GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's basketball team tipped off against Hope College on Saturday afternoon in the 198th edition of the Calvin vs. Hope men's basketball rivalry series. The Flying Dutchmen claimed a 78-59 victory at Van Noord Arena, with a strong performance on both sides of the ball.
The rivalry series is in its 10th decade of play and spans 97 years. Hope leads the series 103-95. The teams have split the last four games in the rivalry. The Flying Dutchmen won the first rivalry meeting of the year in January, claiming a 77-72 home victory.
With the win, Calvin falls to 8-13 overall with a 4-6 MIAA record to sit at sixth place in the conference. Hope improves to 13-8 with a 7-3 conference mark for a share of first place in the MIAA standings.
"First off, poor start by us. And second, really good defensive game by Hope," said Calvin head men's basketball coach Kevin Vande Streek. "Hope pretty much did the dictating in the game."
The Knights shot 34.5% from the field in the loss, while the Dutchmen shot 50%, including 47.6% from behind the three-point arc.
Hope jumped out to an early lead and was able to maintain it for the remainder of the contest. Over two minutes passed before Hope junior Jason Beckman hit a three-pointer for the first bucket of the game. Junior Jason Walter (Coloma, Mich./Coloma) got the Knights on the board with a layup, but Hope junior Dennis Towns responded with a jump shot to give the Flying Dutchmen an early 5-2 lead and spark a scoring run. After a pair of made free throws, Hope held a five-point advantage heading into the first media timeout.
Hope widened its lead out of the break, using nine straight points to earn a fourteen-point advantage and force a Calvin timeout. Just under eight minutes into the game, senior Michael Wilks (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian) drained a three to snap Calvin's five-minute scoreless spell give the Knights an offensive spark. Less than two minutes later, Wilks knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to single digits, the scoreboard now reading 16-7.
Wilks continued to drive the Knights' offense after the midpoint of the half passed. Hope scored to regain its double-digit lead, but Wilks responded by hitting a jump shot. With just under five minutes to play in the first half, Wilks hit another jumper before Hope answered with two points of its own. A bucket by Walter made the score 20-13, still in favor of the Flying Dutchmen.
Hope held a nine-point lead heading into the final three minutes of the half. Junior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich./Wyoming) cut that advantage to six by converting on an old-fashioned three-point play. For the following two minutes, the teams exchanged points with the Dutchmen holding a six-point lead until Hope's Dante Hawkins hit a three-pointer in the final seconds of the half. The Flying Dutchmen headed into the halftime break with a 31-20 lead.
The Knights converted on only 6 of their 29 shot attempts in the first half, including one-of-nine from three-point range.
The Knights came out strong in the second half, but were unable to stop Hope's strong offensive performance. Out of the break, sophomore Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian) and junior Austin Bykerk (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian) scored back-to-back layups to make it an eight-point game.
Hope responded with four straight points of its own, but DeVries answered by draining a three. After points on both ends, Wilks took a charge to keep Hope's lead in single digits. Following a timeout, however, Hope strung together five straight points to take a 13-point lead, its largest of the afternoon. After points on both ends, the Flying Dutch went on another five-point run to go up 49-33 with just over 12 minutes remaining.
Sophomore Alex Bos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) broke up Hope's momentum by hitting a jump shot, but Hope's Hawkins made back-to-back threes to give the Dutchmen a 20-point lead.
Hope maintained its comfortable lead, continuing to capitalize on its three-point field goals. With seven minutes remaining, Amoros-Gutierrez tried to give the Knights' offense some momentum by hitting a jump shot and a three-pointer, but was matched by five points from Hope.
The Knights cut Hope's lead to 17 with just over five minutes remaining, but the Dutchmen responded with a 6-2 run to earn a 74-53 lead. Calvin outscored Hope 6-2 down the stretch, but the deficit was too large to overcome and the Flying Dutch took home a 17-point victory.
DeVries led Calvin with 17 points, while Wilks came off the bench to score 15 points. Amoros-Gutierrez finished with 10 points and a pair of steals off the bench, while Bykerk posted nine points and a team-high nine rebounds. Calvin's bench contributed 29 points.
The Knights are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Trine (9-12, 5-5 MIAA) for another conference matchup. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.