HUTCHINSON, Kan. – In a battle for first place in the Jayhawk West and two Top 10 teams, the No. 8 Seward County women's basketball team came out on top in Hutchinson against the Blue Dragons 70-54 to hand Hutchinson their first loss of the season.
The Blue Dragons were in control from the early going. Hutchinson connected on their first three baskets before Karolina Szydlowska connected on a three for the first Seward basket of the night. The Blue Dragons pushed their lead to 13-5 before Silvia Veloso took over defensively, coming away with three straight steals to make it a three-point game. Seward kept it close the rest of the quarter, but still trailed 24-20 after the first.
After going down six points to start the second, the Lady Saints battled their way back into the game, tying it at 31 with a Veloso steal and Szydlowska fast break bucket. Hutchinson quickly regained their advantage, making three straight baskets to go up by six points. Seward went the final five minutes without making a field goal, but kept in the game, trailing just 39-33 at the half.
After a rough few possessions to open the third quarter and falling behind eight points, the Lady Saints found their groove, scoring six straight to cut the lead to two points again. Carla Covane made a nice post move to tie the game at 41. The trend of the game continued, as the Blue Dragons made two baskets to prevent Seward from taking the lead. A three pointer in the wing by Kalen Green tied the game again before Szydlowska made a reverse layup to give Seward their second lead of the day. A basket just before the buzzer tied the game at 47 as the teams headed into the fourth quarter.
Seward came out determined to start the fourth quarter, pushing their lead to seven points with a Lexi Hernandez three from the left wing. Hernandez drilled another three on the next possession to make it a ten-point game. The lead reached 15 points moments later with another three from Hernandez. Seward held onto the lead for the rest of the game, beating the Blue Dragons 70-54.
Seward shot 38.7 percent (24-for-62) from the field and 35 percent (7-for-20) from deep. The Blue Dragons were held to 34.9 percent (22-for-63) from the floor and just 23.5 percent (4-for-17) from behind the arc. The Blue Dragons were held to just six field goals in the second half. Seward was outrebounded 43-36 but forced 25 Hutchinson turnovers compared to their 15.
Three Lady Saints scored in double-figures, led by Silvia Veloso's incredible 23-point, seven steal performance. She also finished with six rebounds. Lexi Hernandez scored 12 points, with nine coming in the final quarter. Karolina Szydlowska finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Seward will be back in action on Wednesday when they host Garden City at 6:00 p.m. in the Greenhouse. Tickets are available for free thanks to our sponsor Best Western Plus and Flooring America.