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Men’s Basketball Defeats Wabash 83-56 in Bluejay Classic

Saturday, December 29, 2012

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Box Score

Story by Mitch Blankespoor

ELMHURST, ILL. – The Calvin College men’s basketball team traveled to the west suburbs of Chicago Friday morning for the Bluejay Classic hosted by Elmhurst College.  In December of 2010, Calvin split a pair of games at the same tournament.  This time around, the Knights were determined not to fall in the first game.  Calvin defeated Wabash College, Ind. 83-56. 

The last time Calvin had faced Wabash was the 1996-97 season opener.  Ironically, Kevin Vande Streek coached his first game as Calvin’s head coach against the Little Giants of Wabash.  Calvin fell 83-79 in that contest.  The first couple minutes of the game on Dec. 28 looked to yield the same result.

Wabash hit three of its first four three-point field coach attempts.  Freshmen Kasey Oetting (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia) drilled two of them from NBA-range to give the Little Giants a 13-4 lead four minutes into the contest.

That nine point lead was Wabash’s biggest of the game.  A layup from Calvin senior forward Tom Snikkers (Hudsonville/Unity Christian) three minutes later gave the Knights a lead they would not relinquish. 

Wabash hung around and trailed by just four, 41-37 at the half.  Calvin junior center Tyler Kruis (Grandville/Calvin Christian0 led all scorers with 11 points at the half. 

Calvin went on a 21-3 run to start the second half.  Sophomore guard Jordan Brink (Dyer, Ind./Illiana Christian), who was held scoreless in the first half, had six of his eight points in this run. 

“We really challenged the guys at halftime to lock up on defense in the second half,” Vande Streek said after the match.  “They kept the intensity up, and played great team defense.”

Kruis led the Knights with 15 points and nine rebounds.  Senior guard Bryan Powell (Wyoming/Wyoming Park) chipped in 12 points.  Four Knights finished with eight points.

A trio of Little Giant freshman finished in double-digits in defeat.  Oetting, Ross Sponsler (Terre Haute, Ind./Terre Haute North Vigo) and Daniel Purvlicis (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville HS) finished with 16, 13 and 11 points respectively.

Calvin shot 41.9 percent from the field in the game as well as hitting 24 of 33 attempts from the charity stripe.

“We were very balanced on offense,” said Vande Streek.  “It was good to see everyone contribute and put the ball in the basket.”

Calvin will move on to the Bluejay Classic final against Ripon College, Wis.  The game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. EST start on Saturday. 

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