Women’s Basketball Opens Second Half of MIAA Schedule With 63-46 Win Over Olivet
Saturday, January 23, 2010
(written by sports information student assistant Mitch Blankespoor)
Looking to build off of a win against Alma in which the Knights had 22 turnovers, the Calvin women’s basketball team took on the Olivet Comets on Saturday. The Knights remained undefeated this year at Van Noord Arena winning the contest 63-46.
Both teams started out shooting hot from the floor. Olivet (5-13, 4-5MIAA) hung with favored Calvin (16-2, 8-1MIAA) for the first ten minutes of the game. With Calvin leading 15-8 with 11:59 remaining in the first half, the Knights half court defense stepped it up a notch. Olivet would only score eight more points the entire half. Calvin ended the half on a 17-8 run to lead 32-16 at the half.
Calvin had a balanced scoring attack at the half. Freshman Carissa Verkaik led Calvin at the half with eight points. Amber Benthem, Brook VanEk, and Courtney Kurncz had five points each. Olivet was led by Olivia Yarrell with six points. The Knights shot 37% from the field and from three point range. The Comets, on the other hand shot 29%. The rebounds were about even with Calvin holding a slight edge 17-14. The biggest difference in the first half was the free throw shooting. While Olivet was perfect from the stripe, they only got there four times. Calvin shot 75% from the line, but took 12 shots.
The beginning of the second half was all about runs. Olivet opened up with a 5-2 run. Calvin responded with an 11-3 run of their own to take a 20 point lead: 45-25. Olivet’s Alison Focht hit a jumper that stopped the Knights run. Calvin just went on another run. This one was an 11-5 run. This put Calvin ahead by 24, its biggest margin. Olivet was able to cut Calvin’s lead to 17 points, which is what the final game spread was.
Calvin had two players in double digit scoring. Carissa Verkaik, a freshman from Holland Christian scored her tenth double-double. She finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks; a stat she is 5th in nationally averaging 3.7 blocks per game. After being introduced into the 500 rebound club earlier this week, senior Brook VanEck led the Knights with 13 points and grabbed six boards. Kaitlyn Oleksyn and Olivia Yarrell had 12 points to lead the Comets. Olivet only shot 28% for the game while Calvin shot 41% from the field. The big difference in the game was the fouls. Olivet was whistled for 36 fouls in the game to Calvin’s 20. Because of this, the Knights lived at the line. They were 26 of 38 from the line for 68%.
“Our defensive goal was to play the gaps. We were still playing a man-to-man defense, but it worked kind of like a zone,” Calvin head coach John Ross said after the game. “Carissa has played well this year. We expected some zone from Olivet in order to stop Carissa. We didn’t see it though. Our guards continue to knock down shots when Carissa gets double teamed.
The Knight will go to Saint Mary’s next week, a team they defeated 64-58 at Van Noord Arena earlier this year. “ Saint Mary’s always gives us fits. They beat us three times last year and twice at home. They will be hungry for revenge.” John Ross.