GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin women's basketball team fell 49-46 in a closely-contested MIAA matchup with No. 12 Trine. Trailing by 11 at halftime, the Knights outscored the Thunder 16-9 in the third quarter and used their momentum to take the lead in the final five minutes of the game. Despite the strong comeback effort, the Knights didn't get an opportunity for a final shot and fell to the Thunder at Van Noord Arena.
With the loss, Calvin falls to 12-7 on the year with a 7-3 MIAA mark to sit at third in the conference standings. Trine improves to 17-2 and 9-1 in conference play for second place in the MIAA. Calvin was picked to finish third in the MIAA preseason coaches' poll, while Trine is the preseason favorite. The Thunder won the first meeting of the year in December, defeating the Knights 50-47.
Calvin leads all-time series against Trine 23-8.
The Thunder jumped out to a 9-0 lead, forcing Calvin to call a timeout less than three minutes into the contest. Trine held the Knights scoreless for the first five minutes of play.
Four straight points by senior Ali Spayde (Lewis Center, Ohio/Worthington Christian) made the score 11-5 with just over two minutes left in the first quarter. Senior Bre Luurtsema (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian) followed with a bucket to cut the deficit to four points, but the Thunder responded with a five-point run to lead 16-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Calvin started the second quarter by scoring six straight points, courtesy of junior Logan Winton (Fairview, Mich./Fairview) and Spayde, to make it 16-13 game. Trine built its lead to seven as the midpoint of the half neared. The two teams exchanged points until the final seconds of the half as the Thunder closed out the quarter with four straight points.
The Knights pushed back in the third quarter, outscoring the Thunder 16-9. Luurtsema scored the first points of the half to make it a single-digit game. After a Trine three-pointer, Spayde responded by converting on a three-point play followed by a triple of her own. Winton and Luurtsema added two points apiece to the Knights' run to make the score 33-31, still in favor of the Thunder. Calvin held Trine scoreless for over four minutes during the scoring surge.
The Thunder answered with six straight points to regain an eight-point lead, but the Knights closed out the third quarter with back-to-back buckets to trail 39-35 heading into the final quarter.
After a pair of Trine free throws, Luurtsema went four-for-four from the line to bring the score to 41-39. A Thunder free throw couldn't halt Calvin's momentum. Spayde made a layup to bring Calvin within one point, and junior Becca Richards (Fort Gratiot, Mich./Port Huron) drained a three to give the Knights a 42-44 lead with five minutes remaining.
Trine used seven straight points to retake a 49-44 lead and force a Calvin timeout. A pair of free throws by Spayde made it a one-possession game with 35 seconds left on the clock. The Knights were unable to get off a tying shot, and the Thunder claimed a three-point victory over Calvin for the second time this season.
Spayde led Calvin in scoring with 24 points. Luurtsema contributed 11 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Nicole Meyer (Macomb, Mich./Eisenhower) posted a career-high 11 rebounds, while Winton added with six points and four boards.
The Knights are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Adrian to take on the Bulldogs (8-10, 5-5 MIAA). Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.