By Gina de Haan
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's basketball team fell 88-59 to NAIA No. 1 Cornerstone University in its second game of the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame Classic.
With the loss, the Knights fall to 1-4 early in the season.
The Knights hung with the Golden Eagles until late in the first half when Cornerstone's Kyle Steigenga found his rhythm and earned his team a sizeable lead.
The Golden Eagles took an early 8-2 lead to force a Calvin timeout less than five minutes into the game. Cornerstone built its lead to ten behind back-to-back buckets by Sam Vander Sluis. A jumper by junior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich./Wyoming) broke the Knights three-minute scoreless spell, but the Golden Eagles answered in the next possession to regain their double-digit advantage.
Cornerstone held a 18-6 advantage as the midpoint of the half neared, but the Knights' offense began to find its groove. Freshman Luke Morrison (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) fed sophomore Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian) for a triple, and a bucket by senior Tony Canonie (South Haven, Mich./South Haven) cut the deficit to seven.
After a pair of unanswered buckets put the Golden Eagles up 22-11 with just under nine minutes remaining in the half. The Knights responded as freshman Jason Walter (Coloma, Mich./Coloma) sunk a three-pointer and Canonie fed junior Austin Bykerk (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian) for a dunk. Cornerstone regained its ten-point advantage, but Calvin trimmed it to six with points by Luke Morrison and another dunk by Bykerk.
Cornerstone's Kyle Steigenga took over late in the first half, scoring the next eight points of the contest to put his team up by 14. The Golden Knights rolled into halftime with a 38-25 lead, 15 of those points coming from Steigenga.
Cornerstone's solid second-half shooting stifled a Calvin comeback. The Golden Eagles sunk nine of their 12 three-pointers in the second half.
The Golden Eagles started the second half strong as Michael Bradshaw drained two quick three-pointers to put Cornerstone up by 19.
After a timeout, Bradshaw hit another triple to make the score 49-27. Calvin sophomore Alex Bos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) answered with a three of his own, but Cornerstone's offense continued to control the contest. The Golden Eagles went on a 13-point run to lead by 32 and force a Calvin timeout.
The deficit was too large for the Knights to overcome and the Golden Eagles claimed an 88-59 victory.
Calvin shot 34.3% from the field, including 23.1% from behind the three-point arc, while Cornerstone posted a 57.4% shooting percentage, 50% from three-point range.
Bykerk and Walter led the Knights with 10 points apiece. Luke Morrison finished with a team-high six rebounds, also chipping in six points and two steals. The Calvin bench contributed 33 points in the loss.
At the conclusion of the tournament, Luke Morrison was named to the all-tournament team.
The Knights are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Anderson (Ind.). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
2017 GRAND RAPIDS SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASSIC SCORES
Cornerstone 88, Hope 61
Aquinas 78, Calvin 73
Cornerstone 88, Calvin 69
Hope 89, Aquinas 83
GRAND RAPIDS SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Aquinas - Arsenio Arrington
Calvin - Luke Morrison
Cornerstone - Michael Bradshaw
Cornerstone - Kyle Steigenga
Cornerstone - Sam Vander Sluis
Tournament MVP - Jason Beckman – Hope College