Women’s Basketball Bounces Manchester, 63-50

Women’s Basketball Bounces Manchester, 63-50

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - In its fourth game of the season, the Calvin women's basketball team welcomed the Spartans of Manchester University to Van Noord Arena for a non-conference matchup.

On Tuesday night, Knights defeated the Spartans 63-50 on Tuesday night. Calvin held onto a narrow 40-39 lead after three quarters, but outscored its visitors 23-11 in the final ten minutes of play to remain undefeated on the season.

This past weekend, the Knights picked up a pair of victories to claim the Lakeland Tipoff Tournament title. Calvin knocked off the University of Dubuque 68-55 on Friday and claimed a 58-39 win over Lakeland College on Saturday to enter Tuesday's game at 3-0. Junior Ali Spayde (Lewis Center, Ohio/Worthington Christian HS) was named the tournament's MVP and was joined on the all-tournament team by Calvin teammates Bre Luurtsema (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian HS) and Anna Timmer (Caledonia, Mich./South Christian HS).

Manchester, a member of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, possessed a 0-2 record prior to facing the Knights, having suffered close losses to MIAA member St. Mary's College and Benedictine University.

The first half of the game was closely contested with the lead changing hands six times.

Early in the first quarter, with the score knotted at five, Manchester's Jenifer Lee put in a layup to put the Spartans up by two points. Ali Spayde responded the next possession by knocking down a three-point field goal to give the Knights the lead and kick off a 6-0 run. Calvin led 11-7 with 4:42 left in the first quarter. Fueled by four points from Manchester's Isabella Zoog, the visitors would tie the score at 13 before time expired.

The teams exchanged points to start the second quarter. Less than four minutes into the quarter, the Spartans would take a 20-17 lead as the Knights struggled to get a shot to fall.

With just over three minutes remaining before halftime, Spayde would sink her third three-pointer of the contest to retake the lead for the Knights (22-20). Despite five points scored by Manchester late in the half, four points by Calvin's Anna Timmer would enable Calvin to hold on to a 26-25 lead heading into the break.

Both teams struggled to convert on their shots in the first half as the Spartans shot 38.1% (9-23) from the field, while the Knights posted a 32.4% (11-34) field goal percentage.

The three minutes of the second half were scoreless until Spayde knocked down a jump, breaking the dry spell. A steal and layup by Bre Luurtsema gave the home team a 30-25 lead.

Trailing by five with 6:32 left in the third quarter, the Spartans capitalized on a number of Calvin errors to retake a one-point (33-32) lead. Manchester's Jenifer Lee would hit a jumper to increase the Spartan's lead to three. On the other end of the floor, Luurtsema would snag an offensive rebound that led to a game tying three-pointer by Spayde.

In the final three minutes of play, the teams went back-and-forth in scoring, but Timmer knocked down a late free throw to give the Knights a 40-39 advantage heading into the final quarter.

12 seconds into the final quarter, sophomore Rachel Warners (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) knocked down a jump shot to put the Knights up by three points. Despite pushback from the Spartans, the Knights held onto a one-point lead (46-45) with 7:17 remaining. The Knights score the next nine points, holding the Spartans scoreless for nearly four minutes, to claim a double-digit lead (55-45) for the first time in the contest.

In the remainder of the contest, the Spartans would only score by way of free throws. The Knights would go on a 5-0 run to close out the contest and claim a 63-50 victory.  

Spayde led all players with 19 points, also finishing with five assists. Luurtsema recorded a double-double, scoring 14 points and logging 11 rebounds; six of Luurtsema's points came in the fourth quarter. Timmer was one rebound away from a double-double, finishing with nine boards and 12 points. Rachel Warners contributed eight points and four blocked shots in the win.

Manchester was led in scoring by Jenifer Lee who finished with 13 points. Maddy Minehart followed with 10 points.

The Knights outrebounded the Spartans 43-26.

The Knights are back in action on Friday when they travel to Finlandia University to face off against the Lions (1-1). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.