By Gina de Haan
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's basketball team fell 79-74 in a closely-contested matchup against No. 8 Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The Knights led for the majority of the contest, but were held scoreless for the final four minutes of play as the Titans closed out the game on an 11-0 run.
With the loss, Calvin falls to 2-6 overall. Wisconsin-Oshkosh remains perfect on the season, boasting a 7-0 record.
Saturday's contest marked the third meeting between the two non-conference opponents in men's basketball and the first-ever meeting at Van Noord Arena. Wisconsin-Oshkosh is the third nationally-ranked team Calvin has faced this year as the Knights have previously met No. 2 Augustana and No. 1 Cornerstone (NAIA) in November.
In the competitive first half, both teams connected on 16-30 shots from the floor. Calvin shot 66.7% from three-point range, while Wisconsin-Oshkosh shot 50% from behind the arc.
The Titans got on the board first with two quick buckets, but the Knights responded with seven straight points to lead 7-4 three minutes into the game. Wisconsin-Oshkosh knocked down a three-pointer on the other end of the court, but a triple and layup by junior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich./Wyoming) gave Calvin a five-point lead and forced a Titan timeout.
With just over 13 minutes remaining in the first half, the Titans cut the Knights' lead to two, but the Morrison brothers answered for Calvin. Sophomore Tom Morrison (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) hit a three and freshman Luke Morrison (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) followed, knocking down back-to-back shots to give the Knights a 21-12 advantage before Wisconsin-Oshkosh called its second timeout.
The Titans were within three points of the Knights as the midpoint of the half neared, but a jumper by senior Tony Canonie (South Haven, Mich./South Haven) and a three by junior Jason Walter (Coloma, Mich./Coloma) widened the gap to eight points. After a Titan bucket, sophomore Alex Bos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) capitalized on a three-point play to make the score 29-20.
The two teams exchanged points with Calvin maintaining its lead. With just under four minutes remaining in the half, a triple by Amoros-Gutierrez followed by a pair of free throws by Tom Morrison lifted the Knights to a double-digit advantage.
The Titans offense heated up in the final minutes of the half, going on a 10-0 run to tie the score at 41 with 1:28 remaining. Following a Calvin timeout and scoring on both sides, the two teams headed into halftime tied at 43.
Sophomore Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian) came out strong in the second half, hitting a trio of threes and a jumper to lead Calvin on an 11-2 run. The scoreboard read 54-45 when Wisconsin-Oshkosh tried to break up Calvin's momentum with a timeout.
Out of the break, the Titans hit a triple, but Jason Walter stepped up for the Knights. Walter scored eight straight points, including a pair of triples, to give Calvin a sizeable 62-48 lead.
A 6-0 run by the Titans chipped Calvin's lead to single digits with just over 10 minutes left to play. Wisconsin-Oshkosh held the Knights scoreless for nearly three minutes before Calvin called timeout. A quick Titan bucket out of the break made the score 66-61, still in favor of the Knights. Bos responded with a drive for a layup, but Wisconsin-Oshkosh's Ben Boots scored seven straight points to knot the score at 68 with just over six minutes left to play.
After a Calvin timeout, Bos knocked down a big triple to break up the Titans' run. DeVries followed with a layup and a free throw to put the Knights up by six. Wisconsin-Oshkosh pushed back, reducing the deficit to two points by way of a free throw and three-pointer.
After two scoreless minutes, Calvin called timeout. The Knights were unable to convert out of the break, and then it was Wisconsin-Oshkosh's turn to call timeout with just under a minute remaining. Following the timeout, the Titans' Charlie Noone hit the game-winning three to put the visitors up 75-74 with 48 seconds remaining. The Knights were unable to capitalize on two late three-point attempts, while the Titans went 4-4 from the free throw line to claim a five-point comeback victory.
DeVries led the Knights with a career-high 19 points and six rebounds. Walter added 11 points, while Bos finished with 10 points and five boards. Canonie and Amoros-Gutierrez posted eight points apiece, dishing out six and five assists, respectively. Luke Morrison contributed seven points.
Calvin shot 45.2% from the field in the loss, including 50% from three-point range. Led by sharp-shooter guards Charlie Noone and Ben Boots, Wisconsin-Oshkosh connected on 48.2% of its shots from the field, including a 43.3% mark from behind the arc. Boots finished with a game-high double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Noone posted 19 points.
The Knights are back in action next Saturday when they host nonconference opponent Carthage. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.