Down seven points with less than three minutes remaining in regulation, the fifth-ranked Hope College men's basketball team would not quit.
As starters started exiting the game in overtime — requiring a four-guard lineup for much of the extra 10 minutes — the Flying Dutchmen still would not quit.
Hope willed its way to an 88-83 double-overtime win against Wheaton, Illinois Friday in the Midwest Challenge at DeVos Fieldhouse. It was a dramatic home opener for the Flying Dutchmen, now 4-1 on the season.
Sophomore point guard Dante Hawkins of Holland, Michigan (Holland HS) was one of many late-game heroes for the Flying Dutchmen. He said the victory meant a lot.
"It just shows that we never give up. We are always fighting," Hawkins said. "We played really bad and were down seven late. I never thought we were going to lose it. I just knew we would find a way. If we bring a fight, good things will happen."
Hope outscored Wheaton (3-3) by a 9-4 margin during the second and final five-minute overtime period.
The Flying Dutchmen scored the game's final six points on twos layups from junior forward Cody Stuive of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville HS) and one from senior forward Sam Otto of Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton North HS).
Senior guard Ben Gardner of Carmel, Indiana (Carmel HS) led Hope with a season-high 22 points.
Hawkins chipped in 17 points, including 13 after halftime. Junior forward Harrison Blackledge of Canton, Ohio (Hoover HS) scored 17 points before fouling out.
Senior guard Mitchell O'Brien netted a career-high 12 points, six rebounds and a game-high four steals. He scored 11 points over the final 2:43 of regulation to force overtime.
The game was the first to go to double overtime for the Flying Dutchmen since the 108-01 double-overtime loss in the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament second round to Illinois Wesleyan at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Calvin (3-3) defeated Carthage, Wis. (4-2) by a 77-65 margin in Friday's opener.
Hope will face Carthage at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Wheaton will play Calvin at 1 p.m.