Men’s basketball to battle with Hope in ‘The Rivalry’ Saturday

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

The Calvin men’s basketball team will take on Hope Saturday at in the 186th installment of the vaunted Calvin-Hope Rivalry.  The game will be held at 3 p.m. at Calvin’s Spoelhof Fieldhouse complex.

The Knights (9-3, 1-0 MIAA) and Flying Dutch (7-5, 1-0) have a fierce, historic rivalry that dates back to 1920.

Over the entirety of the 185 times the two teams have met, only 88 points separate them, less than half a point per contest.  Hope leads the series 96-89.

Calvin’s leading scorers heading into Saturday’s contest are junior shooting guard Jordan Brink at 14.7 points per game, senior center Tyler Kruis at 14.2 and senior forward Mickey DeVries at 12.5.

Calvin’s highest-attended game so far this season was a win over Cornerstone on November 29 that had 1,211 fans.  That record figures to shatter on Saturday, as tickets for the Hope game have already sold out, with students lining up almost all the way through the Fieldhouse to buy tickets.

Sophomore Ben Gardner is the leader of a balanced scoring attack for the Dutch, averaging 13.5 points per game while leading the team in minutes played.  Senior center Nate VanArendonk anchors the front line for Hope, averaging over six rebounds and two blocks a game.

As the historical statistics suggest, the Calvin-Hope game is always a close battle, and this year is unlikely to be any different, as both teams have yet to be fully challenged in MIAA play.