The Calvin men's basketball team traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin and the campus of Carthage College Friday evening.
Playing Wheaton College, Calvin was looking for consecutive wins over the Thunder for the first time since 2005. The Knights defeated Wheaton 78-51 last season and was looking for a similar result this year.
Unfortunately for Knights, they could not overcome a double-digit deficit in the second half and fell 70-66.
Wheaton jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on four early points from guard Brayden Teuscher in the opening three minutes.
A layup from senior Tyler Dykstra with 12:10 remaining in the first half brought the game back level at 13-13.
After a three-pointer from Dykstra, a 14-5 run by Wheaton gave the Thunder the largest lead of the first half at 29-21.
The Knights then scored the final seven points of the first half to bring the score at the break to 29-28.
At the half, freshman Connor VanderBrug and Dykstra led Calvin with 7 points apiece.
In the second half, the Knights saw its largest lead of the game at 16:27 remaining on a layup from senior Daniel Stout.
The Thunder quickly retook the lead, and with 6:39 to go, saw their lead increase to double-digits at 58-47.
In the final minutes, Calvin cut the deficit the three at 62-59 on a triple from senior Jordan Brink with 1:28 remaining.
With 0:10 to go, another three from Brink put Wheaton's lead at 68-66. But, the Thunder, behind strong shooting from Brayden Teuscher, iced the game at the free-throw line to claim a 70-66 lead.
The Knights shot 49.1% for the game compared to 46.3% for Wheaton. Calvin was out-rebounded by the Thunder 32-27 for the game, however, and Wheaton hit 15-of-17 free throws.
Individually, Brink led Calvin with 19 points while junior Jordan Daley scored 13.
For Wheaton, Teuscher had 28 points, shooting 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.
"As a team we had a poor opening seven or eight minutes, and we came out passionless," said head coach Kevin Vande Streek. "Although the second half was far from perfect, we played with so much more energy. But, when you come out slow you are forced to come from behind."
The Knights fall to 4-3 overall with the loss while Wheaton improves to 5-2.
Calvin now looks forward to Saturday when it faces off with host Carthage College. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. eastern time.