Calvin men’s basketball dominates Hope, largest margin of victory in more than 20 years
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It was a game for the history books.
Calvin’s 75-49 win over Hope was the largest margin of victory by the Knights over the Flying Dutchmen since 1990. It was also the lowest scoring output by Hope versus Calvin since Calvin’s 85-43 win over Hope during the 1951-52 season.
For the 4,503 people who filled the packed-out and loud Van Noord Arena to see the 183rd Calvin-Hope rivalry game, it was certainly not a nail-biter.
Calvin started the game with a commanding 12-2 lead after five minutes of play. Calvin head coach Kevin Vande Streek said that the Knights’ energy at the beginning set the tone for the rest of the game.
“I would say very often, who starts that first 2 to 3 minutes sets the tone, especially in a Hope-Calvin game,” said Vande Streek. “Our guys were ready to go and they played hard and just kept going.”
At halftime, the Knights led by a dominating 24 points, 43-19. But in the first minutes after the half, Hope surged, going on a 7-0 run against Calvin, making the score 43-26.
The momentum was short-lived, and the Knights quickly recouped, leading by 64-37 with less than 10 minutes to go in the second half. At that point in the game, Calvin’s top three scorers alone were beating Hope 40-37.
Calvin’s largest lead of the game was 34, and Hope never led. But coach Vande Streek told his players not to worry about the score.
“I told the guys, ‘don’t be scoreboard watchers,’” said Vande Streek. “You don’t want to relax if you’re ahead, and you don’t want to pout if you’re behind.”
Jordan Brink was the leading scorer for the Knights with 16 points. Tom Snikkers, who was 3-5 for 3-pointers, had 13 points for the Knights. Vande Streek was happy with the boosts from Snikkers’ 3-pointers, and he also commended David Rietema and Bryan Powell for their performances.
“I thought Tom made a couple of really big 3’s,” said Vande Streek. “Even though I thought we were playing well, when you have someone like that step up, it gives everyone a little more sense of calm and determination.”
Snikkers said it was fun to be a part of the Knights’ landslide victory.
“It was a good feeling,” said Snikkers. “It’s my fourth year here, and seeing the students out, it was a lot of fun to be a part of.”
Sophomore guard Jordan Brink was pleasantly surprised by the Knights’ large margin of victory. He also commended the seniors for their leadership.
“Our seniors did a really good job talking with us, keeping us level-headed,” said Brink. “I don’t think anyone expected to win by 30. We know they’re a good team and we’re a good team. We had confidence going in, but I don’t think anyone expected that.”
Junior forward Mickey DeVries had 11 rebounds for the Knights. Coach Vande Streek was pleased with DeVries’ performance.
“Mickey has really found his niche, and it’s a big one to fill for us,” said Vande Streek.
While Hope head coach Matt Neil was disappointed by the game’s outcome, he was not shocked by the Knights’ victory.
“I don’t think it’s any surprise,” said Neil. “The team that controls the glass is going to win the game…they [Calvin] absolutely controlled the glass and that gave them the great margin they had at the end of the half.”
When it comes down to it, it is the heart and passion of the players that really makes the difference, said Neil.
“I’m still proud of my kids today,” Neil said. “But I thought they [Calvin] played with more heart than our team today.”
Neil hopes that their team will recover after the defeat and press onward.
“I think they’re a very, very good team,” Neil said. “They’re huge, they have kids who can shoot…I thought Mickey DeVries was huge in the glass today…but the nicest thing is that it’s done and we can move on…our focus is not going to be so much on Olivet [this weekend] as it is on the Flying Dutchmen.”
Senior Hope starting guard Colton Overway concurred, saying that the team will have to move on after their crushing defeat by Calvin.
“First of all, we have to learn from our mistakes,” said Hope’s starting guard Colton Overway. “We had a pretty slow start, but I believe in my coaches, and teammates…we just gotta move on and move forward…we gotta do what we gotta do tomorrow to get better.”
With the victory, Calvin’s season record improved to 14-2. For the first time since the 2007-08 season, the Knights are ranked in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll. They were ranked 21 before their victory against Hope, but this win may provide them a boost in the rankings.
The Knights hope to continue their winning streak when they compete against Trine this Saturday.