GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Calvin welcomed the Alma College Scots to Van Noord Arena on Wednesday night, marking the second meeting of the season between the two MIAA teams. In the first meeting of the year between the two teams, Calvin claimed a 95-86 victory at Alma's Art Smith Arena, capping off its five-game win streak.
The Scots pulled off a second-half comeback to defeat the Knights 68-66. Despite shooting only 20% (3-15) from three-point range in the first half, Alma got hot after halftime, hitting eight shots from behind the arc to boost itself to victory.
With the loss, the Knights fall to 12-10 overall with a 7-4 conference mark. Alma improves to 11-11 overall and 7-4 in the conference, tied with Calvin.
The Knights jumped out to a 9-0 lead as four Knights scored in the first 2:30. Freshman Tony DeWitte (Grandville, Mich./Calvin Christian HS) hit a three-pointer to get Calvin on the board first. Seniors Michael Wilks (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian HS) and Michael Welch (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) followed, putting in back-to-back layups. In the next possession, senior Cam Denney (Bluffton, Ind./Norwell HS) earned a steal and fed Tony Canonie (South Haven Mich./South Haven HS) for the fast-break layup. Alma would call timeout to break up the Knights' early momentum.
Coming out of the break, the Scots went on a 9-2 run. The Knights struggled to get their shots to fall, earning only two points from free throws in a span of nearly four minutes. With the scoreboard now reading 11-2, Calvin called timeout.
Sophomore Austin Bykerk (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian HS) went 4-4 from the free throw line to earn the Knights a six-point advantage as the midpoint of the half neared.
The teams would exchange points, but with just over six minutes left, the Knights went on a 10-2 run to earn an 11-point advantage. At halftime, the Knights held a 35-25 advantage.
Alma's Trevor Gernaat hit a three-pointer to kick off the second half. Denney responded for the Knights, knocking down a jumper and a triple to widen the gap to 11 points.
Calvin maintained a double-digit lead until Alma's Steven Harvey drained a deep three, bringing the score to 46-37 with 12:50 left to play. The Scots would cut the Knights' lead to seven points, forcing a Calvin timeout.
Out of the break, Harvey would drain a trio of three-point field goals to tie the score at 50. Following Alma's offensive surge, the teams would go back-and-forth in scoring, the Knights going up by four after Welch knocked down a pair of free throws.
However, the Scots pushed back once again as Gernaat went on a 5-0 run to give his team a 61-60 lead with 4:29 remaining in the contest. Nick Kronemeyer (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton HS) and Denney both made big buckets for Calvin, earning back the lead.
Alma's Tyler Edwards would complete a three-point play to knot the score at 64 with 3:16 left to play. After buckets on both ends, the scoreboard read 66-66.
Neither team would score for the next two minutes until Alma's Ryan Stevens banked in a jumper to put the Scots up by two with 4.8 seconds left on the clock.
The Knights were unable to convert on a last-second shot and the Scots took home the victory.
Welch led the Knights' offense with 16 points, also finishing with six rebounds. Denney followed with 13 points and a team-high seven boards. Wilks and Kronemeyer recorded eight and seven points, respectively. Canonie posted six points, four assists, four steals and four boards.
Alma's Steve Harvey led all scorers with 16 points, including four three-pointers, while Trevor Gernaat contributed 14.
The Knights will play their last regular season home game on Saturday when they host Kalamazoo College. When the two teams faced off in mid-January, the Knights fell 70-79 to the Hornets. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.