Second-half free throws paved the way for the nationally ranked Hope College men's basketball team to a 79-69 win against Wisconsin-Platteville on Saturday at DeVos Fieldhouse.
The Flying Dutchmen recorded nine more free-throw attempts than their nonleague foe and outscored Platteville 18-11 from the line after halftime. Hope went just 3-of-7 from the foul line during the first half.
Hope, ranked fifth by D3Hoops.com, improved to 6-1 on the season.
Senior forward Sam Otto of Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton North HS) led the Flying Dutchmen with 17 points.
Senior guard Ben Gardner of Carmel, Indiana (Carmel HS) and junior forward Harrison Blackledge of Canton, Ohio (Hoover HS) chipped in 15 points apiece.
Senior guard Alex Eidson of Grand Haven, Michigan (Grand Haven HS) added a season-high 11 points off the bench.
Blackledge and Otto each scored 10 points during the second half to help down Platteville (5-4). Blackledge went 6-of-7 from the foul line, while Otto contributed from the outside with three of his four 3-pointers.
The game was the first against Platteville in the regular season and the first win over the Pioneers. The two teams previously met in the 2008 and 1998 NCAA Tournament.
Hope returns to action on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 21-22 when it hosts the Russ DeVette/Holland Sentinel Classic. There are two games each night, with Hope playing at 8 p.m. both games.