ALBION, Mich. – Calvin dropped a 69-62 decision at Albion Wednesday night at Kresge Gymnasium.
After defeating Albion 71-70 last month, Calvin (11-9 overall, 6-3 MIAA) appeared poised to snatch another close victory over the Britons heading into the final minutes of play Wednesday night.
Trailing 63-62, Calvin put the Britons (6-14 overall, 3-6 MIAA) on the free throw line with 1:05 left to play. Albion missed the front end of a one-and-one but Albion's Jason Zahran was able to snare an offensive rebound to gain possession of the ball. Calvin fouled the Britons again with 53 seconds left and once again Albion came up empty at the free throw line, missing two charity tosses. Zahran was able to snare the offensive carom off the second miss however, keeping the basketball away from the Knights.
Albion's Corey Wheeler then converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 37 seconds remaining to give the Britons a 66-62 lead. Calvin then missed two shots and committed a turnover in the final 25 seconds of play while Albion connected on three free throws to seal the win.
Albion led for nearly the entire game although the Knights remained within striking distance throughout. The Britons led 37-30 at halftime but the Knights were able to tie the game 51-51 with 9:07 remaining on a three-point shot by junior Michael Wilks (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian HS).
Calvin gained its only lead of the game on a three-pointer by senior Cam Denney (Bluffton, Ind./Norwell HS) with 7:24 left that put the Knights up 56-54.
Denney led Calvin with 19 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, notching his sixth double-double of the season. Senior Michael Welch (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) nearly had a double-double of his own with 16 points and eight rebounds while Wilks had 14 points.
Wheeler led Albion with 25 points. The Britons also came up with 25 bench points while the Knights had just eight.
Calvin outrebounded Albion 36-29 but the Knights went to the line just eight times, connecting on five attempts while Albion was 14 of 25 at the charity stripe.
Calvin is now tied for second place with Alma in the league standings and just one game ahead of fourth place Trine.
The Knights travel to fifth place Olivet for a Saturday night game slated to start at 7:30 p.m.