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Men’s Basketball Takes Sole Possession of First Place in MIAA Standings With Win at Kalamazoo

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

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Box Score

KALAMAZOO—The Calvin men’s basketball team is in sole possession of first place in the MIAA standings. The Knights (10-6 overall, 5-0 MIAA) gained sole possession of the top spot in the league with an 80-67 victory over Kalamazoo Wednesday night at the Anderson Athletic Center, lifting the Knights one game ahead of Albion (4-1 MIAA) which dropped a 62-55 decision to Hope (4-2 MIAA) Wednesday.

The Knights have now won five straight games including eight of their last nine.

Calvin placed four players in double digits in scoring led by senior John Mantel and junior Brad Schnyders with 15 points apiece. The scoring effort by Schnyders was a career scoring high. Mantel also grabbed 11 rebounds to notch his fifth double-double of the season and the 13th double-double of his career.

Freshman Tom Snikkers had 13 points and eight rebounds with junior Danny Rodts contributing 12 points. Junior Trent Salo also had nine points and three assists.

Calvin led 40-33 at halftime and broke the game open with a with a 19-7 run midway through the second half that allowed the Knights to build a 63-45 lead. Kalamazoo got no closer than 11 the rest of the way as the Knights secured the win.

Kalamazoo (3-13 overall, 2-3 MIAA) was led in defeat by Ryan Clark who scored a game-high 28 points including five three-point field goals. Joe Prepolec had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Hornets while Eric Fishman contributed 10 points and four assists.

“I was really pleased with our performance,” said Calvin men’s basketball coach Kevin Vande Streek. “Any time you come to Kalamazoo, you have to expect a hard fought physical game and tonight was certainly that. I thought our bench played a key role and really gave our team a boost when some our starters got in foul trouble. Our depth was certainly a big plus in this game.”

Calvin shot 43.9 percent overall but connected on 25 of 28 (.893) at the free throw line while Kalamazoo was just 11 of 18 (.611) at the charity stripe.

“If you want to win on the road in the MIAA, you must hit your free throws,” said Vande Streek. “I thought we did an excellent job of focusing at the free throw line and hitting our shots when we needed them.”

Calvin also held a 45-32 rebounding edge with junior Brent Schuster collecting nine rebounds and also blocking three shots.

Calvin will now turn its attention to a Saturday night showdown at Van Noord Arena against Albion which sits just a game behind Calvin in the league standings. “Albion is a terrific team and very well-coached,” said Vande Streek. “We’ll expect another intense, physical game. We will have to be up for the challenge because I know Albion will give us their best performance with first place on the line.”

Saturday’s game is slated to start at 7:30 p.m.

Kevin Vande Streek WFUR Post-Game Audio Interview

Post Game Audio Interview with John Mantel

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Mens Basketball Takes Sole Possession of First Place in MIAA Standings With Win Over Alma

Thursday, February 05, 2009

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ALMA—The Calvin men’s basketball fought off an upset bid from the Alma Scots Wednesday night inside the Cappaert Gymnasium to move into sole possession of first place in the MIAA standings.

Calvin (13-6 overall) came from behind to defeat Alma 66-55 to improve to 8-1 in the MIAA, one game ahead of second place Hope which dropped to 7-2 in league play with a 70-68 loss at Albion on Wednesday.

Using a deliberate tempo by running the shot clock down to 10 seconds on each possession, Alma jumped out to a 19-9 lead midway through the first half. Calvin used a 13-6 run over the final five-and-a-half minutes of the first half to tie the game at 27-27. The Calvin run was capped off by a layup by sophomore Danny Rodts (Niles HS) with 15 seconds left in the half.

Calvin then slowly built a second half lead, taking a 45-38 lead on a jumper by senior Caleb Veldhouse (Sioux Falls, SD) at the 8:21 mark. Alma (5-14 overall, 3-6 MIAA) came back to cut the cap to four at 52-48 with 3:58 remaining but the Knights responded with a pair of free throws by senior Tim Katt (Brookfield, WI) to go back up by six. Calvin then went 8-for-8 at the free throw line in the final 2:35 of regulation to seal the win.

“Playing at Alma’s (slower) tempo was frustrating but I give them credit for dictating the pace and controlling the game,” said Calvin men’s basketball coach Kevin Vande Streek. “I think what was very important was that we finished the first half and tied the game at halftime. From a momentum standpoint, that was huge.”

Calvin was led in scoring by Veldhouse and Rodts with 13 points apiece while junior center John Mantel (Chelsea HS) had 12 points and nine rebounds. Senior Dustin Smith (Hamilton HS) chipped in with nine points and five rebounds.

Calvin also received seven points and seven rebounds from senior Tyler Zoerhof (Holland Christian HS) with Zoerhof ripping down several key rebounds down the stretch. “This game got very physical in the second half but Tyler did not back down and came down with some big rebounds. He showed great senior leadership tonight.”

Alma was led in defeat by Cory Schneider with 16 points.

Calvin held a 35-28 reboundin advantage and was 7-of-15 (.467) from three-point range The Knights were also 19-of-25 (.760) at the free throw line, outscoring the Scots by 12 points at the charity stripe.

Calvin returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Adrian at 3:00 p.m. at the Van Noord Arena.

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