In classic Hope v. Calvin fashion, both the men and women put up nail-biting performances this past week with the men topping off Calvin 77-72 on Wednesday, and the women edging out Calvin 58-51 on Saturday. The women remain undefeated after their past win on Saturday with a record of 16-0, seven of which are conference wins. Their showing this past weekend was nothing unexpected. The women trailed in the first quarter by three, but dominated in the second scoring 16 points to Calvin’s measly seven.
It was a solid game for junior Francesca Buchanan who led the team in both points and rebounds. With her 19 points and 10 rebounds, Buchanan made a large impact that led the Flying Dutch to clinch the title of another win over Calvin. Going into the fourth, the Knights trailed by only two points with the score of 45-43.
The women are looking good on their way to a conference title but still have nine games to go in conference play. With their current undefeated ranking, the Dutch have created a target on their back as they look to defend their record tonight away against St. Mary’s at the Angela Athletic Center at 7:30.
On the men’s side of things, the Flying Dutchmen put in a real showing just a week ago when they faced the Knights of Calvin College. The sold out Devos Fieldhouse erupted at the sound of the final buzzer with another win over Calvin under the Dutchmen’s belts.
The game kept fans at the edge of their seats as Hope trailed almost the entire game. It was not until late in the second half that the Dutchmen were finally able to pull slightly ahead of Calvin. With 1:50 left in the game, freshman Preston Granger grabbed an offensive board and put the ball back up to finally tie up the score 69-69. Less than a minute later Dennis Towns (’19) made a jump shot to give the Dutchmen the lead for the first time in the game.
The game remained close even after two made free throws by Dante Hawkins (’18) with 30 seconds to go. A foul by Granger sent Calvin to the line, but, luckily for the Dutch, Calvin missed the 1-and-1 which allowed the Dutch to hold their four-point lead. Jason Beckman (’19) sank two free throws with 12 seconds remaining. Calvin managed to throw up a big three-pointer shortly after which moved the score to a mere three-point difference, giving Calvin a small glimmer of hope with eight seconds on the clock. Their chances quickly faded as Calvin sent 94.5% free throw shooter Beckman to the line, which helped secure the win for the Dutch with five seconds to go. Beckman also led the night in scoring with 25 points, with Towns grabbing 10 rebounds.
The big win over Calvin was nothing short of entertaining. Fans had started to think Hope was not going to be able to pull ahead after trailing the entire game, but the Dutchmen stopped at nothing to defend their house against their rivals.
Not only was this a big win for the team, but Hawkins also earned his place amongst the 1,000 club. The game against Calvin upped his career points count to 1,004, making him one of 40 others who have earned this major achievement in Hope men’s basketball.