Calvin Women’s Basketball Team Claims 72-59 Win Over Hope
Saturday, January 07, 2012
By Sports Information Student Assistant Mark DeHaan
Wins on Wednesday for both Calvin and Hope set up a game for first place in the MIAA Saturday afternoon at Van Noord Arena. Calvin came into the game 12-0 and 5-0 conference while Hope was 13-1 and 5-0 in conference.
Ranked fourth nationally in the latest polls, Calvin jumped out to an early 9-1 lead on a corner three-point shot by senior Jill Thomas to force an early timeout by Hope Head Coach Brian Morehouse.
Calvin played strong defense early on, forcing Hope into tough shots and 1-for-14 shooting to open the game, including 0-for-6 from behind the three-point arc. The Knights, on the other hand, opened up the match shooting 8-of-16 from the floor.
The Knights built a lead as large as 13 before an 8-0 run by Hope capped by a three-point shot by junior Courtney Kust cut the Calvin lead to 22-17.
Calvin responded over the final four minutes of the half on a 10-2 run to extend its lead to 32-19 at the break. Balance was the key for the Knights offensively in the first half as six players had at least four points for Calvin.
Ranked 12th nationally, Hope opened the second half playing much stronger, but Calvin would respond as senior Courtney Kurncz would hit a pair of shots to extend the Knights lead to 38-22.
Over the final 17 minutes, Hope would continue to fight, drawing within nine points multiple times with Calvin responding each time.
The Knights iced the game at the free-throw line en route to a 72-59 victory, with freshmen Kayla Engelhard hitting 10-for-12 at the stripe in the second half on her way to a career-high 16 point performance. Engelhard also had seven assists in the game. Two players for the Knights had double-doubles, as junior Carissa Verkaik had 13 points and 12 rebounds while Kurncz had 15 points and 10 boards.
Hope was led on offense by senior Maddie Burnett, who scored 18 points. Hope’s leading scoring, junior Liz Ellis, added 12 points but was 0-for-6 from three-point range.
“The whole key was getting after it defensively in the first half,” said Head Coach John Ross. “We did a good job holding our composure, we have a lot of great individuals in our program and a lot of hard workers.”
The Knights remain undefeated with a 13-0 record, 6-0 in the MIAA. The loss pushes Hope to 13-2 on the year and 5-1 in the MIAA.
The 72-59 win was the first double-digit win for the Calvin women over Hope since January 24, 2004, Ross’s first season as Head Coach.