Late Three-Point Surge Lifts Calvin Men’s Basketball Team to 69-65 Win at Trine
Saturday, February 15, 2014
By Mark DeHaan
The Calvin men’s basketball team traveled to Trine University on Saturday afternoon, looking to build on a two-game win streak as the Knights look forward to the MIAA Tournament just two weeks away. Calvin came in at 9-2 in the MIAA and in second place, while Trine entered as the third-place team in conference at 7-4. With the win, Calvin clinches a homecourt spot for the MIAA Tournament semifinals.
Despite trailing for much of the second half, the Knights ended the game on a 10-3 run in the final two minutes to claim a 69-65 comeback win.
Calvin started off the game by looking to senior Tyler Kruis on the post. Kruis scored six of the Knights opening eight points to take an 8-2 advantage just minutes in.
The Thunder then whittled down Calvin’s lead to two on multiple occasions, but the Knights continued to hold the lead.
Sophomore Austin Parks then hit a three with 5:47 left as Calvin took its largest lead of the first half at 30-22. Unfortunately for the Knights, they scored only two points the rest of the half while Trine scored 13 to take a 35-32 Thunder lead at the break.
Kruis led the Knights with 10 points at half.
In the second half, the Thunder expanded their lead out of the break. A three-pointer by Will Dixon gave Trine a 46-37 lead with 15:15 to go.
The Knights then slowly worked their way back into the game. Utilizing the 2-3 zone defensively for a majority of the second half, Calvin made some key stops while its offense hit important shots.
With 8:52 remaining, Calvin trailed by just two at 55-53 before a three minute scoring drought put the Knights down 59-53.
Still trailing by six with 4:29 left, senior Mickey DeVries and junior Jordan Brink each scored to put the Trine lead at 61-59. The Thunder then hit 1-of-2 from the free throw line, and after a Calvin shot was missed and rebounded by DeVries, Brink drilled a three to tie the game at 62-62.
After a jumper from Dixon for Trine, Kruis hit a three from the corner with the shot-clock winding down, and Calvin took its first lead of the game since the first half at 65-64.
Brink and sophomore Jordan Daley then hit 2-of-2 free throws each down the stretch, and the Knights earned a thrilling, come-from-behind victory 69-65.
Calvin shot 50% from the field and made 15-of-17 attempts from the free throw line. The Knights outrebounded Trine 32-26.
Kruis led Calvin’s offense with 19 points while Brink scored 18. Daley was also in double-figures with 10 while DeVries had eight points and nine rebounds.
Jared Holmquist led the Thunder with 18 points and nine boards while Dixon added 17. Tyler Good and Nick Tatu chipped in 15 and 12 points, respectively.
“We played zone about the last 11 minutes straight, and there were several times where I was like, ‘This is it, if they score on this possession we’re done with the zone,’ and we’d get a stop,” said head coach Kevin VandeStreek. “Our assistant coaches were outstanding down the stretch. Brink hit a big three to give us a shot in the arm. With the shot-clock winding down, Tyler Kruis hit a big one, that’s a tough one he’ll never take again and he buried it – and then the free throws by Brink and by Daley. Just outstanding all across the board.”
The Knights now move to 18-6 overall and 10-2 in the MIAA while Trine falls to 14-9 and 7-5 in conference.
Calvin returns to action on Wednesday night when it hosts the Comets of Olivet. The mid-week conference contest is scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m.