By Mark DeHaan
Calvin welcomed the Flying Dutchmen of Hope College to Van Noord Arena on Wednesday evening for the second meeting of the Rivalry this season.
The Knights were looking for a repeat performance of the 88-64 Calvin victory in January, while the Flying Dutchmen were playing to even the season series.
Both teams also came in as part of a three-way tie for first place in the MIAA with Trine. All three squads entered with 6-2 conference records.
The game turned out to be a classic rivalry showdown, with 15 lead changes throughout the contest. Although Hope held the lead for the majority of the contest, it was the Knights who found themselves on top as time expired as Calvin claimed an 83-77 victory. The win gives the Knights their first regular season sweep of Hope since 2009, also allowing Calvin to keep pace with Trine in the MIAA.
Hope guard Alex Eidson, after going 0-for-9 with 0 points in the first matchup, scored the first basket of the game to give the Flying Dutchmen the early lead.
With 16:19 to go, the ball game was tied at 8-8. At the first media timeout, Hope led 15-12 behind nine points from guard Chad Carlson.
Over the next six minutes, the Knights went on a 16-9 run, including five points from sophomore Brad Visser, to go up 28-24.
Hope responded, and over the remaining time in the first, outscored Calvin 15-9 to lead the Knights 39-37 at the break.
Junior Jordan Daley led Calvin with 10 points at the break as the Knights shot 45.2%. Harrison Blackledge scored 12 to lead Hope. The Flying Dutchmen were 50% from the field at half.
Out of the break, with the game tied at 45-45, a dunk from Hope and a big three-pointer with 15:41 to go forced a timeout from Knights head coach Kevin Vande Streek as the Flying Dutchmen built a 50-45 advantage.
With 10:23 remaining, a three from senior Jordan Brink tied the game up at 57-57.
Junior Austin Parks then gave Calvin its first lead of the second half at 64-63 on a fast-break layup with 8:11 remaining.
The advantage held for just seven seconds though as forward Sam Otto quickly responded for Hope.
With the game later tied at 71-71, a driving layup from Brink with 4:53 remaining gave the Calvin the lead and a Hope foul. Brink sunk the free-throw to put the Knights lead at 74-71, also giving Calvin the momentum.
With 1:33 to go, a dunk from senior Tyler Dykstra off an offensive board gave the Knights their largest lead of the evening at 78-72.
Four straight by the Flying Dutchmen then saw Hope cut the Calvin lead to 78-76, but, led by Jordan Brink, who scored 12 of Calvin's final 17 points, the Knights iced the game at the free-throw line to earn an 83-77 victory.
Calvin shot 47.4% while Hope shot 46.4%. The Knights hit 39.1% from three-point range while the Flying Dutchmen were 40.9% from beyond the arc. Calvin committed just seven turnovers the whole game while holding a slim 33-32 rebounding margin.
Individually, Brink scored 27 points and added six assists the lead the Knights. Daley scored 17 points while Parks had 10. Dykstra had nine points and eight rebounds.
For Hope, Harrison Blackledge had 24 points, Carlson finished with 14 points and Otto scored 11.
"We talked before the game about how the little things were going to be the difference maker, and they were: a clean rebound, a foul, a couple rebounds here or there," said Hope head coach Greg Mitchell. "Hats off to them. They played well and they made shots we didn't make down the stretch."
"Score stayed tight the entire time, and it felt like, in the second half, we were on pace to give up 100 points," said Calvin men's basketball coach Kevin Vande Streek. "We kept hanging in there, and as it got close to the end, Jordan (Brink) had a big and-one and two free throws that got us to a two possession game. I'm incredibly proud of the resilience of these guys to come back (from a tough loss last Saturday)."
With the win, Calvin improves to 14-6 overall and stays in first place in the MIAA at 7-2. Hope falls to 13-7 and 6-3 in league play. Trine also improved to 7-2 in the conference Wednesday night with a victory over Adrian College.
The Knights now look forward to Saturday when they host the Bulldogs of Adrian. The weekend matchup is set to tip-off at 3:00 p.m.
NOTES: Calvin's win on Wednesday marked the first time that the Knights have swept both regular season meetings from Hope since the 2008-09 season….Wednesday's game was the 190th meeting between the two teams with Hope leading the all-time series 98-92….Calvin senior Jordan Brink boosted his career scoring total to 1,354 points and is now 11th on the Calvin career list, moving past 1952 grad Duane Rosendahl Wednesday evening.