Second Half Surge Leads Calvin Men’s Hoops to 68-49 Win at Albion
Thursday, January 30, 2014
By Mark DeHaan
The Kresge Gymnasium on the campus of Albion College was the setting for a first-place battle in MIAA men’s basketball on Wednesday evening. The Knights and Britons entered the contest both at 5-1 in the conference, with Calvin coming in at 13-4 overall and Albion at 11-6 overall.
After leading by just four at halftime, the Knights expanded their lead to as much as 21 in the second half en route to a 68-49 victory.
A raucous Albion crowd gave the Knights difficulty to start, and the Britons came out to a 7-3 advantage. Calvin tied the game at 10-10 and 17-17, but each time Albion retook the lead.
With 6:03 remaining, the Knights finally earned their first lead of the game, going up 21-19 on a jumper from sophomore Austin Parks (Niles/Niles HS).
The Britons then tied it up, but a dunk by senior Tyler Kruis (Grand Rapids/Calvin Christian HS) energized Calvin and the Knights lead in the first half grew to as much as seven before settling at 30-26 at halftime.
Out of the break, Albion cut Calvin’s advantage to 36-34 before a 9-0 run, capped by a pair of Kruis dunks, gave the Knights a 45-34 lead.
Again, the Britons fought back, and Calvin’s lead was just six before another run by the Knights, including back-to-back threes from junior Jordan Brink (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian HS), put Calvin up 53-40 and the momentum definitively in the Knights’ favor.
For the remaining seven minutes, Calvin held a double-digit lead and iced the game at the free throw line as Brink went 8-for-8 from the stripe down the stretch.
In the end, it was the Knights earning a hard-fought 68-49 victory.
Calvin’s defense held Albion to 31.1% shooting while the offense shot 40.4%. The Knights shot 19-of-24 from the free throw line.
Brink led the Knights with 22 points while Kruis tallied a double-double at 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Mickey DeVries (Lansing/Lansing Christian HS) and Tyler Dykstra (Holland/Holland Christian HS) each added eight points.
Eric Evans led Albion with 17 points while Lawrence Ridgell chipped in 12.
“I thought we did a really good job getting down low. Kruis had a good second half and Jordan Brink hit a couple threes that really got us going,” said head coach Kevin Vande Streek. “I said to the underclassman to get used to this environment. I’ve been here 18 years and it has always been such an incredible environment and the games have always been tough.”
With the win, Calvin improves to 6-1 in the MIAA and 14-4 overall while Albion drops to 5-2 in the league and 11-7 overall. The Knights are now alone atop the MIAA, with Hope second at 5-1. The Flying Dutchmen, after having a game postponed, will make up a game next week Monday before playing the Knights on Wednesday.
Calvin now looks forward to Saturday when it will host the Scots of Alma, with tipoff scheduled for 3 p.m.