Calvin Men’s Basketball Team Explodes For 72-52 First Round NCAA III Tournament Win at Rose-Hulman
Saturday, March 02, 2013
Story by Mitch Blankespoor
TERRE HAUTE, IN – In the only matchup of top 20 teams, the 12th ranked Calvin Knights took on the 19th ranked Fightin’ Engineers of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Playing against the nation’s top scoring defense, Calvin remained unfazed, exploding for 47 second half points en route to a 72-52 first round NCAA III Tournament victory at Rose-Hulman Sat. night. Calvin will travel to Wisconsin-Stevens Point (22-5) next Saturday for a a second round game. The game time has been set for 8 p.m. (EST).
Rose-Hulman took an 11-7 early lead behind three triples from junior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis, IN/Pike).
Calvin responded with a 16-4 run culminating with back-to-back jumpers from senior Bryan Powell (Wyoming/Wyoming Park) to give the Knights a 23-15 lead with 4:49 remaining in the first half.
The Fightin’ Engineers fought back with an 8-0 run of its own to tie the game up at 23 with a minute remaining in the first half. Calvin junior center Tyler Kruis (Grandville/Calvin Christian) hit a 15-foot jumper from the far baseline to give the Knights a 25-23 lead at the break.
Strickland led all scorers at halftime with 11 points on 4-7 shooting. Senior forward Tom Snikkers (Jenison/Unity Christian) led Calvin with nine points while Powell chipped in eight.
Coming into the contest, Rose-Hulman led the country in points against, surrendering just 51.0 points per game. The host Fightin’ Engineers were on pace keep Calvin under that margin – until the second half.
Calvin began by feeding the ball to Snikkers in the post, who delivered on the Knights’ first two possessions. The Knights continued to add to its lead until a half-court alley-oop pass from senior point guard David Rietema (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian) found sophomore forward Tyler Dykstra (Holland/Holland Christian) for a layup. Calvin led 45-34 with 11:44 remaining.
Calvin’s offensive explosion continued. The Knights shot 18-22 from the field in the second half, and cruised to the victory.
“Calvin shoots. The net moves,” said Rose-Hulman head coach Jim Shaw in a post-game press conference. “Calvin was a tough matchup for us.”
Snikkers led the Knights with 20 points on 9-14 shooting. He also grabbed five rebounds, dished out four assists and picked off two passes.
“We knew coming in that Rose-Hulman was a great defensive team,” said Snikkers. “We just tried to be patient on offense and take good shots.”
Powell finished with 16 points and three assists coming off the bench. Junior Mickey De Vries (Lansing/Lansing Christian) finished with 11 points on a perfect 4-4 from the field.
“I think we got the jitters out in the first half,” said Powell. “After we hit a couple threes, that forced them [Rose-Hulman] to come out and guard the perimeter. Our bigs did a great job once the space opened up.”
Rose-Hulman was led by Strickland with 17 points. The Fightin’ Engineers conclude their season with a 24-4 record.
As a team, Calvin shot 60.9 percent from the field including a blistering 81.8 (18-22) in the second half. The Knights came into the contest leading the country in rebounding margin (+12.2) and lived up to that ranking. Calvin outrebounded Rose-Hulman 33-22. The Calvin bench also outscored Rose-Hulman 37-11.
“We have about seven guys who can play a majority of the minutes, but our depth has been great all year long,” said Calvin head coach Kevin Vande Streek. “We did a great job of getting easy baskets in transition.”
The 72 points scored by the Knights were the most given up by the Fightin’ Engineers all season.
Calvin, now 25-3, will face Wisconsin-Stevens Point next Sat. in a second round game at a sight yet to be determined.