Men’s Basketball Defeats Albion 68-53 in MIAA Tournament Semifinals
Friday, February 25, 2011
By Sports Information Student Assistant Andrew Knot
Led by two senior sparkplugs, the Knights defeated the Albion Britons 68-53 at Hope’s DeVos Fieldhouse on Friday evening. The victory advances Calvin to the MIAA championship game. Calvin will face rival Hope Saturday night in the MIAA Tournament Championship game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s MIAA Tournament title game will mark the 179th meeting between Calvin and Hope in a series that Hope leads 91-87. It will also mark the third consecutive year that the two rivals will meet in the MIAA Tournament final. The winner will receive an automatic bid to next week’s NCAA III Tournament.
Both squads opened the game sluggish offensively, with 14 points scored in the opening 10 minutes, two of them off . The Knights would eventually establish a six point advantage, thanks to six straight consecutive points from senior Brad Schnyders. Sophomore Adam DeYoung assisted Schnyders on a lob into the lane, giving the Knights. Schnyders then converted a jumper from the elbow and went coast-to-coast untouched for a lay-up, putting Calvin on top 16-10.
The Knights later opened up a seven point advantage, but the Britons cut the deficit to 25-20 at half. The low scoring first half reflected the gritty, defensive nature of the game. Both Calvin and Albion shot below 33% from the field, Calvin posted an 0-10 mark from the perimeter.
Schnyders, despite 5-5 shooting in the first half, said of the game, “We expect that playing Albion. They’re a gritty, defensive team.”
Calvin would right the scoring ship in the second half, scoring 43 points. After Albion’s Kolin Kazen knocked down an and-1 lay-up, Calvin’s senior Brent Schuster answered with a triple. Soon after that, Schnyders opened the backdoor to find junior Brian Haverdink streaking to a baseline lay-in.
The Britons, however, would cut Calvin’s lead to two points early in the second half. But Calvin found their spark in another senior. After Schnyders slipped in a lay-in off of a half-court inbounds play, Trent Salo would curl around a massive DeYoung screen to knock down a three. After DeYoung took a charge on the defensive end, Powell connected from beyond the arc, forcing a timeout from Albion Coach Jody May.
But the Knights would pick up right where they left off. Salo filled two consecutive three-pointers to bolster Calvin’s lead at 52-39. Salo finished the game at 60% from the perimeter and the Knights put up a 6-9 mark in the second half.
Of the shooting turnaround, Salo said, “With us, it’s contagious. All it takes is one or two three’s from a couple guys.”
Calvin would close out the game efficiently, holding to Britons to just 35.8% shooting and walking away with a 68-53 victory.
Coach Kevin Vande Streek described the Knights’ defensive effort as a “lockdown performance.”
“We kept people where we wanted them and executed our game plan well,” said Vande Streek.
Schnyders led the Knights with 15 points. Senior Brent Schuster contributed 11 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Tommy Snikkers led Calvin on the boards, with 10 rebounds to his nine points.