Men’s Basketball Team Clinches Home Court Advantage for First Rd of MIAA Tourney With Win at Trine
Thursday, February 17, 2011
ANGOLA, IN - The Calvin men’s basketball team clinched homecourt advantage for the first round of the MIAA Tournament with a 71-67 victory at Trine University Wednesday night. With the win, Calvin improves to 13-11 overall and 8-5 in the MIAA. The Knights are assured of at least the the number-three seed for next week’s MIAA Tournament and can gain the number-two seed with a win at Albion on Saturday.
Albion is tied with Calvin for second place in the MIAA standings at 8-5 as the Britons defeated Hope 78-76 in overtime Wednesday night. The winner of Saturday’s Calvin-Albion contest will finish in sole possession of second place in the MIAA regular season standings while the loser will finish in third place - perhaps in a tie with Olivet - but will hold the third seed for the MIAA Tournament because of tiebreaker advantages over the Comets.
Calvin needed a come-from-behind effort to gain the win at Trine Wednesday as the Knights trailed 32-20 but scored the final nine points of the first half to trail 32-29 at halftime. Calvin then scored the first six points of the second half to take a 35-32 lead. Trine (12-12 overall, 4-9 MIAA) came back to regain the lead on two occassions but Calvin gained the lead for good at 50-49 on a jumper by sophomore Tom Snikkers (Jenison/Unity Christian HS). The Snikkers basket sparked a 10-1 Calvin run that gave the Knights a 58-51 lead.
Trine came back to trim the lead down to three at 68-65 with 43 seconds remaining but senior Brent Schuster (Denver, CO/Denver Christian HS) nailed a pair of clutch free throws with 12 seconds remaining to give Calvin a 70-65 advantage and senior Danny Rodts (Niles, MI/Niles HS) added a game-sealing free throw with one second remaining.
Rodts finished the game with 16 points including 11 in the first half while senior Brad Schnyders (Hudsonville, MI/Unity Christian HS) had 12 points off the bench including several key defensive plays in the second half. Snikkers had 10 points and five boards while Schuster had a man-sized game with nine points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Freshman Tyler Kruis (Grand Rapids, MI/Calvin Christian HS) also was a force in the paint with five points and a career-high 10 boards. Senior Trent Salo (Rudyard, MI/Rudyard HS) also had a career-high seven rebounds.
As a team, Calvin outrebounded Trine 54-31. Ian Jackson led Trine with 25 points while Scott Rodgers had 16.
Calvin was 22-of-27 (.815) at the free throw line as the Knights outscored the Thunder by nine points at the charity stripe.
Saturday’s game at Albion is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.