Calvin Women’s Basketball Escapes Alma With 65-62 Win - To Host Olivet in MIAA Tourney
Saturday, February 20, 2010
ALMA - The Calvin women’s basketball team escaped Alma with a 65-62 victory Saturday afternoon. Ranked 11th nationally in one poll and 10th in another, Calvin trailed 59-56 with 3:20 left to play but a bucket inside by freshman Carissa Verkaik (Holland Christian HS) and a clutch triple by freshman Leah Mattson (Cadillac HS) moments later gave the Knights a 61-59 advantage with 1:57 left on the clock.
Verkaik then blocked an Alma layup attempt, grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Verkaik proceeded to hit a pair of free throws to put the Knights up 63-59 with 46 seconds left. Alma was able to hit a free throw with 27 seconds remaining and followed with a layup seconds later to trail just 63-62. Calvin senior Amber Benthem then proceeded to hit two free throws with 11 seconds remaining to put the Knights up by three. Alma proceeded to put up a triple in the closing seconds that was off the mark, allowing the Knights to avert the upset.
Calvin led 30-29 at halftime and led by as many as seven points but could never pull away as the Scots (6-19 overall, 5-11 MIAA) hung tough in the second half, connecting on 51.9 percent of their shots over the final 20 minutes.
Calvin shot 40.4 percent overall including 44.4 percent in the second half.
Calvin was led in scoring by Verkaik who tallied 18 points to go with eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Senior Brook Van Eck had 11 points and four rebounds while freshman Allison Wolffis (Muskegon-Mona Shores HS) had 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Benthem also had eight points and four assists.
Alma was led in scoring by Lauren Hasler with 16 points while Sydney Beckwith had 15 points. Kathryn Bigelow also had six points and 10 rebounds for the Scots.
Calvin also excelled at the free throw line, connecting on 18 of 21 from the stripe while Alma was just 5 of 12. Wolffis was 6 of 6 from the free throw line.
With her 18 points on Saturday, Verkaik claimed the 2010 MIAA scoring title, finishing with 296 points, 51 points ahead of Beckwith who claimed the runner-up spot. Verkaik also finished the MIAA conference season with 60 blocked shots for a season average of 3.75, breaking the previous MIAA single-season record of 2.9 shared by Ann Terpstra of Adrian (1998) and Andrea MacDonald of Calvin (2003).
Calvin will now prepare to host a first round MIAA Tournament game Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against Olivet at Van Noord Arena. Calvin will enter the game as the number-two seed while Olivet is the number-seven seed.
MIAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SCORING CHAMPIONS FROM CALVIN
Sharon Boeve (1983)
Kim Bartman (1992)
Robyn Fennema (2000)
Carissa Verkaik (2010)