By Gina de Haan
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's basketball team picked up a key conference victory on Saturday afternoon, defeating Trine 89-69 at Van Noord Arena.
Calvin outrebounded the Thunder 50-20 in the victory, and four Knights finished in double-digits for scoring. Freshman Jason Walter (Coloma, Mich./Coloma) came off the bench to post a double-double, leading all players with a Calvin career-high 23 points and 12 rebounds while also adding a pair of blocks.
With the win, Calvin improves to 6-9 on the year with a 2-2 MIAA mark to be tied for third in the conference standings.
Calvin sophomore Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian) got the Knights on the board first, knocking down a triple in the first minute of play. Calvin and Trine exchanged points to knot the score at seven early in the contest.
The Knights used an eight-point run to build a sizeable lead. After points on both ends, junior Carolos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich./Wyoming) drained a three-pointer to put the Knights ahead. Freshman Luke Morrison (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) followed with a triple of his own before Amoros-Gutierrez earned a steal and capitalized on the ensuing fast-break layup. When Trine called its first timeout, Calvin held a 17-9 lead.
Calvin continued to roll, using a well-balanced scoring effort to maintain its double-digit advantage as the midpoint of the half neared. After the ten-minute mark passed, the Knights widened the gap to 16 using a seven-point run. Junior Austin Bykerk (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian), DeVries and senior Michael Wilks (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian) contributed to the scoring surge.
In the final four minutes of the first half, Walter scored seven points as Calvin outscored Trine 12-4. The Knights headed into the break with a 46-27 lead.
At the half, Calvin held a 23-12 rebounding advantage, including 10 offensive rebounds that led to 13 second chance points.
The Knights continued their strong offensive effort early in the second half. DeVries led Calvin with seven points in the first five minutes of the half, while Bykerk added a dunk and senior Tony Canonie (South Haven, Mich./South Haven) sunk a three to give Calvin a 58-38 lead with fifteen minutes remaining.
Trine used back-to-back buckets to chip Calvin's lead to fifteen points, but the Knights responded with a 6-2 run to regain their 20-point lead and force a Thunder timeout with 11:45 left to play.
With just under six minutes remaining, Wilks converted on a three-point play to give the Knights a 25-point lead, their largest of the contest. In the final five minutes of play, Walter added eight points as the home team rolled to a 20-point victory.
DeVries followed Walter, finishing with 21 points and seven boards. Luke Morrison added 14 points and Bykerk chipped in 10, also earning six rebounds apiece. Morrison also dished out five assists, while Canonie led the Knights with six. Wilks had an impressive night on the boards, snagging 10 rebounds.
Calvin's bench contributed 37 points in the win. The Knights shot 44% from the floor and a strong 92.9% from the free throw line.