Men’s Basketball Claims Elmhurst Bluejay Classic Title with 87-62 Win Over Ripon College
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Story by Mitch Blankespoor
ELMHURST, ILL. – The Calvin men’s basketball team captured the Elmhurst Bluejay Classic championship with a 87-62 win over Ripon College, Wis. late Saturday afternoon. Senior Tom Snikkers (Hudsonville/Unity Christian) and sophomore Jordan Brink (Dyer, Ind./Illiana Christian) were named to the all-tournament team.
The game was close for the first 15 minutes. A free throw from Ripon senior forward Andy Popp (Brillion, Wis./Brillion HS) tied the game at 26 apiece with 5:30 to play in the first half.
Then Calvin made its run. The Knights went on a 25-3 run to end the first half, and led 51-29 at the break.
Brink had 22 points at halftime including 8-9 from the floor and a perfect 6-6 from beyond the arc. 11 of his 22 points came during the Knights’ run. Snikkers had 14 at the break; two coming from a dunk in transition.
“We were firing on all cylinders at the end of the first half,” said head coach Kevin Vande Streek after the match. “We needed to keep up the intensity and not let up in the second half.
Calvin could not do so early-on in the second half. Ripon hit three straight three=pointers, cutting Calvin’s lead to 11 points with 11:21 to play.
The Red Hawks could get no closer. The Knights pushed the lead back to 20 four minutes later, and coasted for their ninth victory of the season.
Brink and Snikkers led Calvin scoring 27 and 21 points respectively. Senior Matt De Boer (Hudsonville/Covenant Christian) scored 12 points in 15 minutes.
“Ripon made its run, but we fought it off,” Vande Streek said. “Jordan [Brink] and Tom [Snikkers] were great in all facets of the game.”
Calvin shot a season-high 63.2 percent from beyond the arc in the contest. The Knights’ defense held Ripon to a mere 29.7 percent shooting from the field.
Ripon senior forward Taylor Koth (Cedarburg, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) led the Red Hawks with 18 points in defeat.
Calvin finishes the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 9-2 record. The Knights open up MIAA play with a game against the undefeated and nationally ranked Adrian Bulldogs on Thursday, Jan. 3 at Calvin’s Van Noord Arena. The game is slated to start at 7:30 p.m.