GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's Basketball team defeated rival Hope College 68-66 in the first round of the MIAA Tournament on Wednesday night at Van Noord Arena.
This was the 201st meeting overall and the 18th meeting in tournament play between the two teams.
It marked the first time since 2015 that Calvin has swept all three season games from Hope. Wednesday's game also marked the first time the two teams have met in the first round of the MIAA Tournament.
A rivalry showdown it was as the two teams came out battling as they exchanged points. Calvin down by four, senior Carolos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich. / Wyoming) knocked down a three followed by a layup from sophomore Emmett Warners (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Grand Rapids Christian)to take the 11-10 lead. The two teams continued to rally exchanging the lead keeping it a tight contest.
Sophomore Thad Shymanski (Ada, Mich. / Grand Rapids Christian)on fire, went on a 5-0 run to give Calvin the 31-24 edge. Hope was able to tighten it back to within three points, but a 6-0 run by the Knights put them up by 37-28. With under two minutes left in the half, the two teams exchanged points and as the half closed out, Calvin led 39-35.
The Flying Dutchmen regained the lead early on in the second half, but not for long as Shymanski still on fire, put up seven points in just over two minutes as Calvin led 51-47.
With 2:20 left to play and Calvin down by two, junior Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Covenant Christian) put up a layup drawing a foul sending him to the line as he gave the Knights the one-point lead. Amoros-Gutierrez with a layup, gave Calvin the 66-63 lead. Hopes Jason Beckman knocked down a layup drawing a foul and making the free throw to tie it back up at 66 with 35 seconds left of play. It was senior Jason Walter (Coloma, Mich. / Coloma) who gave the Knights the winning points as he put up a layup with ten seconds left. The Flying Dutchmen with one last possession weren't able to connect and they fell short as Calvin took the 68-66 win.
Leading the Knights was Shymanski with 16 points and three assists. Amoros-Gutierrez was another leader with 16 points also. DeVries recorded 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Senior Austin Bykerk (Jenison, Mich. / Unity Christian) had nine rebounds.
The Knights move on to the Semifinals on Friday as they take on Trine at 3 p.m. at the MTI Center.