Calvin Uses Kruis Control to Defeat Alma - Remains in First Place in MIAA Standings
Saturday, February 01, 2014
By Mark DeHaan
The Calvin men’s basketball team hosted the Scots of Alma on Saturday afternoon, looking to extend its win streak to six games. The Knights came into the game at 14-4 overall and 6-1 in conference while Alma was 3-14 and 2-4 in the MIAA.
. After trailing by two at halftime, Calvin outscored the Scots by 13 in the second half to claim a 78-67 win, the 350th win at Calvin for head coach Kevin Vande Streek.
Alma came out and held early leads at 9-6 and 11-8, with each time the Knights tying the game.
Calvin regained the lead with 8:43 remaining as sophomore Jordan Daley hit a corner three for a 16-13 Knights advantage.
With 3:13 left in the first half, Calvin took its largest lead of the first half at 23-19. But, with just over a minute to go, back-to-back threes from the Scots gave the advantage back to Alma.
At halftime, Alma held a 29-27 edge.
Junior Jordan Brink led the Knights with 9 points at the half while senior Mickey DeVries added six.
Out of the break, senior Tyler Kruis hit the first basket of the second half for the 1000th point of his career.
Kruis continued to play strong in the post, and through five and a half minutes of second half play, he had 10 points in the second half, giving Calvin a 43-39 edge.
The Scots responded by hitting three of their next four three-point attempts to take a 50-48 advantage.
A 12-0 run the Knights, capped by back-to-back threes from Brink and sophomore Austin Parks, then gave Calvin its first double-digit lead of the game at 60-50 with 9:20 remaining.
After holding as much as a 12 point lead at 66-54, Alma came back to cut Calvin’s lead to 68-62 with 3:47 left.
That was as close as the Scots would come, though, as the Knights iced the game at the free throw line and closed out a 78-67 victory.
The Knights shot 67% in the second half, including 5-of-7 from behind the three-point arc. Calvin outrebounded Alma 33-29 for the game, while also forcing the Scots into 13 turnovers.
Brink led Calvin with 21 points while Kruis added 18 and six rebounds. Daley tied a career-high with 17 points. The 18 points by Kruis moves him into 21st on the Calvin career scoring list with 1011 points.
For the Scots, DJ Beckman led all scorers with 31 points. Isiah Law was the only other Alma player in double figures, scoring 19.
“Two things I have grown to expect in conference play: one, it is never easy, and two, we are going to get everybody’s best game, that is just the way it is. I loved our mentality. We just kept our nose to the grindstone, made a few shots in the second half, and did a nice job down the stretch,” said head coach Kevin Vande Streek. “That’s a really neat thing (for Kruis to score 1000 points). It takes a long and successful career. And, it’s no coincidence that in the second half he started making shots and we pulled away.”
Calvin improves to 15-4 and holds on to first place in the MIAA with a 7-1 conference record. Alma drops to 3-15 and 2-5 in league-play.
The Knights now look forward to Wednesday when they travel to Holland and the DeVos Fieldhouse for the second rivalry matchup of the season against Hope College. Wednesday’s game against the Flying Dutchmen is scheduled to tipoff at 8 p.m.