Beaver Defense Almost Ties up Hutch Dragons
Hitting one of twenty-seven shots in the first nine minutes would put most teams in an unfathomable hole, but Pratt played enough defense to hole Hutch to only 23 percent shooting in a very strange beginning to a very strange game. Despite their shooting woes, the Beavers cut their deficit to nine with less than five minutes to play before eventually bowing out at 83-66.
Pratt actually shot the ball over 100 times in the game, hitting just 28 percent. They were only 3 of 28 from beyond the arc. Many of those attempts came courtesy of a 25 offensive rebound effort, despite very limited minutes from a foul plagued Illi Baldwin.
Neither team could do much offensively, resulting in 98 total rebounds. Pratt did get three players in double figures, with Tyrone Gordon and Michael Tyler each scoring 18, and Denodo Eiland hitting 12. Those numbers were eclipsed, however, by Hutch's D.J. Odem, who had a game high 37.
With 13 minutes gone in the first half, Pratt only had 8 points, but as woeful as they were offensively, Hutch returned the favor in the second half by missing 8 of 11 free throws in a stretch that saw Pratt cut the lead to 10.
Pratt turned up the defense early in the second half, getting two steals and a turnover in less than a minute. Denodo Eiland than hit the first three of the team's 16 attempts, followed by another Hutch turnover, and a Brett Crittenden three.
Hearn then converted a three point play, and suddenly it was a 13 point contest. Pratt kept up a full court press, which gave Hutch fits. That's when Hutch went into their Shaq imitation at the charity stripe.
Eiland hit a big three with 7 minutes left, to make it 52-61, the first single digit difference since early in the game. But Hutch answered with an Odem three.
It was pretty much Tyler and Eiland the rest of the way for Pratt, and it still looked promising with less than three minutes, when Pratt's press forced two Hutch turnovers in rapid succession. But Pratt converted only one of those, then Odem took over to spread the margin in the last two minutes.
It was a remarkable comeback for Pratt, given their 41-20 halftime deficit. However, shooting 28 percent will not win many games in the Jayhawk.
With the loss, Pratt falls to 3-4 in conference and 13-8 overall. Hutch improved to 5-2, 16-5. Pratt will return home to host Barton on Saturday at 8:00pm.