from 3-point range. She averages 5.8 rebounds per game.

+ Deja Robinson averages 9.6 points and 5.9 rebounds, shooting 51.3 percent overall and 73.0 percent at the foul line.

+ Didem Nakas averages 9.1 points and has a team-high 86 assists.
+ Indy out-rebounds opponents 36.2-35.1. The Pirates average 11.5 offensive rebounds.

+ The Pirates average 16.7 assists and 8.6 steals per game.

+ Indy turns the ball over 16.4 times per game and forces 15.6 takeaways.

Series History vs. Independence

This will be the 37th overall meeting, and second this season, between Hutchinson and Independence in a series that started in 1975.

The Lady Dragons own a 25-11 overall series advantage over Independence, winning seven in a row and 12 times in the last 13 meetings.

Hutchinson is 8-2 vs. Independence in games played at the Sports Arena. The teams are 6-5 in Region VI matchups.

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