By Gina de Haan
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's basketball team claimed a 105-76 victory over Martin Luther College on Friday night at Van Noord Arena.
Calvin used 57 second-half points to eclipse 100 points and pick up its second win of the season. With the win, Calvin improves to 2-5 on the season, while Martin Luther drops to 0-5.
Martin Luther, also known as the Knights, is a member of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC). Friday night's game marked the first-ever meeting between the two teams in men's basketball.
The Knights came out strong, going on a 7-2 run to start the contest. Freshman Luke Morrison (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) fed sophomore Alex Bos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) for a pair of quick layups, and senior Tony Canonie (South Haven, Mich./South Haven) followed with a three-pointer.
Martin Luther pushed back, narrowing the gap to one point just under six minutes into the game. Calvin sophomore Tom Morrison (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) answered with a bucket, but Martin Luther's Richard Eckmann hit a triple to tie the score at 14. Tom Morrison responded with another bucket, and junior Austin Bykerk (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian) followed with a layup before Tom Morrison scored again.
Trailing 20-14, Martin Luther's TJ Babinec made a three, but Luke Morrison responded by sinking a triple of his own. Morrison's bucket ignited a six-point Calvin run, as sophomore Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian) and Bos added points.
As the midpoint of the half neared, Calvin held a 26-17 advantage. The teams exchanged points, but a three-pointer by Luke Morrison gave the home team a ten-point lead. Martin Luther scored seven straight points to bring the score to 31-28.
Calvin junior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich./Wyoming) responded with five consecutive points, coming from a three and a pair of free throws, to put the Knights up by eight with just over six minutes remaining in the first half.
After points on both ends, Calvin used a seven-point run to pull ahead by 13. Bykerk and DeVries added two points apiece, and Luke Morrison capped off the run with a three-pointer to force a Martin Luther timeout.
Martin Luther outscored Calvin 8-4 in the remaining four minutes of the half, but Calvin headed into the break with a 49-40 lead.
Calvin outscored its visitors 57-36 in the second half.
Martin Luther hit a triple to start off the second half, but Luke Morrison continued to dominate from behind the three-point arc as he answered with three straight triples. With Morrison's nine points, Calvin held a 58-43 lead less than two minutes into the second half.
Martin Luther cut the deficit to 11 on two occasions before Calvin scored six consecutive points to lead by 17. Junior Jason Walter (Coloma, Mich./Coloma) scored in the paint, Bykerk followed with a big dunk before Walter hit another shot to make the score 66-49.
Martin Luther pushed back to make it a 13-point game, but a strong performance by Calvin's bench gave the Knights a comfortable 22-point lead. Amoros-Gutierrez and Isaiah McLaughlin (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower) knocked down a triple apiece, while Walter capitalized on a three-point play.
Calvin maintained its momentum, using a well-balanced scoring effort to build its lead to 29 with just under nine minutes remaining. A three by Walter a minute later gave Calvin a 30-point lead, its largest of the night.
Calvin's bench maintained the lead in the final minutes of play, and the Maroon and Gold rolled to a 29-point win.
Luke Morrison led all players with 24 points, as he shot 6-9 from three-point range. Walter added 18 points and six rebounds off the bench. Amoros-Gutierrez came off the bench to score 12 points. Bykerk added 10 points and seven rebounds, while Bos posted seven points and a team-high eight boards. Canonie dished out seven points and earned four steals in the win. Calvin's bench contributed 56 points.
Calvin shot 45.5% in the win, including 40% from three-point range, while Martin Luther shot 35.7% from the floor. Calvin outrebounded Martin Luther 56-41 on the night.
Friday's game marked the start of a three-game home stand for the Knights as they host Wisconsin-Oshkosh next Saturday at 3 p.m. and Carthage on December 16 at 5 p.m.