REGION VI CHAMPION LADY DRAGONS OPEN NJCAA TOURNAMENT WITH NOC-ENID
The Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team finally makes its 2014 NJCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament debut on Wednesday on Day No. 3 of the tournament when the No. 3-ranked and seeded Lady Dragons play Northern-Oklahoma College-Enid in a second-round contest at 5 p.m. at Salina's Bicentennial Center.
The game will be videostreamed on NJCAATV.com. The Blue Dragon Sports Network will provide an audio-only stream and live stats. KHMY-FM (93.1) will broadcast the game live beginning at 4:45 p.m.
Hutchinson (32-0) is one of the top eight national seeds to receive an opening-round bye. The Lady Dragons, winners of 33 consecutive games dating back to last season's NJCAA Tournament consolation game victory over Gulf Coast State, earned a nationals berth for the third-straight season and fourth time in five seasons with a 54-52 victory over Butler in the Region VI championship game on March 8.
Region II Champion NOC-Enid (21-11) is the 19th overall seed in the tournament. The Jets advanced to the second round on Tuesday with a 74-63 victory over 14th seed and zone qualifier Eastern Arizona College.
The Lady Dragons are making their fifth overall appearance in the NJCAA Women's Tournament, joining the 1977, 2009, 2012 and 2013 teams. The 2012 Lady Dragons advanced to the championship game. Last year, HCC reached the Final Four, but lost and defeated Gulf Coast State College in the consolation game.
NOC-Enid is making its third nationals appearances also playing in 2010 and 2011.
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 10-6 record in the NJCAA Tournament. The Lady Dragons are 1-1 in third-place games and 2-2 in consolation games.
Hutch is third seed for 2014 women's tournament
The Region VI champion Lady Dragons drew the No. 3 overall seed for the 2014 NJCAA Women's Division I National Tournament at the Bicentennial Center in Salina.
With the new tournament format - the second year of the 24-team single-elimination format - Hutchinson (32-0) is seeded third behind familiar national tournament foes Trinity Valley Community College (32-1) and Chipola College (31-1).
Both the NJCAA men's and women's tournament went through a dramatic format change in 2013. The Division I tournaments changed from a 16-team false double-elimination format to the new 24-team single-elimination field. The 16 district champions, four at-large teams and four zone teams make up the 24-team field. The four at-large teams were non-district champions selected from all over the country. The four zone teams are six randomly drawn regions - the zone qualifiers will rotate to a different set of six regions each year - which make up the final four teams of the tournament.
The top eight seeds all receive an opening-round bye. After Trinity Valley, Chipola and Hutchinson, Walters State (32-0), Central Arizona (29-2), College of Southern Idaho (29-3), Shelton State College (30-3) and South Georgia Tech (30-4) are the top eight seeds.
Hutchinson and Region VI runner-up Butler are representing Region VI in this year's tournament field.
HCC wins 5th Region VI women's championship
Under HCC head coach John Ontjes, the Lady Dragons have won four Region VI championships and three in a row.
The road to the program's fifth regional title and berth in the NJCAA Women's Tournament started with a 105-33 opening-round victory over Allen on March 1 at the Sports Arena.
The Lady Dragons then defeated Independence 70-53 in the quarterfinals on March 5 and dispatched Garden City in the semifinals 68-56.
A season-long anticipated matchup occurred in the finals on March 8 when HCC met Jayhawk East and No. 6-ranked Butler in the finals at Koch Arena. HCC won the intense battle 54-52.
Sophomore Jen'Von'Ta Hill was named Tournament MVP with Jamie Patrick, Briana Starks and Kalani Purcell also being named to the All-Tournament team.
Hutch has now won regional championships in 1977, 2009, 2012, 2013 and this season.
Noting The Lady Dragons
+ The Lady Dragons enter the NJCAA Tournament scoring 79.6 points per game offensively. HCC is shooting 47.6 percent overall, 34.9 percent from 3-point range and 65.1 percent from the free-throw line. HCC is averaging 4.75 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 49.6 points per game. Opponents are shooting 30.2 percent overall and 25.0 percent from distance.
+ In four postseason games, HCC is averaging 74.3 points per game offensively, shooting 51.4 percent overall, 39.1 percent from 3-point range and 62.8 percent at the foul line. Defensively, the Lady Dragons are allowing 48.5 points, 33.3 percent from the field and 32.7 percent from distance.
