Coming back strong over break, the men’s and women’s basketball teams both played valiantly against rival Calvin College last week. Yet the fall semester end didn’t hold much rest for the teams; the men’s team played six games while the women’s team played eight over break. The women’s team played Calvin on Saturday in an away game, the 122nd game for the rivalry series. The Flying Dutch dominated the court, winning with a score of 50-38, moving their season record to 14-2, 6-1 in the MIAA. Senior Francesca Buchanan played a large role in the win, scoring 25 points throughout the game, ten of them in the final quarter. She also took 13 rebounds for her second consecutive doubledouble of the season. Head coach Brian Morehouse commented on the motivation the players gain from the rivalry: “There’s something about being a senior in this rivalry. You either run to the moment or away from the moment in the Hope-Calvin game. You’re either afraid to lose one of your last games against a big rival, or you refuse to lose one of your last games to your rival.” Kenedy Schoonveld (’21) also played well in the game as the second leading scorer, taking a total of seven points and ten rebounds. Center Olivia Voskuil (’21) made six points and took nine rebounds throughout the game. “I do think that we did a very good job rebounding,” Morehouse commented. “That was a huge emphasis for us heading into this week, actually heading into the last two weeks. We did a nice job on that, and I think it’s one of the big reasons that we won the game.”
The Flying Dutch also played strong over break, winning six of the eight games they played, losing to Thomas More University with a score of 21-61 in the Post-Exam Jam tournament at DeVos Fieldhouse. Last year the team lost to Thomas More in the NCAA Division III Elite Eight game 72-57. They also played in Oglethorpe’s Quality Suites Holiday Classic at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia, winning both games they played, as well as the Ohio Wesleyan Bishop Classic at Ohio Wesleyan University, also winning both games. The team devoted each of their break weekends to the tournaments. The team played again on Wednesday, January 2nd, against Trine University in a close game, losing with a score of 73-61, marking their first and only MIAA loss so far. They came back strong the following Saturday against Kalamazoo College, winning with an impressive score of 96- 30 and again taking another win last Wednesday against Alma College 80-51. The men’s team played last Wednesday at Calvin, suffering a close loss 74-70, marking the 199th rivalry game between the two schools.
The game was a nail-biter, with the Flying Dutchmen fighting hard for every point, cutting Calvin’s lead to a mere one point with ten and then five seconds left in the game. “As we look at it, there was about a four or five minute second-half run where we just didn’t play very well together offensively,” head coach Greg Mitchell commented. “And then obviously the rebounding battle was won by Calvin. We were down by one point a couple times, and we just couldn’t secure a rebound with a chance to take the lead.” A big contributor to the game-ending intense minute of scoring was sophomore Riley Lewis, who scored the last seven points for Hope. Sadly, Calvin pulled through with the victory. Hope still holds the majority of wins against Calvin, with a record of 103-96 over the rivalry’s history. Mitchell commented on the men’s stamina through the game: “I’m very proud of our guys for finding a way to fight back because there were moments where Calvin was playing very well, and we were kind of taking some punches. I thought to survive the initial run (by Calvin) was great.”
Of the men’s six games over break, they won four. In the Great Lakes Invitational & Russ DeVette Holiday Classic held at DeVos Fieldhouse, they suffered a narrow loss against Mount St. Joseph University with a final score of 63-62. The team played two other non-MIAA games in December. The team lost to Trine University with a score of 81-67 in early January but were able to come back strong to win against Kalamazoo 87-65 to finish their break gameplay. They also played last Saturday against Adrian College, recovering from the loss against Calvin and winning the game 76-68.
The win moves their season record to 9-6 and their MIAA record to 2-2, putting the Flying Dutchmen in a three-way tie for third place in the MIAA standings. Currently Albion College leads the MIAA with a 4-0 record. The men’s team plays two MIAA games on the road this week against Alma College and Olivet College, today and Saturday respectively. The women play Saint Mary’s College at home today. Come out and support the team!