Apr 02, 2024

🏀 WBB: NATIONAL CHAMPS; HutchCC wins first title in program history

Posted Apr 02, 2024 4:50 AM
Photo Courtesy Steve Carpenter/HutchCC Sports Information
Photo Courtesy Steve Carpenter/HutchCC Sports Information

Courtesy of HutchCC Sports Information

CASPER, Wyoming – Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball was indeed golden on Monday night.

Trailing by six points with 2:32 to play in the fourth quarter, the top-seeded Blue Dragons were able to force overtime and then dominate the extra session, outscoring defending national champion Northwest Florida State 19-11 in overtime, win the program’s first national championship with an 88-80 victory in the 2024 NJCAA Division I Women’s Tournament.

The Blue Dragons complete the season 37-0, a school record for wins, longest winning streak and best start to a season.

Freshman Kiki Smith was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. She scored a 23 points to lead the Blue Dragons on 10 of 16 shooting with a 3-pointer.

Sophomore Journey Armstead and freshman Hailey Jackson were both named to the All-Tournament team.

Jackson had a team and career-high 25 points. Armstead had 11 points and three assists before fouling out with 5:09 to play in the fourth quarter.

Monae Duffy had 10 points and 9 rebounds.

The Blue Dragons led by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, but Northwest Florida State rallied to take a 55-53 lead and led 68-62 with 2:27 to play.

The Dragons rallies back, closing with a 7-1 run, getting three free throws from Hailey Jackson with 0.7 seconds to play to tie the game at 69-all.

In overtime, Akaysha Muggeridge, Jackson and Smith scored on consecutive possessions for a 77-71 lead and upped the lead to eight at 81-73 on a Muggeridge hoop with 1:18 to go.

The Blue Dragons were 6 of 6 shooting from the floor and 7 of 10 from the foul line in overtime. Northwest Florida State was 5 of 12.

The Blue Dragon win their first national title in women’s basketball, second women’s national championship and 10th overall national championship.