Women’s Basketball Dials Long Distance To Defeat Kalamazoo
Saturday, January 24, 2009
By Chaz Amidon
GRAND RAPIDS – The Knights began their 2008-09 season by totaling only 10 3-pointers in their first three games.
Now, with a new-found proficiency from the perimeter, Calvin is getting used to drilling around 10 long balls per contest.
Unleashing a torrent of 3-pointers in the opening minutes on Saturday, the Knights jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead against Kalamazoo and would not slow down, defeating the Hornets 66-40.
Kacy Cryderman poured in a season-high 12 points, Amber Benthem added nine, and Calvin shot 10-of-31 from the outside against winless Kalamazoo (0-9, 0-15).
“We’re finally getting that fire and that spark that we had at the beginning (of the year),” said Cryderman. “I just feel like all of us are realizing, ‘Hey, we need to get out there and get this done.’”
Benthem, Sarah Partridge and Kristi Brummel each dialed in 3-pointers – within the first minute of the game – to catalyze a Knights’ perimeter game that sunk 14 3s in an 81-63 win over Olivet on Wednesday.
Calvin has now amassed 33 3-pointers during its current three-game win streak, its longest since opening the season with a 5-0 record.
“We’re just playing together really well,” said Benthem. “The 3s are coming and we’re working it around together. We’re feeling relaxed out there.”
Benthem began the game by nailing her first three attempts from beyond the arc, tallying all nine of her points before halftime. Leah Mattson and Jill Thomas each fired in 3-pointers in the final four minutes before the break, where the Knights led 36-18.
Calvin then broke open a devastating 11-0 run to start the second half. Cryderman ignited the run with back-to-back lay-ins, then gave the Knights a 42-18 lead with a put back later in the stretch.
“I felt good about myself out there,” said Cryderman, who has been sidelined with knee injuries the past two seasons. “Coming back from my injury, it’s beginning to start to feel more natural.”
The Knights forced Kalamazoo into committing 39 turnovers – it was the Hornets’ third straight 30-plus turnover outing.
Calvin applied full-court pressure throughout the first half, inducing nine Kalamazoo turnovers within the first four minutes.
“We were working a lot on our press lately…we wanted to tire them out right away,” said Benthem. “Our bench is so deep we could just keep it going.”
The Hornets, who had only seven active players on their roster, were led by a 12-point, 10-rebound performance by Nyemade Cooper, the MIAA’s leading scorer (17.4 ppg). Michelle Maiuri also pumped in a double-double, scoring 11 points while hauling in a game-high 13 rebounds.
Calvin will now host first-place Saint Mary’s on Wednesday and will have a chance to even up the regular season series with the Belles, who picked up a 79-74 win over the Knights when they traveled to Notre Dame, Ind., back on Dec. 6.