Calvin Women's Basketball Opens Season With Record-Setting Win Over Great Lakes Christian College

Calvin Women's Basketball Opens Season With Record-Setting Win Over Great Lakes Christian College

By Gina de Haan

In its season opener, the Calvin women's basketball team handily defeated Great Lakes Christian College 118-18.

The Knights, ranked 17th in the Women's Division III News Preseason Top 25 poll, welcomed the Lakes to Van Noord Arena on Tuesday night. The Lakes, who compete in the Division II Mid-East region of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), entered the contest at 1-2 overall.

Calvin women's basketball head coach Chuck Winkelman made his coaching debut on Tuesday night. A native of St. Cloud, Minnesota, Winkelman brings 15 years of head collegiate women's basketball coaching experience with him to the Calvin sideline.

"This team is obviously very gifted offensively, and I've said that to them from the beginning," said coach Winkelman. "It's not an issue of scoring the basketball, it's really focusing on playing great defense all the time. I think defense wins games and rebounds win championships. We have to do those things to take our team to the next level."

The Knights got on the board quickly as senior guard Lauren Goldthorpe (St. Ignance, MI/Lasalle HS) hit a three-pointer 11 seconds into the game. A trio of layups by sophomore Rachel Warners (Grand Rapids, MI/Grand Rapids Christian HS), junior Bre Luurtsema (Holland, MI/Holland Christian HS) and senior Anna Timmer (Caledonia, MI/South Christian) gave Calvin an early 9-0 lead.

The Knights would score six more points before the Lakes got on the board with 4:26 left in the first quarter. Calvin would hold its visitors scoreless and, after a last-second three-pointer by junior Ali Spayde (Lewis Center, OH/Worthington Christian HS) possessed a 30-2 lead heading into the second quarter.

Fueled by 12 points by Timmer, the Knights outscored the Lakes 34-4 in the second quarter. At the half, Calvin led 64-6.  

The Lakes' Icesis Chandler-Pool scored the first bucket of the second half, but the Knights would go on a 29-0 run for the remainder of the third quarter.

Leading 93-8 to start the fourth quarter, Calvin's bench outscored the Lakes 25-10 to close out the game. As time expired, the Knights claimed a 118-18 victory.

12 Knights saw playing time in the victory, and all contributed points. Calvin's bench contributed 58 points in the winning effort.

Anna Timmer, named a preseason Division III All-American by both Women's Division III News and by, recorded a double-double in the victory, finishing with 22 points (9-9 FG, 4-4 FT) and 15 rebounds. Ali Spayde contributed 15 points, while Lauren Goldthorpe added 14. Freshman Nicole Meyer (Macomb, MI/Eisenhower HS) and sophomore Caroline Postema (Walker, MI/Unity Christian HS) recorded 12 points apiece. Sophomore guard Becca Richards (Fort Gratiot, MI/Port Huron Northern HS) led the Knights with nine assists.

The Knights outrebounded their visitors 55-23, while also forcing 32 turnovers.

Great Lakes Christian's Icesis Chandler-Pool scored 12 of the Lakes' 18 points.

"Tonight, we looked like we should look. There are no more games like this on the schedule," said Winkelman. At the two tournaments we're about to go to before we play in Holland on the 30th, we'll face four teams that are very capable. This was a good tune-up for us to grow together before that."

Calvin's 118-point output marked a new Calvin single-game scoring record, surpassing the 111 points scored in a win over Marygrove College on December 27, 2013. Calvin's 14 three-point field goals Tuesday night were just one shy of matching the Calvin single-game record.

Calvin will travel to Sheboygan, Wisconsin this weekend to participate in the Lakeland University Top-Off Tournament. Calvin will open tournament play Friday against the University of Dubuque at 8 p.m. (CST).

"Our first game against Dubuque will be a great challenge. The league Dubuque plays in saw one of its own (Wartburg College) advanced to the Final Four. They're not going to be intimidated by the Calvin logo across the front of the jersey at all," said Winkelman.

"We are about embracing the process together and I think that organic team building, just doing life together is one of the best ways to grow as a team. I'm looking forward to that journey with this team and for this team to continue to develop, on and off the court."