Men’s Basketball Captures Championship of Defiance College Purple and Gold Classic
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
DEFIANCE, OH—Calvin captured the championship of the 34th annual Defiance College Purple and Gold Classic Tuesday night, defeating Rockford College (IL) 90-71 in the championship game.
The tournament crown is Calvin’s first in a Christmas holiday tournament since 2004 when the Knights won the Wisconsin-River Falls Radisson Inn Holiday Tournament.
Calvin (5-5) used a blistering first half effort to cruise to the win as the Knights led 50-26 at halftime behind 57.6 percent field goal shooting. Rockford (5-6) battled back to within 16 points late in the second half but could get no closer as Calvin stretched its modest win streak to two games.
Calvin rode the hot hand of senior guard Dustin Smith (Hamilton HS) who scored 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting to go with five assists and two steals. For his efforts, Smith was named the tournament MVP. Smith was joined for team-high scoring honors by senior Caleb Veldhouse (Sioux Falls, SD) and junior Matt Veltema (Calvin Christian HS) who had 16 points apiece. Veldhouse and Veltema joined Smith on the all-tournament team. With his 16-point scoring effort, Veltema stretched his double-figure scoring streak to seven games.
Sophomore Danny Rodts (Niles HS) also had 10 points while junior John Mantel (Chelsea HS) chipped in with eight points. Veltema grabbed a team-high seven rebounds as the Knights outboarded Rockford 40-26.
Tuesday’s win came on the heels of a 91-65 Calvin victory over Geneva Monday night. Rockford had advanced to Tuesday’s championship game with a 95-89 win over host Defiance Monday night.
“This tournament was just what the doctor ordered for our team,” said Calvin men’s basketball coach Kevin Vande Streek after Tuesday’s night title tilt. “We’ve been searching for an offensive flow and we seemed to have found it the last two days. I also thought our defense was oustanding the last two nights and that’s a good sign. We’ll need that same type of intensity heading into our conference season.”
Calvin finished Tuesday’s game against Rockford with a 55.6 percent field goal clip. The Knights were also 12-of-20 (.600) from three-point range with Veltema connecting on all four of his attempts from beyond the three-point line.
Calvin will now prepare to not only open its conference season but also open the state-of-the-art VanNoord Arena next Wednesday night when they host Trine University at 8:00 p.m. The game will be preceeded by a women’s game against Trine scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m.
“To say that we are looking forward to playing in the new arena would be an understatement,” said Vande Streek. “It’s a spectacular facility that will serve our campus and fans in a wonderful way. It will also be great to have a place that we can finally call home. We’ve been practicing in different locations throughout the first semester and having a place to finally call our own will be a big plus.”