Hope Men's Basketball Loses Heartbreaker In MIAA Tournament Title Game

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Hope College men's basketball coach Greg Mitchell said he thought his team deserved a better fate.

Calvin College denied the Flying Dutchmen a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association title on Saturday, rallying in the final seconds to hand Hope a 70-69 loss.

Calvin guard Jordan Brink buried a jumper for the last of his game-high 25 points with five seconds remaining to give the Knights (21-6) their only lead of the game.

Hope (18-9) then was unable to get a shot off on its last possession.

Junior forward Sam Otto of Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton North HS), scored a career-high 24 points for the Flying Dutchmen after making his third start of the season and first since November. He filled in admirably for injured teammates Alex Eidson and Corey McMahon, who did not play.

Otto surpassed his previous career high of 16 points in the first half alone with 17 as Hope raced to a 39-24 halftime lead.

Junior center Brock Benson of Willowbrook, Illinois (Hinsdale South HS), scored 10 of his 14 points prior to halftime.

Junior guard Ben Gardner of Carmel, Indiana (Carmel HS), chipped in 16 points.

Hope was outscored 14-2 over the final 4 minutes, 56 seconds. 

The Flying Dutchmen now lead the all-time series with Calvin by a 98-93 margin. Hope is 10-6 against Calvin in the MIAA Tournament and 8-4 in championship game. 

First-year coach Greg Mitchell led the Flying Dutchmen to their 10th consecutive trip to the MIAA Tournament title game.

Calvin received the MIAA's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The field is announced at 12:30 p.m. on Monday.