Men’s Basketball Advances to Round of 16 of NCAA III Tournament With Win Over #2 Wash. U.
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Story By Mark DeHaan/Photo by Danny Reise
ST. LOUIS, MO - Advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a win on Friday evening, the Calvin men’s basketball team faced a tall task in host Washington University of St. Louis, ranked #2 nationally and entering with a 24-2 record.
Calvin proved up to the task however, handing the Bears an 83-75 defeat Saturday night to advance to the Round of 16 of the NCAA III Tournament for the second straight year. Calvin will face sixth-ranked Illinois Wesleyan next Friday night at a site to be announced later this weekend.
The Bears defeated their first round opponent, Wilmington University, 100-69 on Friday night, while Calvin was coming off a 66-51 victory over Wittenberg University.
The Knights received strong play from their guards from start to finish, highlighted by 27 points and 11 rebounds from Jordan Brink (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian HS).
The Knights came out firing on all cylinders, jumping out to a 12-2 lead less than five minutes into the contest as junior Jordan Brink and sophomore Austin Parks (Niles/Niles HS) each had five early points.
Wash. U. fought its way back, taking the lead at 23-22 with 9:01 left in the first. The Knights and Bears then played even for much of the rest of the first half, but Calvin scored the final five points and took a 39-34 advantage into halftime.
Brink led the Knights with 13 points and five rebounds at the break, while Parks added 11.
Out of the break, Calvin’s lead again hit double-digits at 52-42 with 15:07 remaining on a layup by sophomore Jordan Daley (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS).
With 9:25 to go, a jumper by Brink gave the Knights their largest lead at 62-48.
Not willing to go down without a fight, the Bears went on a 14-4 run, cutting the Calvin edge to just 66-62 with 4:36 left.
Brink then hit a step-up three-pointer which silenced the home crowd and bumped the Knights lead back up to 69-62.
Looking to get back into the game, Washington began to use the half-court trap. With 1:17 to go, Calvin rebuilt its lead to nine at 75-66. The Bears quickly cut that lead to four at 76-72 with 46 seconds remaining.
Brink, Parks, and junior Tyler Dykstra (Holland/Holland Christian HS) then combined to ice the game at the line, hitting free throws down the stretch as the Knights earned an impressive 83-75 win.
Just as it had the night before, Calvin’s defense stifled a usually impressive offense, holding Washington to 41.8% shooting and forcing the Bears into 19 turnovers. The loss at home was the first of the season for Washington.
“We worked hard to get shots off tonight against Calvin,” said Washington University head coach Mark Edwards. “The turnovers did not help our game plan, as those were 19 possessions we did not get a shot off. They were very effective and were the better team tonight.”
Brink led all players with 27 points and 11 rebounds, tying career highs in each category. Parks chipped in 18 points while Daley had his second strong game in a row, scoring 12.
For Wash. U., Alan Aboona scored 26 points, Chris Klimek had 15, and Tim Cooney added 11.
“All three of our guards did a really nice job on both ends of the floor,” said head coach Kevin Vande Streek. “Our ball pressure has been really good this weekend. That was one of the things we really tried to emphasize was to stay up after the ball and not get passive. These were two really physical games, I’m sure our guys are totally exhausted – but they gave a tremendous effort.”
“I took what they gave me, and when you hit a few early on, that boosts your confidence,” said Jordan Brink. “One of the best things about our team is the trust we have in each other, especially defensively. I think when we play our hardest, we know that guys are going to have our backs.”
Joining Calvin and Illinois Wesleyan at the sectional location next weekend will be Wheaton College (IL) and Dickinson College (PA).
NOTES: With a trio of three-pointers Saturday night, Brink boosted his season total to 65 which matches the 12th-best single-season total in Calvin men’s basketball history….Calvin is now 34-19 all-time in the NCAA III Tournament including 16-6 under current head coach Kevin Vande Streek….Calvin will be making its seventh appearance in the Round of 16 of the NCAA III Tournament including its fourth under Vande Streek….Calvin is now 4-0 this year against D3hoops.com Top 25 ranked teams this year…Calvin currently has a nine-game win streak - it’s longest of the season….Calvin has now forced four consecutive opponents into double-digits in turnovers defensively.