103. That’s how many times Hope College has beaten Calvin College in the history of this men’s basketball rivalry. It was so clear whose game it was at Calvin on Saturday, that by the end of the game, Hope fans were cheering: “This is our house!”
The game additionally marked Hope’s first three-game win streak for the season. In the MIAA, Hope is now ranked first along with Olivet College and Adrian College. It was also Hope’s second win against Calvin this year! There was no nail-biting going on in this game. The Dutchmen dominated the match the whole way through, not allowing Calvin anywhere close to their lead.
Hope’s league record is now 7-3, with an overall record of 13- 8, as compared to Calvin’s 8-13. It’s safe to say Hope’s team owns Calvin right now, who is trailing far behind in the conference. Hope’s defense was astounding on Saturday, not allowing Calvin to score more than 60 points. The Final score was 76-59. Coach Greg Mitchell commented on the game: “Without question that was our best 40 minutes of defense.” The team was well synchronized throughout the game, working together to not only hold off Calvin but also score a high amount of shots. 28 of the baskets made were off of an assist. Freshman center Preston Granger reflected on the game: “I think the reason why I played well was every time I would set a ball screen, they doubled Jason and he would find the dump down and I would try and finish it.” Granger scored 18 points for the Flying Dutchmen.
Hope’s shooting average was 50% for the game, measured against Calvin’s 34.5%.
Junior guard Jason Beckman commented on the win, saying: “This is obviously a huge win on the road for a pretty young group, but we got work to do on Wednesday against a team that beat us up pretty good at their place, so we’ve got a pretty good match up coming up.” Beckman scored a majority of the points on Saturday, with 22 total.
Other stand out performances were seen by senior Dante Hawkins, with 23 points and four assists; junior Dennis Towns with four points, four assists and ten total rebounds; and junior Teddy Ray with four points, three and ten total rebounds.
The team will face Adrian at home today and travel to Alma on Saturday. The fight against Adrian will help to determine who deserves to stay in the lead for the MIAA standings! Fire up Dutch.