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Women’s Basketball Gains Come-From-Behind Win at Manchester in Season Opener

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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MANCHESTER, IN – Calvin survived an upset bid by host Manchester Tuesday night, securing a 48-43 victory in its season-opener. Ranked sixth by one national poll and fifth in another, Calvin trailed 21-12 at halftime and shot just 35 percent overall but used a stingy defensive effort over the final 10 minutes of the game to gain the win.

Junior center Carissa Verkaik (Holland/Holland Christian HS) was key to the Calvin comeback, recording her 26th collegiate double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds to go with seven blocked shots. Of her 20 points, 14 came in the second half.

Calvin trailed 28-16 early in the second half but then began to steadily chip into the Manchester lead. Jumpers by sophomore Kirstin Tripp (Brighton/Brighton HS) and Verkaik brought Calvin within four at 36-32. Verkaik then scored four straight points to bring the Knights within a point at 39-38 and senior Jill Thomas (Grand Rapids/West Catholic HS) followed with a triple that gave Calvin a 41-39 lead.

Manchester came back to take a 43-42 lead with 2:52 remaining but Calvin responded by feeding Verkaik inside for back-to-back buckets that gave the Knights a 46-43 lead.

A pair of three-pointers by Manchester in the 30 seconds were off the mark and Calvin freshman Breanna Verkaik sealed the win with a pair of free throws with two seconds remaining.

“It wasn’t a pretty performance but it was a gritty performance and we’ll take the win,” said Calvin women’s basketball coach John Ross who recorded his 180th collegiate victory in the win. “Manchester is a well-coached team and this is not an easy place to play. We could have folded but we showed heart in coming back to win on the road. We need to get better. There’s no question about that but a win is sure better than a loss and we’ll take this game and move forward.”

Calvin held Manchester to just four points over the final 10 minutes of regulation. The host Spartans shot just 29.7 percent overall and committed 18 turnovers.

Calvin returns to Indiana this weekend as it will compete in a tournament at Anderson University. Calvin will face the University of Cincinnati-Clermont on Friday in a first round tournament game at 6 p.m.

Posted in: Women's Basketball
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