Men’s Basketball Now 7-0 in MIAA Play After 73-59 Win at Alma Wednesday
Thursday, January 28, 2010
(written by sports information student assistant Derek Neice)
ALMA—For the first time since the 1999-2000 season, the Calvin men’s basketball team has finished the first half of the MIAA season unbeaten. The Knights improved to 7-0 in league play with a hard-fought 73-59 victory at Alma Wednesday night. Calvin (12-6 overall) remains two games ahead Hope which improved to 5-2 in the league with a 78-60 win at Trine Wednesday night. Calvin will travel to Hope on Saturday for a 3 p.m. contest at DeVos Fieldhouse.
The Knights relied once again on the clutch shooting of their perimeter players, connecting on 10 of 21 attempts from beyond the arc.
Senior Matt Veltema (Grandville, MI) led all scorers with 24 points as he hit on 6 of 7 shots from three point land, and Danny Rodts (Niles, MI) was the only other Knight to achieve double digits on the night. The rest of the scoring came from a variety of players. Tommy Snikkers scored 9 and grabbed 7 rebounds, Brad Schuster contributed 7 of both points and rebounds, and John Mantel scored a solid 6 points and took down 6 boards as well.
In the first half the Scots led by two in the first couple minutes, their largest lead of the night, before Calvin settled in and took control of the wheel in this contest. The Knights led by as much as eight in the first half but a late surge of offense by the Scots brought the halftime score to 29-28 in favor of Calvin.
“It’s a struggle every time,” said Calvin coach Kevin Vande Streek in a postgame radio interview, “and we get everybody’s best game.”
“They rise to the occasion when they play us and I thought that Alma played very well tonight,” he continued. “We stayed with it and came out with a win and that’s what we were hoping for.”
The second half was back and forth with Alma showing that even at 0-6 on the year in conference play, it could still play tough against teams favored to win. Alma later trimmed the Calvin lead to three with just over eight minutes to play, but the Knights then connected on five straight three-pointers on offensive possessions to mount a 15-4 run that brought them to a comfortable 63-49 advantage.
“Matt [Veltema] really rose to the occasion and hit some big shots that I thought came as a result of some pretty good stops on the defensive end,” said Vande Streek on Veltema’s big scoring night.
Alma was unable to muster any other sort of resurgence in the game and they would fall by an eventual score of 73-59. The Scots were led by Kevin Ginther with 21 points, Isaac Thaler with 13 and Terry Brown with 10.
From the stat sheet, Calvin shot an excellent 53 percent from the field to Alma’s very respectable 40 percent, and the Knights out-rebounded the Scots 32-22. Another big number was a 19-9 advantage that Calvin held in points coming from the bench, showing off the depth of the Knights’ roster.
With the win, the Knights move to 12-6 overall with a perfect conference mark at 7-0. Alma falls to 3-15 and 0-7 in conference play.
“I’m really pleased that our play has continued to get better this season,” said Vande Streek of the fact that his team is undefeated through the first half of conference play, “but I think we still have some things we can get better at which is a good thing.”
Calvin continues its road trip this Saturday as they travel to Holland to face off against rival Hope College for the third time this season. Calvin and Hope have split the two games played against each other so far this season.
“This Saturday will definitely be a big game for them [Hope] and I’m sure our guys will be ready,” said Vande Streek of the upcoming game Saturday. “Hopefully we can survive the first few minutes, which is a big thing playing at Hope.”
“They come out with such great emotion that it’s easy to be down ten right away,” he continued, “so hopefully we get off to a good start and it’ll be a battle to the end.”
That game is set to kick off at 3 p.m.
With his six three-pointers, Veltema moves past Jim Timmer and into fifth place on the Calvin career list for three-pointers.
Saturday’s game at Hope will feature the 175th meeting between the two teams with Hope holding an 88-86 series lead. Saturday’s game will mark the third meeting of the year between the two teams with Hope winning a non-conference game 79-76 on November 28 and Calvin winning a conference game 84-75 on January 6. Both prior games were played at Calvin’s Van Noord Arena with Saturday’s game marking the first of the season between the two teams at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Saturday’s Calvin-Hope men’s basketball game will be telecast by West Michigan PBS affiliate WGVU-TV 35/52. The WGVU telecast (video) feed will be streamed live on Saturday at The Rivalry Web site at: http://www.calvinhope.com or http://www.hopecalvin.com
Calvin Three-Point Field Goal Career List
1. Andy Draayer (2002-2006) - 222
2. Caleb Veldhouse (2005-2009) – 215
3. Chris Knoester (1990-1994) -188
4. Todd Hennink (1987-1991) – 183
5. Matt Veltema (2006-2010) – 174
6. Jim Timmer (1986-1990) – 169
7. Derek Griffin (2006-2008) – 153
8. Sam Hargraves (1995-1998) 143
8 Aaron Winkle (1996-2000) 143
10. Kevin Broene (2001-2004) 132
11. Nate Karsten (1996-200) 119
12. Ryan Stahr (1993-1995) 118
13. Matt Rottman (1989-1994) 117