PURCELL BREAKS REBOUND RECORD AS LADY DRAGONS ROLL BY BARTON
GREAT BEND - Freshman Kalani Purcell is the third sister from her New Zealand family to play for the Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team. On Wednesday at Barton, the Lady Dragon forward did one-upped sisters Natalie and Hailey in a big way.
Purcell broke the Lady Dragon single-game record with 22 rebounds as the No. 3 Lady Dragons overcame a sluggish start to defeat Barton 78-52 in a Jayhawk West battle at the Barton Gym.
Purcell broke the 2009 record of Ariella McGhee, who had 20 rebounds against Seward County on Jan. 3, 2009. Purcell tied Dodge City's Kesha Buckner for the most rebounds by a Jayhawk Conference player this season. Purcell's performance helped Hutchinson earn a decisive 57-30 advantage on the boards.
With three steals, Purcell joined the Lady Dragon single-season steals Top 10. She is 10th with 75 steals for the season. Purcell added nine points four assists and two blocked shots.
Now 20-0 to start the season, this is the fourth time in program history that the Hutch women have started a season at least 20-0. The 2011-12 national runner-up team opened 36-0. The 1976-77 national fourth-place team started 23-0 and last year's national third-place team opened with 23 consecutive victories to start the season.
Hutchinson (6-0 Jayhawk West) found itself in a struggle in the first half with 11 turnovers. Trailing 17-14 with 9:46 to play, freshman Chelsea Dewey sparked the Lady Dragons off the bench with 11 first-half points. She scored the first six points of a decisive 20-1 Hutchinson run that turned that three-point deficit into a 34-18 lead with 2:06 to play in the opening half.
Sophomore Jamie Patrick led Hutchinson in scoring with 17 points, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and going 5 of 6 from the foul line. Patrick added five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Dewey finished with 13 points. Sophomore Jen'Von'Ta Hill tallied 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. Purcell and sophomore Kiarra Jones had nine points each and freshman Shakira Harding had eight points.
The Lady Dragons had to survive 23 turnovers, the second most in a game this season. HCC just missed shooting 50 percent or better for the third-straight game. HCC shot 29 of 59 (49.2 percent), hitting 6 of 15 from 3-point range and a cool 14 of 27 from the free-throw line.
Hutchinson's defense never let Barton (15-7, 3-3 Jayhawk West) get comfortable. The Cougars shot just 28.1 percent for the game (16 of 57), hitting 5 of 16 from 3-point range and 15 of 30 from the free-throw line. Barton had 14 turnovers.
Mariana Lambert came off the bench to sink four 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 15 points.
Turnovers were a key issue during Hutchinson's sluggish start against Barton. HCC had 11 first-half turnovers, but the Cougars weren't able to capitalize on the miscues by scoring just six first-half points from HCC turnovers.
A Purcell 3-pointer gave Hutch an early 10-4 advantage with 14:11 to play. Barton answered with the help turnover-prone HCC over the next seven minutes. An Ashton Bruner steal and layup gave Barton its first lead at 13-12 with 11:07 to play. That was in the midst of an overall 13-4 Cougar run that saw Barton take a 17-14 lead with 9:46 remaining in the half.
That's when Dewey ignited the Lady Dragons. Her free throws at the 7:02 mark capped a personal 6-0 run and gave HCC the lead for good at 18-17. That also started a run of 15 unanswered points over a stretch of 6 minutes, 20 seconds. Dewey's layup with 3:22 to play capped the run and HCC led 29-17.
Overall in the first half, HCC's game-changing run was 20-1. Dewey canned a 3-pointer and Patrick scored in transition to boost the margin to 34-18. The Lady Dragons led 38-25 at halftime.
The Lady Dragons quickly put thoughts of a second-half comeback to rest by scoring the first eight points of the period. Hill hit 1 of 2 free throws to hand HCC a 46-25 lead with 17:44 to go in the game.
Hutchinson had another 9-0 run to lead 59-30 with 12:34 to play. The largest lead of the game was 30 on two different occasions at 66-36 and 68-38.
Hutchinson shot 50 percent in the second half (13 of 26) while holding Barton to 25 percent (7 of 28).
The Lady Dragons wrapped up a two-game road trip on Wednesday and will return home to play Dodge City for Pink-Out Night on Saturday. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
GAME NOTES - The Lady Dragons held their 122nd consecutive opponent to less than 50 percent shooting. … Dating back to last season, HCC has won 21-straight games. … The 2014 sophomores moved into sole possession of fourth place in wins by a sophomore class with 56. … This was the 14th time this season that HCC had held an opponent to less than 30 percent shooting. … This was HCC's 13th game this season of 50-plus rebounds. … This is Hutchinson's 24th 20-win season in the program's 40-year history.