By Mark DeHaan
The Knights wrapped up their regular season at Albion on Saturday afternoon.
Using a strong offensive surge to open the second half, Calvin put Albion into a double-digit deficit from which the Britons could not recover. A total team effort, with five players scoring at least eight points, saw the Knights claim a 71-54 win to finish the regular season.
Just over three minutes into the contest, Calvin held a 7-5 lead after a triple from senior Tyler Dykstra.
The Britons tied up the game at 10-10, but the Knights responded with a 10-2 to build a 20-12 edge.
On multiple occasions in the remainder of the first half, Albion cut Calvin's lead to five points. But, the Britons got no closer the rest of the opening period, and the Knights took a 34-26 lead into halftime.
Jordan Brink led all Calvin scorers with nine points at half. As a team, the Knights shot 42.9% while the Britons hit 47.8% of their field goals. Individually for Albion, Zach Hurth had eight.
Out of the break, Calvin's offense jumped out to a quick start. The Knights out-scored the Britons 15-3 in the opening five minutes to build a double-digit lead at 49-29.
With 12:56 remaining in the contest, Calvin's advantage remained at 20 points at 54-34. The Britons then scored eight unanswered over the next three minutes to cut their deficit to 54-42.
The Knights re-upped their lead to 62-43 with 7:12 to go, a deficit which proved too large for Albion to overcome, and Calvin claimed a 71-54 win to close out its regular season.
The Knights finished at 48.2% from the field, holding Albion to just 35% shooting, including 28.6% in the second half. Calvin was 10-of-20 for 50% from three-point range. The Knights out-rebounded the Britons 39-36.
Austin Parks finished with 15 points to lead Calvin offensively. Senior Jordan Brink had nine while Dykstra, sophomore Michael Welch, and junior Jordan Daley each tallied eight. Dysktra also added seven rebounds and seven assists.
For Albion, Corey Wheeler scored 13 points while Zach Hurth finished with ten.
"It was a typical Calvin-Albion matchup – really physical, intense, a defensive struggle – I thought we did a really nice job grinding out possessions, and we came out of the locker room in the second half and made a bunch of shots in a row," said head coach Kevin Vande Streek. "I was disappointed Wednesday because I didn't think we were focused, but I thought we played like a conference champion today."
Calvin moves to 19-6 overall with the victory, finishing 12-2 in the MIAA. Albion falls to 12-13 overall and 5-9 in conference play.
The Knights now look forward to next week Thursday when they host the Scots of Alma for the first semi-final of the MIAA Tournament. The game will be played at Van Noord Arena, with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Hope College and Trine University will face off in the other semi-final. The game will be played at Trine on Thursday night, also tipping off at 7:30 p.m.