Women’s Basketball Advances To MIAA Tournament Finals With 63-36 Win Over Albion
Thursday, February 24, 2011
By Sports Information Student Assistant Andrew Knot
The Calvin women’s basketball team advanced to the MIAA championship game with a 63-36 victory over Albion on Thursday.
Calvin (23-4) will face Hope (26-1) in the MIAA Tournament final on Saturday at 3 p.m. with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA III Tournament. Hope defeated Trine 66-47 in Thursday’s other semifinal game.
On Thursday night, Albion (14-13) opened the game strong, maintaining an early lead and tying the game at 14. From there, however, the Knights would pull away. Kelsey Irwin knocked down a crucial three and Calvin pulled away to own a 33-18 advantage at halftime.
The second half was more of the same for the Knights, who also swept Albion in the regular season. Sophomore Carissa Verkaik posted 23 points and eight boards on 10-14 shooting. Ally Wolffis was also efficient from the field, shooting 5-7. Courtney Kurncz had six points and four rebounds while Julia Hilbrands grabbed six rebounds.
Coach John Ross, who wasn’t pleased with his team’s defensive performance against Kalamazoo on Tuesday, saw notable improvement.
“Albion is a good offensive team. They run more defensive sets than anyone. I’m really happy with our defensive effort,” said Ross.
He also noted Calvin’s depth as an advantage. Calvin played 14 players and nine of them received very significant playing time.
NOTES: …Calvin will playing in the MIAA Tournament Championship game for the 13th time on Saturday…the Knights are 4-8 all-time in MIAA Tournament Championship games…by grabbing eight rebounds Thursday, Verkaik boosted her career total to 521 rebounds, moving her into 10th place on the Calvin career rebounding list…she is the eighth individual in Calvin women’s basketball history to score both 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds…Calvin is now 29-14 all-time in MIAA Tournament play.