Men’s Basketball Punches Sweet 16 Ticket With 67-58 Victory at Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Saturday, March 09, 2013
story by Mitch Blankespoor
STEVENS POINT, WI – Fresh off of a 72-52 win over Rose-Hulman last Sat., the 12th-ranked Calvin men’s basketball team traveled to Wisconsin to face the 14th-ranked Pointers of UW-Stevens Point in an NCAA III Tournament second round game. Calvin silenced the 2270 capacity crowd at the Quandt Center by defeating the Pointers 67-58 in the school’s second meeting all-time. The Knights advance to the Sweet 16 for the third time under Calvin head coach Kevin Vande Streek and for the seventh time in school history.
UW-Stevens Point, which won the national championship in 2010, scored the game’s first basket on a layup from junior center Clayton Heuer (Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln).
Calvin answered with a reverse dunk from sophomore forward Tyler Dykstra (Holland/Holland Christian) on a beautiful pass from sophomore guard Jordan Brink (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian).
Senior Tom Snikkers (Jenison/Unity Christian) scored Calvin’s next two baskets, but the Pointers would answer, scoring on both of their possessions. The game was tied at six at the first media timeout.
“We tried to make a point of getting the ball to Tommy [Snikkers] early on,” said Vande Streek in a post-game interview. “He didn’t have his best game from the field, but got to the free throw line. He was forced to take a lot of shots with the shot clock ticking down.”
After the timeout, Calvin scored five straight points to take an 11-6 lead. UW-Stevens Point cut Calvin’s lead to a single point, at 21-20 with 4:07 to play, but a three pointer from Brink put the Knight’s lead back up to four. Calvin would ride this momentum to a 29-25 halftime lead.
The Pointers would cut Calvin’s lead to one again four minutes into the second half, but another Brink three pushed the lead back up to four. Calvin’s lead reached double digits with another Brink three with 11:26 remaining. The Knights led 47-36. UW-Stevens Point would get as close as five, but could not get any closer. For the fifth time in school history, the Calvin men’s basketball team is headed to the Sweet 16.
Brink, who was held scoreless against Rose-Hulman last Sat., finished with a game-high 21 points including a perfect 5-5 from beyond the three point arc.
“From an individual standpoint, I was disappointed in my play last weekend,” said Brink. “I couldn’t wait for this game to tipoff.”
Despite shooting just 3-11 from the floor, Snikkers finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four assists. Junior center Tyler Kruis (Grandville/Calvin Christian) finished with 10 points while junior forward Mickey De Vries (Lansing/Lansing Christian) chipped in nine points.
UW-Stevens Point was led by sophomore forward Joe Ritchay (Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln) with 18 points and seven rebounds in defeat. Junior guard DeVon Jackson (Milwaukee, WI/Rufus King) and sophomore forward Alex Richard (Spring Green, WI/River Valley) each added 12 points.
“They [Calvin] are a very confident team right now,” said UW-Stevens Point head coach Bob Semling in a post-game interview. “Calvin has great size, and affects every team they play on the boards. Because we couldn’t go inside as often, we had to hit outside shots. We didn’t hit enough tonight.”
As a team, the Knights outrebounded the Pointers 38-31, and did not give up an offensive rebound in the first half. Calvin shot 46 percent from the field while holding UW-Stevens Point to a mere 39 percent.
The game was played very cleanly by both teams. The Knights committed just six turnovers compared to the Pointers’ five.
“Tonight’s game was a matchup of two even teams,” said Vande Streek. “We have done a great job the past five games hanging onto the ball.”
UW-Stevens Point concludes its season with a 22-6 record and a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship outright.
Calvin, 26-3, moves onto the round of 16 against top-ranked St. Thomas. The site and time of the game will be determined tomorrow.