GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's basketball team hosted Grace Bible College at Hoogenboom Gymnasium on Monday evening. The Knights claimed an 84-68 victory over the Tigers in their final preseason game. The contest served as an exhibition game for the Knights, but as a countable game for the Tigers who are already six games into its regular season schedule.
Last year, the two teams met in a regular season game with the Knights claiming a 92-70 home victory.
The Knights jumped out to a 9-0 lead as senior Michael Wilks (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian) and sophomore Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian) ignited Calvin's offense. Grace Bible got on the board with a three-point field goal, but freshman Luke Morrison (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) answered with a triple of his own.
The Knights continued to roll, as three-pointers by Wilks and junior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich./Wyoming) contributed to an 8-4 run, giving Calvin a 20-10 lead and forcing a Grace Bible timeout.
Out the break, Grace used a 9-2 run to chip away at Calvin's lead. The Knights called timeout as the midpoint of the half passed, still holding onto a 22-19 advantage.
With just over eight minutes left in the half, the Tigers knotted the score at 22 with a three-pointer.
The Knights strung together nine straight points to regain the lead. A fastbreak layup by senior Tony Canonie (South Haven, Mich./South Haven) sparked the run. Sophomore Tom Morrison (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) and his brother, Luke Morrison, added a triple and jumper. On the following inbounds play, Amoros-Gutierrez stole the ball, drew the foul and knocked down a pair of free throws. With just over five minutes remaining in the half, the Knights held a 31-22 advantage.
A well-balanced scoring effort by the Tigers reduced the deficit to five, and the Knights headed into halftime with a 42-37 lead.
Grace Bible hits a quick three out of the halftime break, making it a two-point game. The two teams exchanged baskets before Calvin called timeout.
The Knights outscored the Tigers 13-3 in the following four minutes. A bucket by the Tigers made it a ten-point game, but Calvin continued to roll. The Knights went on a 6-0 run as junior Jason Walter (Coloma, Mich./Coloma) and sophomore Alex Bos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) capitalized on scoring plays. With Calvin holding a 16-point lead and 12:18 left to play, Grace Bible called a full timeout.
After back-and-forth scoring, the Bulldogs had cut Calvin's lead to 13, but it was the closest they would come to the Knights. A three-pointer by Tom Morrison put the Knights up 78-62 with just under four-minute remaining in the contest. After a bucket on both sides, Grace Bible called its final timeout, but the Knights rolled to a 16-point victory.
Calvin shot 44.9% (31-69) from the field, including 34.6% (9-26) from behind the arc. The Knights scored 22 points off of the Tigers' 22 turnovers.
The trio of Wilks, DeVries and Walter finished in double-digits for points. Wilks led the way with 14 points, DeVries chipped in 13, also leading the Knights in rebounds with seven, and Walter came off the bench to add 12 points. The sibling duo of Tom and Luke Morrison finished with nine points and five boards apiece.
Tony Canonie led the Knights with 11 assists, also contributing seven points and four steals. Bos led Calvin with seven boards, while Amoros-Gutierrez finished with a team-high five steals.
The Knights will officially open their season this weekend when they travel to Illinois to face a pair of staunch Division III opponents in Augustana College and Illinois Wesleyan University. Calvin will travel to No. 2-ranked Augustana this Friday and then journey to Illinois Wesleyan on Saturday.