GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's basketball team fell 94-82 to Illinois Wesleyan University on Saturday afternoon.
With the loss, the Knights drop 0-2 on the season, while IWU improves to 3-0.
Despite a mid-game push by the Knights, Calvin was unable to answer IWU's solid shooting performance. The Knights shot 47.8% from the field, while IWU shot 44.8% including a 48.4% from behind the three-point arc.
The Knights hung with Illinois Wesleyan for most of the first half, as the lead changed hands 11 times before the Titans began to pull away. With just under eight minutes remaining in the first half, Illinois Wesleyan went on a 9-0 run to take a 33-24 lead. Freshman Luke Morrison (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) broke up the Titans' scoring streak, but the home team used seven free throws to build its lead to 14. A three-pointer by sophomore Alex Bos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) made the score 38-27 with 3:28 left to play before halftime. IWU responded with a 7-2 run to lead by 16, but Calvin answered with a late first-half push. The Knights claimed the last six points of the half as Luke Morrison and senior Michael Wilks (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian) scored in the final two minutes before halftime. Calvin held the Titans scoreless for nearly two minutes. At halftime, IWU held a 45-35 lead.
Calvin carried its momentum into the second half, going on a 9-0 run to make it a one-point game. Wilks contributed five points to the offensive effort, while junior Austin Bykerk (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian) added four points. IWU responded with a seven-point stint to earn a 52-44 advantage. A layup by sophomore Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian) was answered by a Titans' triple. After another Knights' bucket that cut IWU's lead to seven, but a quick five points by the Titans forced a Calvin timeout, the scoreboard reading 60-48. IWU used its momentum to widen its lead to a comfortable 19 points as the midpoint of the half neared.
The Knights chipped away at the Titans' large lead, but their efforts came up short as there wasn't enough time on the clock. With 46 seconds left to play, DeVries made a layup to make it a 10-point game, but the Titans scored the following three points and rolled to a 94-82 win.
Calvin had a well-balanced scoring effort in the loss. DeVries and Bykerk led the Knights' offense with 15 points apiece. Wilks followed with 13 points, while Luke Morrison and Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich./Wyoming) finished with 12 and 11 points respectively. The Knights scored 42 of their 82 points in the paint. Bos led the Knights with six rebounds, while Tony Canonie (South Haven, Mich./South Haven) dished out a team-high five assists.
The Knights are back in action next Tuesday when they will face Wheaton (Ill.) in their home opener. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.