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Women’s Basketball Clipped By Hope

Thursday, January 15, 2009

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Box Score

(written by Bruce VanBaren)

Hope used a quick start and stifling defense to cruise past Calvin 73-49 Wednesday night at DeVos Fieldhouse. The Flying Dutch, ranked ninth in the latest poll, held the Knights’ starters to eight points and forced 32 turnovers to notch their fourth straight win over Calvin.

“Hope stepped up and shut them down,” coach John Ross said. “They always do a really good job defensively. We’ve got to do a better job being tough and have to do a better job taking care of the ball.”

Calvin never led and for much of the first half the Knights found turnovers were easier to come by than points. Calvin was held to 22 points in the first half, but recorded 20 turnovers. The Knights shot just 34-percent and were 4 of 12 from three-point range.

“We’re just not executing,” Ross said. “We’ve had a tough time getting off to a good start here lately and you can’t do it against one of the best teams in the country. We did the same thing at (third-ranked) Wisconsin-Whitewater (and we lost).”

After being named the MIAA player of the week, Hope’s Jenny Cowen sparked a 14-4 run to start the game, scoring ten of Hope’s first 14 points. Cowen, who averages 11.6 points-per-game, led all scorers with 20 points, including 16 in the first half, on 5 of 8 shooting and 3 of 5 shooting from beyond the arc. Philana Greene was the only other player in double figures with 12 points.

“We tried a zone defense against them,” Ross said. “The problem with it was that I think they’ve just had too much practice against a zone this year. Too many teams have tried it against them and they looked a lot more comfortable against the zone tonight than they have been.”

Hope (11-1, 5-1 MIAA) remains half a game out of first place after Saint Mary’s, who beat both Hope and Calvin, fell to Albion 77-72 Wednesday night. Calvin (7-6, 2-4 MIAA) falls to seventh place in the MIAA, tied with Olivet and ahead of Kalamazoo.

“It’s not like our kids aren’t trying,” Ross said. “I mean we’re trying and right now we’re just not gelling. But hopefully there will be a point when we are gelling and it will be a lot more fun to watch.”

Calvin trailed by as many as 32 points with 11:36 to play in the second half. But the Knights were led by four bench players. Courtney Kurncz totaled a team-high seven points, while Leah Mattson, Marissa Walker and Emily Schrotenboer each had six points.

“You have to give our kids off the bench credit for hanging in there and scoring,” Ross said. “But we have to find a way to get off to a good start.”

Over the last four games, Calvin has gotten off to extremely bumpy starts, trailing 12-0 in the opening two minutes against fourth-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater on December 29, trailing Alma 11-3 through the opening minutes of its January 3 game against the Scots, falling into an 11-2 hole early against Trine last Wednesday and falling behind 14-4 early tonight against Hope.

Since beginning the season 5-0, Calvin has lost six of its last eight games with the only wins coming against Clark College and against Trine in last Wednesday’s inaugural game at VanNoord Arena.

The Knights had a week break before Wednesday’s game against Hope. The Knights will host Adrian at 3 p.m. Saturday at Van Noord Arena

Posted in: Women's Basketball
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