Calvin basketball barely escapes Hope

Only one basket separated the men’s basketball teams of Calvin and Hope in their third meeting this season, as Calvin came away victorious 68-66 on Feb. 20.The win, which came in the first round of the MIAA Tournament, marks Calvin’s first playoff victory over Hope since 2017, when the Knights defeated the Flying Dutchmen in the MIAA Tournament championship.

The game also improved men’s basketball’s record against Hope to 3-0 this season for the first time since the 2014-15 season. Remarkably, the three games were decided by only eight points combined.

Lead changes were aplenty in the first half of the game, as neither team could pull away from the other. After Hope took a 22-21 lead with 8:16 to play, Calvin went on a 10 to two run, giving them the biggest lead of the half at 31-24.

Shortly after, Hope managed to make a run of their own, cutting the lead down to four points at halftime.

Three and a half minutes into the second half, Hope regained the lead with a score of 43-42 thanks to a jump shot by senior guard Jason Beckman. One minute later, Calvin sophomore Thad Shymanski erased this lead with a three-pointer of his own.

Only 8:38 remained in the game when Hope saw their lead, 57-55. Hope held onto this lead until the 2:20 mark, when Calvin junior Derrick Devries knocked down his and-one free throw, giving Calvin a one-point advantage.

Down by three points with a mere thirty-five seconds left in the game, Beckman wasted no time sprinting down the court, making a layup through the contact of a Calvin foul. Amid the screams of the Calvin student section, Beckman tied the game by knocking down his and-one free throw.

Calvin Knights
Derrick Devries lining up for a shot.

Calvin passed the ball around the three-point line for the first 15 seconds of the game-deciding possession, until Devries found Calvin senior Jason Walters under the basket. Walters made the five-footer, giving Calvin a 68-66 lead with 11.6 seconds to play.

The go-ahead basket was not good enough for Walters, as he also blocked Beckman’s game-tying attempt, leaving four and a half seconds on the clock and the possession in Hope’s favor.

Calvin’s stingy defense led to a poor shot attempt by Beckman as the clock wound down. After hitting the rim, the ball ricocheted away, securing Calvin’s third win over Hope this season.

Hope was led in scoring by Beckman, who finished with 31 points in the contest. This marked his sixth 30-point output this season.

Shymanski and senior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez both carried the bulk of the scoring for the Knights, netting 16 points each.

With the win, Calvin will advance to the second round of the MIAA Tournament, where they will play Trine in Angola, Indiana, on Friday, Feb. 22.