Women’s Basketball Captures Share of MIAA Regular Season Title With Win at Trine
Saturday, February 19, 2011
(written by sports information student assistant Mitch Blankespoor)
ANGOLA, IN - The Calvin College women’s basketball team had a chance to wrap up at least a share of the conference title Saturday. The only thing standing in their way was a long bus ride and the Trine University Thunder. Calvin defeated Trine in similar fashion to the game played back in Grand Rapids. Calvin defeated Trine 64-35 to capture a share of the MIAA regular season championship.
Calvin started the game on a 14-4 run behind seven points from junior forward Courtney Kurncz (St. John’s, St. John’s). After that, both teams were ice cold from the floor. An Ally Wolffis (Muskegon, Mona Shores) old-fashioned three point play was the only time the ball would find the basket for the next four minutes for either team. Calvin would outscore Trine 10-5 in the final seven minutes of the first half to take a 27-9 lead into halftime.
The second half started the same as the first. Trine could not get good looks at the basket. Calvin forced six shot clock violations throughout the game. In the first 12:34 of the second half, Calvin outscored Trine 23-6 to take a 50-15 lead. It was during this run that a milestone was hit. With the clock showing 10:56, Carissa Verkaik (Holland, Holland Christian) rebounded a Kelsey Irwin (Fraser, Fraser) miss and laid the ball off glass and in. This gave her 18 points in the game, but an even 1,000 for her career. She becomes just the 13th player in Calvin women’s basketball history to reach that plateau and was by far the fastest.
“I just give God all the glory. All I do is go out and try to play to the best of my ability every game. He takes care of the rest.”
Trine did outscore Calvin in the last seven minutes of the game, but it was not nearly enough. The Knights defeated the Thunder 64-35 to win a share of the MIAA championship, the school’s first since 2007.
“I thought we played well on defense. We forced a lot of shot clock violations. We did not have great flow on offense, but a win is a win. I couldn’t be prouder of every individual on this team. They deserve this.”
Carissa Verkaik and Courtney Kurncz led Calvin with 18 and 15 points respectively. Liz Gehrig, the lone senior on the Trine roster, led her team on senior day with 11 points.
The win, along with Hope defeating Albion, put the two rival schools in a deadlock for first place. With no tiebreaker separating the two, a coin flip was the determiner of the first seed for the MIAA conference tournament. Calvin won the toss.
#1 Calvin will play host to #8 Kalamazoo at the Van Noord Arena on Tuesday night.
2011 MIAA Tournament Women’s Basketball Pairings
First Round - Tuesday, February 22
#8 Kalamazoo (4-12, 5-19) at #1 Calvin (15-1, 21-4), 7:30 p.m.
#7 Adrian (4-12, 7-17) at #2 Hope (15-1, 24-1), 7:30 p.m.
#6 Trine (5-11, 7-17) at #3 Saint Mary’s (11-5, 18-7), 7:30 p.m.
#5 Olivet (5-11, 6-18) at #4 Albion (11-5, 13-12), 7:30 p.m.
Semifinals - Thursday, February 24
Olivet-Albion winner vs. Kalamazoo-Calvin winner at higher seed, 7:30 p.m.
Trine-Saint Mary’s winner vs. Adrian-Hope winner at higher seed, 7:30 p.m.
Championship - Saturday, February 26
Semifinal winners at highest remaining seed, 3 p.m.