Women’s Basketball Claims 60-40 Victory at Wisconsin-LaCrosse in Family Affair
Friday, December 30, 2011
(Photo courtesy of Wisconsin-LaCrosse Sports Information Department)
LACROSSE, WI - Calvin women’s basketball coach John Ross will carry family bragging rights into the new year. On Friday afternoon, his fourth-ranked Calvin women’s basketball team claimed a 60-40 victory over the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. The host Eagles include Mark Ross, a younger brother of John Ross, as an assistant coach on its coaching staff.
“This was a really nice victory for our team,” said John Ross after the game. “To get a win against a high-caliber opponent in a hostile atmosphere on the road is big.”
As for coaching against his brother with his father Alan and mother Odetta in attendance, John Ross had mixed emotions. “For me personally, it was difficult to coach against my brother because I respect him so much and we are very close,” said John Ross. “He has a great basketball mind and he knows the system that we run at Calvin very well which had me worried. I am happy to get the win but I am glad to get this game out of the way.”
Calvin is now 10-0 on the season heading into a Saturday afternoon contest at Luther College (IA).
In its victory over Wisconsin-LaCrosse (9-3), Calvin held a slim 25-23 halftime advantage but surged in the second half, outscoring the Eagles 9-2 in the first five minutes of the second half to build a 34-25 lead. The Calvin lead later swelled to 18 points at 50-32 with 8:14 remaining after a jumper by freshman Kayla Engelhard. Wisconsin-LaCrosse got no closer than 13 points the rest of the way as the Knights pulled away for the win.
Calvin was led by junior center Carissa Verkaik who poured in 27 points along with 10 rebounds, six blocked shots and three steals to notch her 32nd career double-double and her seventh double-double of the season. Junior post Julia Hilbrands added 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench while junior forward Ally Wolffis had nine points and seven rebounds. Senior Courtney Kurncz also keyed a Calvin defense that recorded 13 steals as she picked up five steals individually.
As a team, Calvin limited Wisconsin-LaCrosse to 23.5 percent field goal shooting. The Eagles were led in scoring by Kassie Robinson with 17 points and six rebounds.
“I thought our post play was exceptional this afternoon but our guards also did a great job of handling the ball, particularly against their full-court pressure,” said John Ross. “Our defense, particularly in the second half was also outstanding.”
Calvin’s game against Luther on Saturday is slated to start at 2 p.m. (EST). The Luther women’s basketball program is asking all fans bring non-perishable food items or paper products such as toilet paper, paper towels etc., as admission to the basketball game. Fans will also be given an opportunity to donate cash. All items and money will be donated to the Decorah area food pantries.