Calvin Men's Basketball Upsets No. 16 Hope in Regular Season Finale

Calvin Men's Basketball Upsets No. 16 Hope in Regular Season Finale

HOLLAND, Mich. - Calvin closed out its 2017 MIAA regular season campaign with a 65-62 overtime victory at rival Hope Saturday afternoon at DeVos Fieldhouse.

With the win, Calvin (15-10 overall) claims sole possession of second place in the final MIAA regular season standings at 10-4 in league play. The Knights will return to DeVos Fieldhouse next Wednesday to face Trine University (14-11) in an MIAA Tournament semifinal game with Hope (20-5) set to face Alma (12-13) in the second semifinal in the game to follow.

Calvin's victory over 16th-ranked Hope denied the Flying Dutchmen a perfect MIAA regular season and also snapped a three-game losing streak against its rival. Hope finishes the MIAA as the regular season champion at 13-1.

On January 25, Calvin suffered an 87-67 defeat to Hope at Calvin's Van Noord Arena but on Saturday, the Knights were able to control the boards and the tempo of the game to claim the victory.

Calvin's seniors were crucial down the stretch. In overtime, senior Nick Kronemeyer made a diving steal and fed senior teammate Cam Denney for a go-ahead dunk that put the Knights up 63-62.

With under a minute left to play, senior Michael Welch preserved the one-point lead with a block on a Hope layup attempt.

Hope later missed the front end of a bonus opportunity with 23 seconds left in overtime and the Flying Dutchmen were forced to foul Calvin junior point guard Tony Canonie. Canonie swished both ends of the free throw opportunity to give the Knights a 65-62 lead. Hope then had two late possessions in which to tie the game but came up empty both times as the Knights secured their seventh-ever victory over Hope at DeVos Fieldhouse which opened in time for the 2005-06 season.

Junior Mike Siegel came up clutch for Calvin off the bench, scoring a career-high 20 points including four three-point field goals while also grabbing eight rebounds. Welch had 12 points and nine boards off the bench while Kronemeyer had 10 points and four boards in a reserve role for the Knights.

Denney had eight points and six boards while Canonie had six points, five rebounds and three steals while providing stellar defense in 37 minutes of action. 

"It wasn't the prettiest game I've seen but what I've said all along about this group of guys is that they don't quit," said Calvin men's basketball coach Kevin Vande Streek. "We kept grinding and working. We received great contributions from our bench. For our seniors, this was a great result in their final MIAA regular season game. I'm proud of them and I'm proud of the entire team."

The two teams were tied at halftime 30-30. Calvin opened the second half on an 11-4 run to build a 41-34 advantage capped off by a driving layup by Kronemeyer. Hope roared back to tie the game at 43-43, using three-point shots from seniors Harrison Blackledge and Chad Carlson. Another basket by Carlson gave Hope a 47-44 lead but Calvin responded with eight unanswered points with Kronemeyer capping off the run with an old-fashioned three-point play.

Hope came back to regain the lead at 56-54 and again at 58-56 but Welch was able to come up with a pair of buckets to give Calvin the lead back at 60-58. Hope tied the game on a layin by Mitchell O'Brien with 1:12 left but neither team was able to score the rest of the way in regulation, sending the contest into overtime.

Hope held a brief 62-60 lead but Siegel hit a free throw and Kronemeyer followed with his pivotal steal that led to Denney's go-ahead dunk and the Knights never trailed again.

"That was definitely a huge play in the game," said Vande Streek of Kronemeyer's steal and Denney's two-handed dunk. "Today was a game about heart and desire and when a guy like Nick is out there diving on loose balls, it inspires the rest of the team."

Calvin finished the game with a commanding 51-33 rebounding advantage. The Knights shot 40.9 percent from the floor but just 40.0 percent (6 of 15) from the free throw line.

Conversely, Hope shot just 37.9 percent from the floor including 58.3 percent (7 of 12) at the free throw line.

Hope was led in scoring by Blackledge with 17 points while Carlson had 12 points and Stuive 10 points and 10 boards.

Saturday's game marked the 195th meeting between Calvin and Hope in a series that Hope leads 101-94. It marked the 12th overtime game between the two rivals including the first since the 2002-03 season. Both teams have now won six overtime games apiece.