Men’s Basketball Defeats Adrian on the Road Behind Strong Performance at Free Throw Line
Thursday, February 11, 2010
(written by Calvin sports information student assistant Nate Triezenberg)
ADRIAN - Free throws.
What separates a win from a loss more times than not is the one thing in a game that is said to be free.
The charity stripe.
The place where the men and boys are separated. In the last four games the Knights have gone 2-2, bouncing back from back-to-back losses against Hope and Olivet respectively.
“Our goal is to make more free-throws than our opponents shoot,” said Coach Vande Streek.
Wednesday night at Adrian College the Knights (9-2, 14-8 overall) did just that, connecting on 23 of 29 free throws compared to 18 of 21 shooting by the Bulldogs. Matt Veltema led the Knights with 15, followed closely by Danny Rodts with 14, John Mantel with 12, and Trent Salo with 10. At the charity stripe, Veltema connected on 4 of 4, Mantel on 5 of 6 and Salo, making many of his free throws near the end of the game to push the Knights out of reach, made 5 of 6 as well.
These three players alone combined for 14 of 16 from the free throw line, nearly outscoring the Bulldogs (7-4, 12-10 overall) at the free throw line as a trio. This win keeps the Knights in the hunt for another conference title, tied with rival Hope College at 9-2 in conference play.
The Knights jumped out to an early lead before the Bulldogs settled in and decided to make a game of things. Adrian was also looking to stay in the hunt for its first conference title since the 1955 season when the Bulldogs were co-champion with the Knights. The Knights on the other hand, were looking to stay in the hunt for their second consecutive conference championship.
“You have to come out and play hard every night against teams in the MIAA. There’s never a team that is going to roll over for you, every team is good enough to win on any given night,” said Coach Vande Streek following tonight’s game.
Despite the widened final margin, the Bulldogs made a game of things and kept the Knights in check until the final minutes when the Knights pulled away with their free-throw shooting.
When asked about the way he felt the game went for his team tonight Coach Vande Streek shared mixed feelings saying, “In the first half I wasn’t pleased with our effort especially on the boards but in the second half we settled in and found our game.”
The Knights did just that shooting 46% from the field and 88% from the stripe as the Knights went on to win by a score of 78-67.
The remainder of the schedule for Calvin includes a Saturday home game against Kalamazoo, a road trip to Albion next Wednesday and a home contest on February 20 against Alma.
Much like tonight, the rest of the season will most likely come down to a few lonely shots at a stripe called free. They might be free, but they pay the way for a win and tonight, the Knights came out on top.