+ All-Jayhawk West first-team guard Jamie Patrick is HCC's leading scorer at 17.4 points per contest. Patrick is shooting 54.4 percent overall. She has a team-high 55 3-pointers and is shooting 39.2 percent 3-point range. Patrick is shooting a team-high 80.2 percent at the free-throw line. Patrick averages 6.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
+ Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year Kalani Purcell is averaging a double-double with 12.7 points and 10.1 rebounds in her freshman season. Purcell has 18 games of 10 or more rebounds and a team-high 14 double-doubles this season. Purcell is shooting 51.6 percent from the field. Now No. 2 on the single-season steals list with 119, Purcell also is second on the team with 122 assists and a team-high 45 blocks.
+ Sophomore point guard Jen'Von'Ta Hill, a second-team all-conference performer and Region VI Tournament MVP, is averaging 10.9 points per game. She is shooting 38.7 percent overall, 27.0 percent from 3-point range and 59.9 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 164 assists. She is second on the team in steals with 90.
+ Sophomore forward Kiarra Jones was the Jayhawk West leader in field-goal percentage at 56.3 percent. She is averaging 7.6 points and 5.7 rebounds.
+ Sophomore Briana Starks is averaging 8.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Starks is averaging 9.0 points and shooting 48 percent from the field in four postseason games.
+ Freshman Shakira Harding averages 8.0 points per game. Second on the team in made 3-pointers, Harding has improved her shooting performance from long range to 39.4 percent. She shoots 74.3 percent at the free-throw line. She is averaging 10.8 points in postseason play.
+ Freshman Chelsea Dewey is averaging 6.6 points and 2.3 rebounds.
+ The Lady Dragons have out-rebounded all 32 opponents this season. HCC is averages 46.6 rebounds per game, including 14.9 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 31.7 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 16.9 times per game, although just 15.8 turnovers in Region VI play. HCC forces 21.4 turnovers per game. Shockingly, opponents haven't been able to take full advantage of the Lady Dragon miscues. Opponents have averaged only 10.5 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.
+ The Jets are making their third NJCAA Women's Tournament appearance, also participating in 2010 and 2011.
+ NOC-Enid won Region II and is 21-11 heading into Wednesday's tournament game. The Jets are 4-3 against Jayhawk Conference teams; all seven games came against teams from the Eastern Division.
+ NOC-Enid had three players post double-doubles in its 74-67 opening-round victory on Tuesday over Eastern Arizona College. Rylie Swanson had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Tierra Coffey had 13 points and 20 boards and Breck Clark had 17 points and 10 boards.
+ Offensively, the Jets are averaging 73.6 points per game. They are shooting 39.0 percent overall, 23.8 percent from 3-point range.
+ NOC-Enid leads the nation in free-throw shooting percentage at 73.1 percent and is third in made free throws at 20.3 free throws made per game.
+ Defensively, NOC-Enid is allowing 69.4 points per game. Opponents are shooting 38.9 percent overall and 31.8 percent from 3-point range.
+ Clark is the Jets' leading scorer at 18.5 points per game. She shooting 38.6 percent overall but 34.2 percent on 41 makes 3-pointers this season. Clark shoots 80.8 percent from the foul line. She also averages 6.8 rebounds per game.
+ Swanson averages a double-double at 16.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Swanson shoots 45.1 percent from the floor and 87.3 percent from the free-throw line.
+ Kiarra Moore averages 8.7 points per game.
+ Kori Barrios averages 8.6 points per game and has a team-high 50 3-pointers, shooting 33.1 percent from distance.
+ Tierra Coffey is shooting 44 percent from the field and is averaging 7.0 points per game.
+ The Jets are averaging 38.8 rebounds per contest and allowing 35.4 per game.
+ NOC-Enid averages 10.5 assists and 7.4 steals per game.
+ The Jets turn the ball over an average of 13.6 times per game and force opponents into 14.7 turnovers per game.
Series History vs. NOC-Enid
This will be the first meeting ever between Hutchinson and Northern Oklahoma-Enid.
In team history, the Lady Dragons are 33-16 vs. teams from the state of Oklahoma.