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Men’s Basketball Defeats Cornerstone 70-65 in Grand Rapids Hall of Fame Classic

Saturday, November 24, 2012

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Box Score

Story by Mitch Blankespoor

HOLLAND, MI - The Calvin College men’s basketball team faced Cornerstone University Saturday night in the final day of the Grand Rapids Hall of Fame Classic.  Calvin defeated Cornerstone 70-65 to win the classic for the first time since 2010.

Calvin started the first half on fire from the field.  The Knights hit six of their first seven shots, two coming from senior Tom Snikkers (Hudsonville/Unity Christian).  This propelled Calvin to a 13-7 just three minutes into the contest.

Neither team scored a point for three and a half minutes.  A jumper from Cornerstone sophomore Justin Pepper (Wayland/Wayland HS) broke the deadlock.  The Golden Eagles took their first lead at the 10:34 mark on a layup from sophomore Ty Mason (Comstock Park/Comstock Park HS).

Calvin countered with two field goals from senior guard Bryan Powell (Wyoming/Wyoming Park) and senior Matt De Boer (Hudsonville/Covenant Christian) giving the Knights a 22-20 lead.  Consecutive three pointers from sophomore Tyler Dykstra (Holland/Holland Christian) and Powell spurred an 11-3 run for Calvin, giving the Knights a double-digit lead, 33-23. 

Calvin took a 39-33 lead into halftime.  Powell sparked the Knights coming off the bench with 13 points hitting five of seven first half field goals.  Senior David Rietema (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian) had eight points and four assists. 

“I thought we started out with enough intensity and toughness,” said Calvin head coach Kevin Vande Streek after the match.  “We did not carry that throughout the first half.”

Ranked 20th in the most recent NAIA Division III Top 25 poll, Cornerstone cut Calvin’s lead to two points at with a 25-foot three pointer from junior Wes Hudson (Wayland/Wayland HS).  Two consecutive buckets from Snikkers pushed the Knight’s lead back to seven.  Another Hudson layup with 17 seconds left in regulation cut Calvin’s lead to one, 66-65.  Two free throws from Jordan Brink (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian) followed by a steal from Rietema sealed Calvin’s victory. 

Brink, who was named tournament MVP, led the Knights with 14 points including a perfect eight of eight from the free throw line. 

“I think I can speak for our whole team in saying we wanted this game,” Brink said after the match.  “This was our most complete game as a team so far this season.”

Snikkers, who joined Brink on the all-tournament team, chipped in 13 points.  Powell had 13 points including three of four beyond the three-point arc.

“Even though this tournament is a classic, we treated this as the ‘championship’ game,” said Vande Streek.  “Cornerstone is a good team, and good teams will punish you for your mistakes.  They made their run, but we kept our intensity up even though the game was close.”

Mason and Hudson led the Golden Eagles with 20 and 16 points respectively in defeat. 

Calvin, now 5-0 for the first time since the 2000-01 season, will travel to Manchester College Tuesday, November 27, for an in-region game with the Spartans.

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