Men’s Basketball Holds On For Win Over Adrian - Holds On To Share of First Place in MIAA Standings
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Calvin continued its hot streak in 2010 conference play Saturday afternoon with a 68-61 victory against the Adrian Bulldogs at Van Noord Arena.
The Knights led by as many as 21 points early on in the second half but a 14-0 Adrian run sparked a furious comeback that had the Bulldogs within six with only minutes to play. This would prove to be too little too late though for Adrian as the Knights closed the game out and won their fourth MIAA game this season to remain undefeated in conference play. Calvin continues to hold a share of first place with Albion in the league standings as the Britons also improved to 4-0 in league play with an 81-53 win at Alma Saturday.
The Knights were paced by a balanced scoring attack over the course of the game, led by junior Brent Schuster (Denver, CO) with 12 points off the bench. Seniors John Mantel (Chelsea, MI) and Matt Veltema (Grandville, MI) and freshman Tom Snikkers (Jenison, MI) all finished close behind with 11 points, and juniors Trent Salo (Rudyard, MI) and Danny Rodts (Niles, MI) chipped in eight and seven points each, respectively.
“One of the things I like about this team is that there are a lot of guys who score,” Calvin coach Kevin Vande Streek said after the game.
“We’ve got a nice combination offensively,” Vande Streek continued, “starting with John [Mantel] in the low post, with guys who can catch and shoot on the perimeter, and also with guys who can slash and get to the basket.”
“They always make the extra pass,” Vande Streek concluded about his offense, “and they play very unselfishly, which is a great advantage to have.”
Rodts, Snikkers and Schuster also all finished with seven rebounds each, contributing to a 45-36 advantage that Calvin held over Adrian on the boards.
In the first half the Knights shot over sixty percent from the field and played excellent defense in holding Adrian to a twenty percent shooting percentage. Schuster scored 10 of his 12 points and Mantel scored all 11 of his in the first half to give Calvin a dominant 40-23 lead at the break.
But in basketball no lead is safe, and Adrian proved just that in clawing its way back as time wound down in the second frame.
At 59-39 with just over seven minutes to play, Adrian scored 14 straight points to bring the score to 59-53.
With the lead dwindling Calvin needed to stop the bleeding, so it got the ball to one of the surest shooters on the team in Rodts, and he hit a big triple from the corner to stop the Bulldogs’ momentum.
“You have to play forty minutes and we were fortunate to show some resolve here in the last five or six minutes today, but it wasn’t a very good first fifteen minutes to start the half that’s for sure,” said Vande Streek.
That three by Rodts to put Calvin up 62-53 proved to be the difference for the Knights, as the game would eventually end 68-61.
“When the pressure is on it’s not the time to do things differently than you normally do,” said Vande Streek about his mentality in coaching against a run like Adrian’s on Saturday.
“That’s the big thing, just getting back to fundamentals,” Vande Streek concluded.
At 4-0 now in the MIAA standings the Knights are exactly where they want to be at this point in the season. Their next game is an away match-up against Kalamazoo on Wednesday, a game that will be reminiscent of last year when Kalamazoo defeated Calvin at the end of the regular season, essentially ending their hopes of an NCAA at-large tournament bid.
“The guys who are returning have heard me say already that last year not being ready at Kalamazoo cost us,” Vande Streek said of Wednesday’s upcoming game, “so I’m hoping we’ll be ready for them this time around.”
Wednesday’s game at Kalamazoo is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.