Women’s Basketball Clinches Share of MIAA Title With Win Over Adrian - Showdown at Hope Next
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
By Mark DeHaan
With an important game against the Flying Dutch of #3 Hope looming on Saturday, the #2 Calvin Knights stayed focused on their contest Wednesday against Adrian, defeating the Bulldogs 83-52. With the win, Calvin clinches a share of the MIAA regular season title. The title is the third straight for Calvin and the 14th in school history.
Adrian kept with the Knights through the opening minutes, trailing 12-8 just over five minutes in. A few key plays from the Calvin reserves then kicked the Knights into gear. Senior Julia Hilbrands put in a pair of layups and senior Kelsey Irwin hit a pair of three-pointers to give Calvin the 22-12 advantage.
Four straight points from Adrian’s Antoinea McElroy then cut the Knights lead to 22-16 with 8:51 remaining in the opening half.
Stout defense over the remaining nine minutes and accurate shooting from behind the arc saw Calvin open a 44-19 advantage by halftime. Adrian was held to just one field goal over that period while four different Knights hit three point shots to see the Calvin edge balloon to 25.
Sophomore Breanna Verkaik led all scorers with 12 points at the half. The Knights as a team shot 8-for-13 from three-point range in the first half. Calvin also assisted on 15-of-17 field goals in the opening period.
In the second half, the Knights received strong opening minutes from their starters before the reserves took over. With 12:33 remaining in the contest, Calvin took its largest lead of the game 61-30 on a layup by Hilbrands.
Strong play from the reserves saw sophomore Maria DeKuiper score nine points in the closing minutes while sophomore Abby VanderWoude chipped in four points and four rebounds.
The Knights closed out the game on an 8-0 run to complete the 83-52 victory.
Sisters Carissa and Breanna Verkaik each scored 12 points to lead the Knights, while DeKuiper and Irwin added nine apiece and seniors Logan Marsh and Ally Wolffis each chipped in eight. The Bulldogs were led on offense by Lauren Rhoads who scored 12 points, while Casey Fougerousse and Rachael Walker each scored ten.
“We really played well the last ten minutes of the second half. We made some great stops defensively, we rebounded pretty well, we were running and made some really good decisions; that was basically the difference in the game,” said head coach John Ross. “Hope is going to be really tough. (DeVos) is a really tough place to play, we’ve won once in about ten years there. It is really going to be a battle.”
Calvin is now 22-1 overall and remains undefeated in conference play at 15-0. Adrian drops to 7-16 on the year and 6-9 in the MIAA. The Knights now look forward to Saturday when they will play Hope.The game will be played at DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland, with the tip-off scheduled for 3 p.m.