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Women’s Basketball Holds of Madonna 59-56 at Van Noord Arena

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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Box Score

John Ross Post-Game Interview

(Photo by Sandy Palmatter)

GRAND RAPIDS—The nationally-ranked Calvin women’s basketball team held off a determined Madonna squad Tuesday night, defeating the visiting Crusaders 59-56 at Calvin’s Van Noord Arena. Madonna (4-6) held a 53-51 lead with under five minutes remaining but the Knights (11-1) retook the lead at 54-53 on a triple by freshman Kelsey Irwin (Fraser HS) with 3:57 left to play. The triple was the fourth of the game for Irwin who played a key role in cracking Madonna’s zone defense.

A layup by freshman center Carissa Verkaik (Holland Christian HS) gave Calvin a 56-53 lead with 2:41 remaining and senior Emily Ottenhoff (Palos Heights, IL/Chicago Christian HS) connected on a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left to put the Knights up 59-53. A three-pointer by Madonna’s Shantelle Herring cut the deficit to 58-56 with 4.5 seconds remaining but Ottenhoff was able to hit a free throw with 2.9 seconds to go to put Calvin up three. A desperation three-pointer by Madonna from half-court the buzzer was off the mark, allowing 19th-ranked Calvin to claim the win.

Verkaik led all scorers with 19 points to go with 14 rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots while Irwin tossed in a career-high 12 points off the bench. The double-double by Verkaik was her seventh double-double of the season.

In the first half, Calvin trailed 30-23 but rallied with a 13-3 run over the final four minutes capped off by a bank shot from three-point range just before the halftime buzzer by junior Leah Morrison (Chelsea HS) that lifted the Knights into a 36-33 lead at the break.

Madonna was led in scoring by Tabatha Wydrick with 18 points, six assists and six rebounds while Kaylee McGrath had 13 points including three triples.

Calvin held a 42-37 rebounding advantage and shot 36.1 percent from the field. Madonna shot 32.7 percent from the field including just 25.0 percent in the second half. Madonna was 7 of 22 (.318) from three-point range while Calvin was 8 of 24 (.333) from beyond the long line. Madonna connected on 13 of 17 at the charity striple (.765) while Calvin was 7 of 9 (.778) at the line.

Calvin will now face an two-and-a-half week layoff between games as the Knights do not play again until January 9 when they travel to Trine University for a 1 p.m. conference contest.

Posted in: Women's Basketball
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