Women’s basketball hopes for 1st place crushed

Senior+Anna+Timmer+drives+against+Hopes+defense%3B+Photo+courtesy+Calvin.edu

Senior Anna Timmer drives against Hope’s defense; Photo courtesy Calvin.edu

The women’s basketball team suffered a crushing blow to their race for first place in the MIAA Conference in their game against Hope College on Feb. 1. The Flying Dutchmen edged the Knights by a score of 63-55 in overtime. Hope snapped the Knights seven game win streak with the recent defeat. This was only the third time in the history of the Rivalry that a game has gone to overtime, with Hope winning 55-53 in 1995 and Calvin 63-58 in 2007.

Both teams were 18-2 prior to the game, with conference title and national aspirations. Entering the game, Hope was tied for first place in the conference with Trine at 10-1 with Calvin standing second at 9-2. Additionally, the game had national ramifications with Hope ranked ninth in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division III Top 25 poll and 10th in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll. Calvin was ranked behind Hope in the WBCA standings at 24th.

This was the second meeting between the two rivals this season, with Hope also claiming the first victory at the DeVos Fieldhouse with a score of 82-61. The Flying Dutchmen came out to a hot first quarter last Wednesday, running up a score of 11-4 in the first five minutes, forcing Calvin to use a timeout. Despite a jump shot by senior Lauren Goldthorpe after the timeout, at the end of the quarter the Flying Dutchmen were up 17-8. At the end of a low-scoring second quarter, the Flying Dutchmen were up by a score of 23-16.

Coming out of halftime, the Knights took advantage of the break and began to create a shift in momentum. Ali Spayde and Anna Timmer helped the Knights go on a 5-0 run, to which Hope would respond with seven unanswered points. Becca Richard of the Knights then scored back-to-back three pointers, which with help from teammates narrowed the game to a one-point margin and gave the Knights their first lead by the end of the third quarter, 36-35.

The fourth quarter was a contest of wills, with Hope scoring early to make the score 47-40, and then each team going back and forth in scoring. A deep three-pointer by Rachel Warners with under a minute to play tied the game at 49, with the Knights holding off the final Flying Dutchmen offensive to send the game to overtime.

In overtime, Hope went on an 8-0 run and controlled the final period, forcing Calvin to foul Hope. Hope then secured their victory with four free throw points with a final score of 59-51.

Coach Chuck Winkelman noted Calvin’s 21 turnovers and Hope’s resultant 25 points off of those turnovers in remarking on the final score, saying we “weren’t ourselves in the first half.”

However, Winkelman also was proud of the team, saying that they “played their guts out, and played as hard as they could play,” showing in the near-comeback the resilience that marks the women’s team.

Calvin’s next game at home is on Feb. 15 against Albion, with the MIAA tournament to follow on Feb. 24 and 25.