Men’s Hoops Opens Conference Slate With 90-82 Road Win at Alma
Friday, January 10, 2014
By Mark DeHaan
The Calvin men’s basketball team began MIAA play on Thursday evening, traveling to Alma to face the Scots. The Knights had not lost to Alma since 1999, and in 17 MIAA openers, head coach Kevin Vande Streek was 16-1 coming into Thursday night’s matchup. Calvin kept its winning ways going in league openers by defeating the host Scots 90-82.
Although the Scots came in with a 1-10 record, they stayed with 8-3 Calvin for the majority of the game.
The Knights built an eight point lead at 24-16, but Alma came back to take a lead at 26-25 forcing Coach Vande Streek into a timeout.
A couple of threes gave Alma a 36-32, but spirited play from senior Mickey DeVries (Lansing/Lansing Christian HS) and a key three-pointer from junior Jordan Brink (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian HS) spurred an 8-0 run for the Knights and a Calvin took a 40-36 lead into halftime.
Brink had 10 points and eight rebounds at half while DeVries added seven.
Minutes into the second half, the Knights extended their lead, taking their first double-digit advantage of the game at 57-46 as sophomore Jordan Daley (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) hit a pull-up jumper.
Despite Calvin’s best efforts to pull away, the Scots stayed in the game by hitting shots from beyond the arc.
Senior Brandon Krause and sophomore DJ Beckman combined to hit three straight threes to keep Alma within reach, as Calvin held a 65-57 lead with 10:28 remaining.
Two more threes from the Scots then cut the Knights lead to 72-67, a five point advantage Calvin held until 81-76 with 3:14 remaining.
As they had for much of the second half, the Knights then went to the free throw line and hit their free throws, even extending their lead as Calvin claimed a 90-82, MIAA-opening victory.
The Knights were 22-of-28 from the charity stripe in the second half, while also hitting 6-of-10 from beyond the three point line. The Scots hit 13-of-27 from long range, but were outrebounded 38-27 by the much larger Knights.
Brink led Calvin with 19 points as well as 11 rebounds while DeVries added 15, Daley scored 13, and senior Tyler Kruis (Grand Rapids/Calvin Christian HS) had 12 points and six boards.
For Alma, Beckman led all scorers with 24 while Krause scored 22 and had eight assists.
“We played much better in the second half. Our first half was tough, defensively, but Brink and DeVries kept us in with really good play,” said Vande Streek. “In the second half, we really tried to get the ball down low early, and that led to a lot of fouls on them. We did a great job making the most of our opportunities at the line.”
Calvin improves to 9-3 overall and 1-0 in the MIAA while the Scots fall to 1-11 overall and 0-1 in league play. The Knights have now won 31 straight against Alma.
Calvin now looks forward to Saturday, when it will renew its rivalry with the Flying Dutchmen of Hope College. Saturday’s contest is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.