GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's basketball team picked up a 97-72 victory against Kalamazoo on Saturday afternoon at Van Noord Arena. The win keeps the Knights in contention for a spot in the four-team postseason MIAA Tournament.
With the win, Calvin improves to 9-14 on the season with a 5-7 MIAA record. Kalamazoo falls to 6-17 overall with a 1-11 conference mark.
In the first meeting of the year between the two teams, Kalamazoo claimed a 70-69 victory on a last-second shot.
Calvin controlled Saturday afternoon's game, building an early lead and denying Kalamazoo a comeback opportunity. The Hornets got on the board first, scoring two minutes into the game before Calvin senior Tony Canonie (South Haven, Mich./South Haven) answered with a bucket for the Knights. Sophomore Tom Morrison (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) followed with a three-point basket.
Kalamazoo used free throws to knot the score, but Canonie knocked down back-to-back triples to give the Knights an 11-5 advantage. After a Hornets bucket, Calvin used an eight-point run to go up by twelve and force a Kalamazoo timeout. Freshman Luke Morrison (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) contributed five points in the scoring surge, while sophomore Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian) added three.
Out of the break, DeVries and Morrison each made a layup to give the Knights a 23-9 lead just past the 10-minute mark of the half. After another Hornets timeout, the visitors scored again, but Calvin's offense continued to roll and staged an 11-point run. Junior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich./Wyoming) and senior Michael Wilks (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian) both hit three-pointers, while freshman Jason Walter (Coloma, Mich./Coloma) converted on an old-fashioned three-point play. After two free throws by Wilks, the scoreboard read 34-11 in favor of the Knights.
With just over five minutes remaining in the half, the Hornets answered with an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to 17. DeVries interrupted the Hornets' momentum by draining a triple in transition and then knocking down a pair of free throws to give Calvin a comfortable 41-19 lead.
Kalamazoo's offense heated up late in the first half, as the Hornets went on a 10-point run to make it a 12-point game. The two team exchanged points until DeVries hit a last-second three-pointer to give Calvin a 48-33 advantage heading into the break.
The two teams exchanged points to start the second half until a bucket by junior Austin Bykerk (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian) widened Calvin's advantage to 17. The Hornets answered with a triple, but back-to-back buckets by Canonie and Wilks made the score 58-40 less than five minutes into the half.
After points on both ends, Wilks and DeVries scored two straight triples to put Calvin up 66-45 and force a Kalamazoo timeout. The Knights went on a 7-2 run out of the break as DeVries, Canonie and Luke Morrison scored to make the score 73-47.
Calvin maintained its 26-point lead as the teams exchanged points for the next three minutes. The Hornets used a six-point run to come within 20 points of the Knights with just under eight minutes remaining.
The Knights responded with nine straight points to lead 89-60 with just under six minutes left to play. The Hornets were unable to overcome the large deficit in the final minutes of the contest, and the Knights rolled to a 25-point victory.
DeVries led all players with 22 points, including four three-pointers. The trio of Canonie, Wilks and Luke Morrison followed with 16 points apiece. Canonie also earned seven assists and three steals, while Morrison had four assists and two steals. Sophomore Alex Bos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) led the Knights with 11 rebounds.
Calvin shot 48.6% from the floor in the win, including 41.9% from three-point range. The Knights outrebounded the Hornets 43-26.
The Knights are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Albion (8-15, 5-7 MIAA) for another conference matchup. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Calvin will close out its regular season next Saturday when it hosts Olivet.