Verkaik Rewrites the Record Books With 46-Point Scoring Effort in Calvin Win Over Adrian
Thursday, February 18, 2010
(written by Calvin sports information student assistant Derek Neice)
It’s always great to see athletes rewrite the record books.
Wednesday night in the last regular season game at the Van Noord Arena, freshman Carissa Verkaik of Holland Christian High School rewrote the Calvin record books, carving her name into Knights history as she scored 46 points, the new Calvin and MIAA single game scoring record. Verkaik for 18 for 20 from the field, including 3 for 3 from three-point range while connecting on 7 of 8 from the free throw line.
Verkaik’s point total is also an NCAA III women’s single-game scoring-high this year.
In connecting on 18 field goals, Verkaik also established a new Calvin and MIAA single-game record for field goals in a game, breaking the previous record of 17, shared by Eileen Boonstra of Calvin (1980) and Laura Knapp of Adrian (1982). The previous Calvin single-game scoring record had been 40 shared by Boonstra (1980) and Kristen McDonald (2005). The previous MIAA scoring record had been 42 points set by Hope’s Kari Nysse in 1996.
“It shows a lot of unselfish play by our guards,” said Calvin coach John Ross of Verkaik’s performance. “And Carissa [Verkaik] did a great job offensively.”
Followers of Calvin women’s basketball probably aren’t too surprised to hear that Verkaik broke this record though. Verkaik has been a dynamic scoring threat for the Knights all season, even scoring a whopping 39 points in an earlier December 5th game at Purdue-Calumet.
Verkaik had 29 points in the first half, connecting on her first 11 field goal attempts, three of which were from three-point range. Verkaik’s first miss did not come until the final two minutes of the first half.
Verkaik entered Wednesday’s game as the MIAA scoring leader and likely cemented her spot as the MIAA scoring champion as she now holds a 48-point lead over Sydney Beckwith of Alma with one league game left to play. Verkaik is bidding to become Calvin’s fourth MIAA scoring champion including its first since Robyn Fennema did so in 2000. Also MIAA scoring champions from Calvin include Sharon Boeve (1982) and Kim Bartman (1992).
Calvin senior Brook Van Eck also had a strong game on Wednesday, scoring 20 points and grabbing 5 rebounds, and Courtney Kurncz and Julia Hildebrands both added 7 apiece in this highly offensive game. With her five rebounds, Van Eck moves into a tie for ninth place on the Calvin career rebounding list with 1998 Calvin graduate Sara Burde with 536 career boards.
Wednesday’s game marked the final regular season home game for Van Eck and fellow Calvin seniors Amber Benthem and Emily Ottenhoff.
“The seniors have been great leaders, and we’ve needed that,” said Ross of his seniors. “Great leaders, great friends, they’ve really just kept positive energy throughout the entire year and our success is really because of these three seniors.”
Calvin scored 54 points in the first half, 29 of them going to Verkaik as Carissa missed only one shot and one free throw. She poured in 17 more in the second half to set the new record, and surprisingly she actually didn’t even know she had broken the record until a teammate told her to try and break 50.
“I didn’t know actually until my teammate came in and told me they were leaving me in to score fifty,” said Verkaik smiling. “Then I looked up at the scoreboard and it was forty-six”
“And I just love all the girls on this team, and I think we all just play really well as a team,” continued Verkaik when asked about her contributions to this team as a whole this season. “And I just try to help out as much as I can, I hope we go far.”
Aside from Verkaik’s performance and the great offensive performance by the team as a whole, Calvin actually didn’t play as well as Ross was hoping. The Knights gave up 77 points, 23 more than their season average of points by opponents. Had Verkaik not scored such a high number herself, the Knights certainly would have had to fight to win this game.
“I was extremely disappointed with our defensive effort and you have to give Adrian credit,” said Ross. “We’ve got to be better on the defensive end, and we were fortunate enough to score that many points.”
Adrian was led in defeat by Ashley McClarren and Elysia Norris with 16 points apiece.
But they did come away victorious, and with only one more game to go before the conference tournament, Calvin still is keeping their focus where it should be, one game at a time.
“We’re just going to worry about Alma right now,” said Ross of the mindset of the team moving on. “We need to put in a real good performance up at Alma. That’s our concern right now, we’ll worry about next week when we get there.”
So on Saturday Calvin will be at Alma, with tip-off taking place at 3 p.m. The win Wednesday pushed the Knight’s record to 13-2 in the MIAA and 21-3 overall. Calvin is also currently ranked 11th by d3hoops.com and 10th by the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association.