Calvin Men’s Basketball in MIAA Tournament

Freshman Carson Meulenberg scored 14 points in the loss.

Freshman Carson Meulenberg scored 14 points in the loss.

As the MIAA Tournament commenced, the Calvin men’s basketball team had an eventful week where they first were victorious against long-time rival Hope, and then eventually defeated by Trine University. In the first round of the MIAA tournament against Hope, Calvin was able to defeat them for a third time this season, winning 68-66 in a nail-biter. After this victory they matched up against Trine for the third time in a very physical battle that they previously split the series against, losing at away and winning at home.

In the highly anticipated matchup against Trine, Calvin got off to a rough start as they were unable to score for the first five minutes of the game, until sophomore guard Benji Kuiper was able to break the cold streak with a 3-pointer as Trine jumped out to an 8-3 lead early. As the quarter continued Calvin’s offense started to pick up a little due to some baskets by guard Thad Shymanski. While the offense had picked up, the defense continued to struggle and as a result Trine grew the lead to 20-10 halfway through the first half.

As time went on, Calvin’s leading scorer Derrick DeVries found his offense with a couple of buckets to help Calvin stay within reach. As the half progressed Trine maintained a 6-10 point lead due to their smothering defense. In the succeeding minutes of play were consecutive turnovers and poor shot selection from Calvin that permitted Trine to produce some easy buckets in transition to close the half leading Calvin 42-31.

In the second half Calvin got off to a quick start with a triple by junior forward DeVries. Calvin persisted with a nice run of offense to cut the lead to six as Trine led 46-40, five minutes into the second half. As the half progressed Calvin began to inch closer and closer as key plays by Shymanski reduced the lead to 52 to 51 with Trine barely ahead. Following this was a stretch where both teams were locked in and trading baskets back and forth. As Shymanski continued his excellent offensive showcase and the big men of Trine continued to produce down low, Trine led 70-66 with a little less than five minutes to go. With time running out, the game started to slip away from Calvin as Trine grew their lead to 77-68, but another triple by Shymanski kept Calvin hanging by a thread with two minutes left. With under a minute to go and Calvin down 78-73, Calvin had a chance to cut the lead to one possession, but they turned the ball over, giving the ball back to Trine with 27 seconds left. With Trine finishing the necessary free throws, Calvin came up short and fell to Trine 82 to 78, concluding their season.

Despite the loss, Calvin was led by Derrick DeVries with 20 points and Thad Shymanski with 18 points, both of which will be returning for next year. For seniors Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez, Austin Bykerk, Jason Walter and Isaiah McLaughlin it was an end to the season and their athletic tenure here at Calvin. Next year is looking to be a possibly fruitful year for Calvin as they have a lot of young talent that will be sure to develop.