Women’s Basketball Team Advances to MIAA Tournament Semifinals to Face Saint Mary’s
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
(written by sports information student assistant Mitch Blankespoor)
After escaping with a three-point victory at Alma College on Saturday, the Calvin women’s basketball team took on the Comets of Olivet on Tuesday night in the first round of the MIAA tournament. Calvin never looked back, and went on to defeat Olivet 76-57.
Carissa Verkaik had a busy yet successful week last week. She broke the MIAA single game scoring record with 46 points on Wednesday, and captured her third MIAA Player of the Week honor. She started off this week right where she left off scoring the first five points for Calvin. Olivet hung tough from the start, however, as it cut Calvin’s early lead to just three points. Calvin then went on a 24-5 run to broaden its lead to twenty points. Calvin would lead 43-22 at half.
“ We thought Olivet would come out very physical, but the opposite happened. They came out and started four guards and played a 2-3 zone. We did a good job against their zone early.” Calvin head coach John Ross commented after the game.
Olivet opened up the second half in similar fashion, but quickly moved out of the zone defense because of Calvin’s three point shooting. Kelsey Irwin, a freshman out of Fraser High School connected on four triples during the game. Calvin would lead by as many as 26 early into the second half. Olivet got as close as 19, but couldn’t get the Knights lead to single digits.
Carissa Verkaik led the Knights with 15 points and nine rebounds, one short of a double-double. Kelsey Irwin had 12 points, and Amber Benthem had 10. Olivet was led by Kaitlin Oleksyn who had 13 points and Sam Keiffer connected on four three points to have 12 points.
Calvin shot 43% from the field including only 33% from behind the arc. Olivet shot only 35% from the field and only 29% from three point range. Calvin also outrebounded Olivet 46 to 35.
“ It was good that no one played more than 20 minutes today. Some of out reserves who don’t get that many minutes got to play more tonight. That is always helpful because you never know when you are going to need someone come tournament time.”
Calvin will host the third seeded Belles of Saint Mary’s college on Thursday at VanNoord Arena. Saint Mary’s defeated fifth seeded Albion 71-69.
CALVIN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL MIAA TOURNAMENT NOTES…Calvin is now 27-11 all-time in MIAA Tournament play including 2-0 against Olivet….Calvin is now 10-3 all-time in first round MIAA Tournament games…Calvin is now 22-6 in MIAA Tournament games played at home including 2-0 in games at Van Noord Arena…Calvin is 2-1 in MIAA Tournament play against Saint Mary’s with Saint Mary’s defeating Calvin in last year’s MIAA Tournament semifinals in South Bend 67-58….Calvin is 11-3 all-time in MIAA Tournament semifinal games including 10-1 in MIAA Tournament semifinal games at home.
OTHER MIAA TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND SCORES TUESDAY
Hope 76, Alma 52
Adrian 62, Trine 57
Saint Mary’s 61, Albion 59
MIAA TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL PAIRINGS FOR FEB. 25, 2010
#3 Saint Mary’s (15-11) at #2 Calvin (23-3)
#4 Adrian (12-13) at #1 Hope (25-1)