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Women’s Basketball Bows Out in First Round of NCAA III Tournament With 78-67 Loss to St. Norbert

Saturday, March 06, 2010

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Box Score

DEPERE, WI - A 12-point first half lead slipped away behind a flurry of first half turnovers in the first round of the NCAA III Tournament for the Calvin women’s basketball team Friday night against St. Norbert.  With the lead went the momentum and the host Green Knights of St. Norbert used the reversal of fortunes to good use in pulling away for a 78-67 victory.

Calvin led 16-4 in the opening five minutes but foul and turnover trouble continued to mount throughout the opening 20 minutes. Calvin post players Carissa Verkaik, Allison Wolffis (Muskegon-Mona Shores HS) and Brook Van Eck were all saddled with two fouls in the first half. Calvin also turned the ball over 19 times in the opening 20 minutes. Calvin led 31-22 with 4:52 left in the first half but St. Norbert closed the first half with a 9-2 run to trail just 33-31 at the break.

The Green Knights (23-3) then went on a 15-2 run to open the second half to build a 46-35 lead. Calvin (24-5) later whittled the lead down to five points, trailing 72-67 with just over a minute left to play but St. Norbert sealed the win by grabbing an offensive rebound on a missed free throw and then swished six free throws in the final minute of play to clinch the win.

St. Norbert has now won 38 of its last 39 games at home. The Green Knights will face Wisconsin-Stevens Point in a second round game Saturday night at 5:00 p.m.

Verkaik (Holland Christian HS) led Calvin with 17 points and six rebounds despite battling foul trouble. Van Eck (Lowell HS), playing in her final collegiate contest scored 14 points to become the 12th player in Calvin women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 points. Van Eck hit 1,000 with 1:35 left to play on a free throw. Van Eck was one of three seniors to play their final games in Calvin uniforms Friday night as seniors Emily Ottenhoff (Palos Heights, IL) and Amber Benthem (McBain, MI) also bowed out in the loss. Ottenhoff had nine points and six rebounds in the loss Friday while Benthem had eight points and two assists. Sophomore Courtney Kurncz (St. Johns, MI) also had nine points and five boards for Calvin.

The reality of losing three seniors after Friday’s game is painful according to Calvin head coach John Ross. “That’s the most difficult thing about this game,” said Ross. “We lose three great seniors who we will miss very much. They are wonderful young women who have represented Calvin magnificently on and off the court.”

Ross also recognized Van Eck’s accomplishment of hitting the 1,000 point plateau. “It’s a great accomplishment for Brook. She has worked unbelievably hard and deserves every accolade she receives,” said Ross. “Her most impressive accomplishment during her career though has been her willingness to do whatever she can to help our team. She is as unselfish as they come and will be a great representative of Calvin College in whatever she decides to do in the future as will all three of our graduating seniors.

With its victory Friday night, St. Norbert stretched its winning streak to 16 games. The Green Knights were led by Stefanie Bunday with 19 points while Midwest Conference Player of the
Year Denise Heuser had 18 points including 15 in the second half.

Calvin finished the game with 27 turnovers. St. Norbert shot 64.0 percent from the field in the second half after shooting just 35.7 percent in the first half.

Calvin was making its 12th appearance in the NCAA III Tournament. The Knights are now 14-12 in NCAA III Tournament play.

NCAA III TOURNAMENT NOTES: Van Eck also grabbed two rebounds on Friday to finish her career with 555 rebounds…she is one of only seven Calvin players to score more than 1,000 points and grab more than 500 rebounds with Lisa Winkle, Marcia Harris, Kerry Walters,  Eileen Boonstra, Judy Wasmer and Pam Wubben also achieving the feat….Calvin is now 2-2 against Midwest Conference opponents in NCAA III Tournament play, having defeated Ripon and Lake Forest and falling to Carroll and St. Norbert…Calvin’s final win total of 24 matches the third-highest win total in Calvin women’s basketball history….Heading into Friday’s game, Van Eck was the only Calvin player with NCAA III Tournament experience in women’s basketball as Van Eck played in all four games of Calvin’s run to the 2007 NCAA III Quarterfinals…Friday’s game also marked the 12th NCAA III Tournament contest of Emily Ottenhoff’s Calvin athletic career…Ottenhoff also played in 11 NCAA III Tournament games in women’s soccer.

Calvin 1,000 Point Club

1,721—Lisa Winkle, 2003-2007
1,550 – Marcia Harris, 2005-2009
1,332—Kerry Walters, 1995-1999
1,288—Sarah Ondersma, 1987-1991
1,285—Sharon Boeve, 1982-1985
1,261 – Mindi Andringa, 1997-2000
1,194—Eileen Boonstra, 1977-1981
1,170 – Kristen McDonald, 2001-2005
1,146—Judy Wasmer, 1982-1985
1,103—Pam Wubben, 1990-1994
1,007 – Julie Post, 1984-1988
1,001 – Brook Van Eck, 2006-2010

Calvin Women’s Basketball 500 Rebound Club

1,034 —Lisa Winkle, 2003-2007
765 – Eileen Boonstra, 1977-1981
631—Judy Wasmer, 1982-1985
619 – Jill Kreuze, 1997-2000
616—Kerry Walters, 1995-1999
555 – Brook Van Eck, 2006-2010
550—Pam Wubben, 1990-1994
547 – Emily Beard, 2000-2003
536—Sara Burde, 1994-1998
506 – Marcia Harris, 2005-2009

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