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Men’s Basketball Digs Deep For Win at Albion - Vande Streek Now Calvin Leader In Victories

Saturday, January 24, 2009

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ALBION – The Calvin men’s basketball team dug down deep for a key conference victory on the road Saturday afternoon, defeating Albion 79-73 at Kresge Gymnasium to remain in first place in the MIAA standings.

The victory also allowed Calvin men’s basketball coach Kevin Vande Streek to become the all-time leader in coaching victories as he boosted his Calvin coaching record to 255-101 to move past Ed Douma who recorded 254 victories at Calvin from 1984-to-1996.

“I could not be more proud of a team than I am today,” said Vande Streek. “We’ve continued to face adversity this season and today, we continued to respond to adversity in a positive fashion. This was a great team victory.”

Calvin was forced to play Saturday’s game without senior sharpshooting guard Caleb Veldhouse (Sioux Falls, SD) who was sidelined with an injury.

Calvin was able to withstand the absence of Veldhouse behind the inside-outside tandem of juniors John Mantel (Chelsea HS) and Matt Veltema (Calvin Christian HS) as Mantel poured in 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Veltema scored a career-high 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting including 3-of-4 from behind the three-point arc. Mantel’s output marked his fifth double-double of the season including his third double-double in the last four games.

Senior Dustin Smith (Hamilton HS) also played a key role in the win with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting while grabbing five rebounds.

“We knew going in that we would be shorthanded but I told the team in the locker room before the game that we had the players to win this game,” said Vande Streek. “One of our goals for this game was to take the ball to the basket and get to the free throw line. I thought we did an excellent job of accomplishing that goal.”

Calvin went to the free throw line 35 times and connected on 24 attempts, outscoring Albion at the charity stripe by 10 points as the Britons were 14-of-15 at the stripe.

Albion (8-8 overall, 3-3 MIAA) led 60-55 at the midpoint of the second half on Saturday but Calvin responded with nine unanswered points to build a 64-60 lead.

Calvin (10-6 overall, 5-1 MIAA) never trailed again although Albion was able to cut the deficit to one point at 68-67 with 4:41 left. Calvin senior Tyler Zoerhof (Holland Christian HS) responded with a clutch three-pointer to give Calvin a four-point cushion at 71-67 moments later however and the Knights proceeded to sink eight free throws inside the final 3:20 to clinch the win.

Zoerhof added seven points and three rebounds for the Knights while senior Mike Zwier (Tri-unity Christian HS) had six points and six rebounds.

Andrew Holms led Albion with 21 points while J.C. Cruse had 16 points for the Britons.

Calvin returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts Kalamazoo at 8:00 p.m. inside the Van Noord Arena.

Posted in: Men's Basketball
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