Women’s Basketball Falls to Hope 73-58 in MIAA Showdown
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
(written by Calvin sports information student assistant Mitch Blankespoor)
In a showdown of nationally-ranked teams vying for first place in the MIAA standings, Hope defeated Calvin 73-58 in women’s basketball Tuesday night inside Hope’s DeVos Fieldhouse. Calvin falls to 14-2 overall and to 6-1 in the MIAA while Hope improves to 15-1 overall and 7-0 in MIAA play.
Hope came out with pressure defense and forced two quick turnovers, a theme that would continue throughout most of the game. Calvin (14-2, 6-1MIAA) stuck with the Dutch through the first five minutes of the game. With the score knotted at 7, Hope decided it was time to make a run. Hope locked down on defense. After a 9-2 run, Calvin head coach John Ross had seen enough. He called a timeout to show down Hope’s run, but Hope kept on pressing. Hope ended the half on a 19-9 run to give the Flying Dutch a 35-18 halftime lead.
The Hope defense forced Calvin into 18 first half turnovers. Despite shooting 41% in the first half, Calvin only took 17 shots. Hope on the other hand grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and shot 37% from the field but took 41 shots.
Determined not to let Hope get the best of them, the Knights came out with some heart in the second half. Calvin began to chip away at the Dutch lead with some good half-court defense. The Knights would cut Hope’s lead to 10 points with just over nine minutes left in regulation. That would be as close as Calvin would get the rest of the way.
Senior Brook VanEck led the Knights with 15 points in a losing effort. Senior Amber Benthem added 9 points. In her return to Holland, Carissa VerKaik had 14 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots. Hope had four players in double figures.
Meredith Kussmaul came off the bench to lead the Dutch with 14 points. Erika Bruinsma, Philana Greene, and Jenny Cowan had 12, 11, and 10 points respectively. The story of the game came was turnovers and offensive rebounds. Hope grabbed 17 offensive rebounds to Calvin’s seven. Calvin doubled Hope’s turnovers 24-12. Calvin was not just throwing the ball away. 18 of Calvin’s 24 turnovers were Hope steals.
“We had one other game that we turned the ball over 30 plus times, but got ourselves out of it with some great shooting. The offensive rebounds are what killed us. You cannot do that against any good team or you are going to struggle.” Calvin head coach John Ross said after the game. “You also have to remember that we have a very young team. We start three seniors, our only three seniors. We are playing a lot of young kids that have never even seen a Calvin-Hope game let alone play in one. This is a very tough place to play. There has only ever been one team to beat Hope here, and that was an amazing team. I was happy we did not lose our composure like we have in the past few years.”
Calvin returns to action this Thursday when it hosts the Alma Scots.