Verkaik Just Misses Triple-Double as Knights Hold Off Albion in Key Conference Game Saturday
Saturday, December 18, 2010
The Calvin women’s basketball team was pushed to the limit on Saturday by conference rival Albion but the Knights were up to the challenge down the stretch as they recorded a 73-65 victory over the Britons in a matchup of teams with undefeated MIAA records at Van Noord Arena.
Sophomore Carissa Verkaik (Holland Christian HS) had a monster game with 30 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocked shots, just missing a triple-double. Verkaik swished a three-pointer with 52 seconds left to play that helped seal the win over Albion (4-6 overall, 2-1 MIAA) as it gave Calvin a six-point lead.
Albion came out out the gate with fire and led at halftime 32-28. The second half featured back-and-forth action as the lead changed hands 13 times. Calvin took the lead for good however on a bucket inside by sophomore Julia Hilbrands (Grand Rapids Christian HS) with 7L51 left and moments later, Hilbrands converted a fast-break layup to give Calvin a 62-59 lead.
Albion closed to within three at 68-65 on a layup by Kelsey Effner with 1:14 to go but Verkaik followed with a clutch triple from the top of the key with 52 seconds remaining to give the Knights breathing room.
Verkaik’s 30-point, 13-rebound performance marked the 16th collegiate double-double of her career.
Calvin (8-2 overall, 4-0 MIAA) also received nine points from junior guard Jill Thomas (West Catholic HS) and sophomore forward Ally Wolffis (Muskegon-Mona Shores HS) while sophomore Logan Marsh (Byron Center HS) had seven points and four assists. Thomas also had three assists, three blocked shots and two steals. Junior Heather DeKleine (Unity Christian HS) added a game-high five assists. Albion was led in scoring by Effner who had 13 points.
As a team, Calvin shot 44.4 percent from the field including 53.8 percent in the second half. Albion shot 42.6 percent overall and 50 percent in the second half. Albion was 10 of 14 at the line while Calvin was 17 of 21 at the charity stripe.
Calvin has now won five straight games and will face Wesleyan College (CT) on December 30 in a tournament hosted by California Lutheran University.