WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The Calvin women's basketball team fell on Friday to the unbeaten Pioneers of Marietta, 64-56. Calvin moves to 6-5 overall, after the first day of the Smokey Ballenger Classic on the campus of Otterbein University.
The two teams exchanged the lead multiple times to start the first quarter. The largest lead of the day for Calvin was at the 14-10 mark. Calvin used a 5-0 run with a layup from senior Bre Luurtsema (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian) and a three-point basket from junior Sarah Cassel (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North). The Pioneers regained the lead at 16-14, but a pair of free throws from senior Ali Spayde (Lewis Center, Ohio/Worthington Christian) tied the game after 10 minutes.
The Pioneers opened the second quarter on a 9-3 run to take a 26-19 lead. Calvin would not fold and cut the Pioneer lead to 26-25. Marietta pushed the lead up to three points twice in the final minutes of the half, but a layup from Ali Spayde cut the deficit to 29-28 at halftime.
Marietta jumped on the Knights in the third quarter and opened the half on a 15-2 run to lead 44-30. Calvin outscored the Pioneers 7-2 in the final two minutes, with Ali Spayde scoring five points.
Trailing by nine to start the fourth quarter, the Knights continued to chip away at the Marietta lead. Ali Spayde started the Calvin scoring in the fourth quarter with a three-point basket. A pair of three-point baskets from Ali Spayde and junior Rachel Warners (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) cut the deficit to 55-51 with 1:25 remaining. Despite five points from Rachel Warners in the final minute, the Pioneers made their free throws and walked away with a 64-56 victory.
The Knights edged the Pioneers on the boards, outrebounding Marietta, 41-40.
In her homecoming, Ali Spayde led all players with 22 points on Friday and led the Knights with four assists.
In the record book, Spayde moved into 10th place on Calvin career scoring list, moving past Kristen McDonald. Luurtsema moved past Pam Wubben and into a tie for seventh place on the Calvin career rebounding list with Brooke Van Eck. Luurtsema and Van Eck now both with 553 career rebounds.
Calvin looks to bounce back on Saturday when the Knights face Otterbein.