Hope Men's Basketball Falls To Calvin 189th Edition Of The Rivalry

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The Hope College men's basketball team lost the 189th game of The Rivalry on Saturday, falling 88-64 to Calvin at DeVos Fieldhouse.

Sophomore Harrison Blackledge of Canton, Ohio (Hoover HS), scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Flying Dutchmen in front of a DeVos Fieldhouse crowd of 3,434.

Hope still leads the all-time series by a 98-91 margin.

The Knights spoiled Greg Mitchell's first Hope-Calvin game as head coach while improving to 9-4 overall and 2-0 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play.

The Flying Dutchmen are now 7-6 and 0-2 in MIAA play.

"Well, obviously we're very disappointed," Mitchell said in his post-game press conference. "We came in with a mission to take care of the basketball and make sure we played even on the glass, which we did a good job of … unfortunately we didn't stay committed to what we were trying to do, which was working on the inside of the basketball.

"We believe in what we're doing and I believe in these guys," Mitchell said. "It's just a challenge. Seasons are journeys. Seasons are processes … If we get too worked up about losing our first two conference games, then we're not who we are."

Hope opened strong, scoring 11 of the game's first 13 points during a span of 4 minute, 6 seconds.

Calvin however, rebounded to take a 34-26 halftime lead.

The Flying Dutchmen tied the score twice in the second half. Two Blackledge made free throws pulled Hope even at 46-46 with 13:46 remaining.

A layup 32 seconds later from sophomore Cody Stuive of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville HS), evened the score at 48-48.

Calvin outscored the Flying Dutchmen 40-16 the rest of the game. Jordan Brink led the Knights with 29 points. 

The Flying Dutchmen last dropped back-to-back games to start MIAA play during the 1978-79 season.

Hope returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 14, when the Flying Dutchmen host Albion. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at DeVos Fieldhouse.