Men’s basketball falls to Hope

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Number 22 Cam Denney drives the ball, he recorded a double-double, tallying 15 points and 17 rebounds. Photo courtesy Calvin Sports Information

In the 194th men’s basketball game between Calvin and Hope, Calvin hosted Hope last Wednesday. In addition to the traditional rivalry, Hope was leading in standings by a game with a perfect 6-0 score, while Calvin was at 5-1.

The Flying Dutchmen beat the Knights 87-67 to hold their first place position in the conference standings. Now, the Knights stand second in the standings at 6-2, having won a game against Trine since Wednesday. The Flying Dutchmen, on the other hand, have maintained their perfect record, and are currently first in standings with a 9-0 record.

The game started with senior Michael Welch scoring a free throw. A few points were contested, then Michael Welch scored six points in a row followed up by a three pointer by senior Cam Denney to lead Calvin 10-4 against Hope. The Knights then allowed Hope to overtake them, and at 12 minutes into the game the Flying Dutchmen were leading 16-12. In the last three minutes of the first half, Hope led Calvin by five points at 35-30. However, after a series of misplays by the Knights, the Flying Dutchmen scored a series 12 points within 3 minutes.

Although the first half was full of a back-and-forth struggle, in the last few minutes of the first half, the Calvin men’s basketball team let down their guards, allowing the Hope men’s basketball team a 12-0 run. Because of these last few minutes of the first half, the 5 point lead Hope had increased to a 17 point advantage for Hope.

This lead proved to be too big of a disadvantage for the Knights to recover from. The second half was locked, both sides scoring a similar amounts of points. Although Calvin tried to change the tone of the game by scoring first in the second half and back-to-back three pointers, Calvin trailed 15 points at 53-38 with 15 minutes left. The game ended with a stinging 20 point difference.

Speaking of the game, Calvin’s head coach Kevin Vande Streek said, “In the first half I thought we were pretty locked in and executed things how we wanted to, but in the last three minutes it was kind of an unraveling. In the second half, we just didn’t string enough things together, whether it was stops or baskets. We were a little inconsistent.”

The Flying Dutchmen’s Harrison Blackledge led both teams, with 25 points scored. Chad Carlson of Hope scored the second most for his team, with 15 points, and Cody Stuive of Hope followed with 11 points.

For the Knights, junior Michael Wilks led with 18 points scored. Senior Cam Denney recorded a double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds. Following in third, Michael Welch scored nine points.

According to the Rivalry website, the Calvin-Hope rivalry has stretched across the span of 96 years and 194 games. Currently, Hope leads the rivalry 101-93. In the entirety of this rivalry, started in the 1920-1921 season, Hope has scored a total of 13,216 points while Calvin has scored a total of 13,126 points. In the seasons since 2010, there have been a total of 21 games played. Hope leads 13-8 so far.

The Knights next play on February 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Olivet College.