Men’s Basketball Records 79-78 Victory Over Lewis & Clark College at Grand Canyon Cactus Jam
Monday, December 28, 2009
PHOENIX, AZ—The Calvin men’s basketball team has put together back-to-back victories for the first time this season. The Knights did so in thrilling fashion with a 79-78 victory over Lewis and Clark College (OR) Monday night on the first day of competition at the Grand Canyon Cactus Jam. Monday’s game was the first for Calvin since an 86-59 victory over Trinity Christian College (IL) on December 18.
Calvin (4-5) led by as many as nine points in the first half but trailed 44-43 at halftime. The Knights then fell behind 57-50 six minutes into the second half against the Pioneers (1-5) before mounting a steady comeback fueled by back-to-back buckets by senior John Mantel that gave Calvin a 71-70 lead with two minutes remaining. Senior Matt Veltema then delivered a clutch three-pointer with two seconds left on the shot clock and 45 seconds left on the game clock that gave the Knights a 74-70 lead.
Lewis and Clark then sandwiched a pair of layups around a pair of free throws by senior Danny Rodts to close to within a point at 79-78 with 12 seconds remaining. Calvin then misfired on the front end of a bonus opportunity with 11.4 seconds left, giving the Pioneers a chance to win the game. A last-second three-point shot by Lewis and Clark was off the mark however, allowing Calvin to gain the win.
Veltema led all scorers with 22 points, connecting on 7 of 9 from the floor and 6 of 7 from three-point range to go with a pair of free throws. Mantel also had 11 points and six rebounds while juniors Brad Schyders and Brent Schuster had 11 points each off the bench. Schuster’s scoring total marked a new career scoring high.
Mantel currently has 999 points in his career and is bidding to become the 19th player in Calvin men’s basketball history to surpass the 1,000 point plateau.
Lewis and Clark was led by Kelly Edwards with 18 points while Josh Kollasch, James Collins and Tyler Tsukazaki had 12 points apiece for the Pioneers.
Calvin returns to action on Tuesday when it faces Ohio Northern at 6 p.m. (EST) on the second day of tournament competition.