Return By Harris Sparks Women’s Basketball Team To Win at Adrian
Saturday, February 07, 2009
By Chaz Amidon
ADRIAN – After two turnovers and one errant put-back on her first three possessions, it certainly looked like Marcia Harris hadn’t played since 2008.
But following the fourth, fifth and sixth trips down the floor, Calvin’s second all-time leading scorer was back.
Harris pumped in a game-high 28 points in her first game since December and led the Knights to their second straight pivotal win, an 88-81 decision over Adrian.
“I thought I would maybe get a few minutes – I didn’t know how much I’d get in,” said Harris, who shot 11-of-16 off the bench.” I didn’t really expect to be such a factor in the game.”
Sidelined in Calvin’s previous nine games, Harris had led the MIAA in scoring (19.5 points-per-game) before suffering a medial meniscus tear in her right knee against UW-Whitewater on Dec. 30. She underwent arthroscopic surgery on Jan. 9 and didn’t go through a full 2-hour practice until yesterday.
A month ago, Harris questioned whether or not she would return for the remainder of the 2008-09 season. Now, after producing one of her best games of the year in just 16 minutes on the floor, she believes she made the right decision.
“This is my senior year,” said Harris. “I’ll never get to play basketball again, and I’m savoring every moment, even at practice. It just reminds you how much you love the game. It’s great because I didn’t think I’d be able to play ever again.”
Harris’ comeback performance was complemented by Brook Van Eck’s second consecutive 26-point outing. Van Eck, a junior forward, is averaging 27.3 points-per-game in Calvin’s last three contests.
She finished 10-of-13 from the line against the Bulldogs just one game after going 13-of-14 from the charity stripe in Wednesday’s 76-68 win over Albion.
“It helps Brook having Marcia back,” said coach John Ross. “Teams are going to start focusing more on Marcia and it’s hard to stop her even if you do focus on her.
“(Brook) is doing a really good job. She’s learning what moves are where and which ones aren’t there.”
In addition, junior point guard Emily Ottenhoff came off the bench to provide a career-high 13 points to go with five assists against just one turnover.
Clinging to a nine-point lead for much of the last 10 minutes in regulation, the Knights staved off a late Adrian push by nailing eight straight free throws in the final minute.
Kristi Brummel, who totaled 16 points in Wednesday’s win, went 6-of-6 from the line while Ottenhoff connected on two attempts with 9 seconds left to solidify the Knights’ win.
Calvin shot 30-of-37 (81 percent) from the free throw line – a consistent follow-up to Wednesday’s 28-of-32 (88 percent) showing against the Britons.
“We’re definitely feeling it,” said Van Eck. “We had those few losses in a row and now we have these two big wins. We’re looking to capitalize on these and end our season with a bang going into the conference tournament.”
Harris engineered a 7-0 run by herself to give Calvin a 55-51 lead with 13:57 left in the second half, a juncture at which the Knights gained the lead for good.
She registered 15 second-half points, and with 3:36 remaining, fouled out when the Knights held a 74-66 advantage.
In the first half, a pair of Harris lay-ins sparked a 10-2 Calvin run. She rattled off three straight buckets, one free throw and a transition lay-up to give the Knights a 31-29 lead with 4:22 left before the break.
“Having Marcia back was really great,” said Ross. “The kid’s an amazing athlete and that was really good to see her able to do that.”
Emily Ottenhoff scored a career-high 13 points – including going 5-of-6 from the line – as Calvin’s bench outscored its starters 47-41. Brummel finished with eight points to lead all starting guards.
The Knights shot just 0-of-5 from 3-point range, where they have flourished throughout the past month. They shot 14-of-28 against Olivet on Jan. 21 and 9-of-13 the last time they faced Adrian on Jan. 17.
“ I’m thinking a big part of that has to be working on getting them good passes on the outside,” said Van Eck. “Maybe we didn’t give them enough good looks out there, because we have a lot of good 3-point shooters.”
Jennifer Perrin paced the Bulldogs with 25 points and six assists while Megan Bouwens and Anita Stamps each added 16 points.
Calvin will now travel to Rochester on Feb. 11 before returning home to face Olivet on Feb. 14.
NOTES: Marcia Harris was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV third team on Saturday…Harris’ 1,468 career point total is second only to that of Lisa Winkle’s 1,721 points (2003-2007)…Adrian is just the second MIAA opponent that Calvin has swept in conference play this season. The Knights went 1-2 against the Bulldogs in 2007-08…Calvin is now 66-27 all-time against Adrian…The Knights are now amid their third win streak of the season. They won five games from Nov. 15 to Nov. 28 and three games from Jan. 17 to Jan. 24.