Women’s Basketball Picks Up 74-48 Win Over Alma - Remains Tied for MIAA Lead
Thursday, February 17, 2011
(by Sports Information Student Assistant Derek Neice)
On senior night and the last home game of the regular season for the Knights, Calvin came out in all pink uniforms in honor of breast cancer awareness and defeated Alma 74-48 to put the Knights in position to clinch a share of the conference title. Sophomore center Carissa Verkaik (Holland, MI) also put herself in great position to break the career 1,000 point plateau with a stellar night as she poured in 31 points and added 7 rebounds, 7 blocks, and 5 steals. Verkaik needs only 18 more points to become the 13th player in Calvin history to accomplish the feat.
“Verkaik did a great job tonight but lots of credit needs to go to the players finding her,” Calvin Coach John Ross said after the game. “It’s always great to be unselfish and to get more assists than turnovers, and it’s also really great to get the win and stay in the conference race.”
In the first half Calvin got out to an early lead, and the Knights never let Alma get any kind of foothold in the game. The Knights shot an incredible 63.6 percent from the floor in the first half and 50.0 percent for the game as Calvin nabbed their 20th win of the season, making it Calvin’s 12th 20-win season ever and the 6th under Coach Ross during his 8-year tenure.
Aside from Verkaik’s 31 points, no other Calvin player reached double digits in scoring. Sophomores Julia Hilbrands (Grand Rapids, MI) and Ally Wolffis (Muskegon, MI) both added 8 points, and sophomore Kelsey Irwin (Fraser, MI) and Jill Thomas (Grand Rapids, MI) also chipped in 6 apiece. The Knights played extremely good defense in holding the Scots to only 31.5 percent shooting for the game and less than 50 points overall.
“Defense is definitely our number one focus in practice,” Ross said. “We stayed focused and did a great job on that side of the ball.”
Now at 14-1 in the conference and 20-4 overall, Calvin has only one more game to win to guarantee at least a share of the conference title with rival Hope. The Knights travel to Trine on Saturday for the final regular season game of the year.
“Trine is always a tough place to win and they’re well-coached,” Ross said of Saturday’s contest. “We’re going to have to come ready to play.”
That game is set to begin at 3 p.m.