By Mark DeHaan
The Calvin women's basketball returned to action Monday night, looking to rebound from a tough loss on Saturday against conference-rival Hope. The Knights hosted Trine in a make-up game that was twice postponed. Calvin entered the contest with a 14-5 overall record, and a 7-3 conference record, tied for third in the MIAA. The Thunder came in at 4-14 and 1-8 in the MIAA.
The Knights, despite turning around without a single practice, defeated the Thunder soundly, 78-57.
The Knights jumped out to a 23-14 lead behind seven points from junior Breanna Verkaik (Holland/Holland Christian HS) and six points from junior Hannah Acre (DeWitt/DeWitt HS) with 11:24 remaining in the first half.
With 6:34 left, Calvin's lead expanded to 36-17 on a jumper from junior Kayla Engelhard (Unionville/Saginaw Valley Lutheran HS), the largest lead of the half for the Knights.
At halftime, the Thunder were able to cut the deficit to 40-28, finishing the first half on an 11-4 run.
Acre led Calvin with eight while freshman Anna Timmer also added eight off the bench in the first half.
Out of the break, Trine whittled Calvin's lead down to 45-38 before an 11-0 run by the Knights, fueled by six points from Verkaik, put their lead back up to 56-38 with 11:34 left in the game.
Calvin's lead then grew to 22 on a number of occasions before settling at a final score of 78-57.
The Knights shot 42% from the field despite hitting just 5-of-26 from beyond the arc. Calvin outrebounded Trine 49-40 while holding the Thunder to just 32% shooting.
The Knights were led on offense by Timmer who had 19 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs and her first career double-double. Verkaik added 17 points and six boards while Acre had 12 and six.
Kayla Dunn led Trine with 15 while Megan Engle scored 11.
"We got a good lead in the first half, then we kind of stalled a bit, then we got going again. It was a rough loss on Saturday, and to come and play well without a practice, I was really pleased," said head coach John Ross. "Anna Timmer keeps getting better all the time. She boards well, and for only playing 15 minutes (a game), she has been doing a great job for us. MacKenzie Shelton, give her credit too, she had a tough first half and but came back and did a great job for us in the second half. Now we have one day (to practice) and we play Saint Mary's – we just have to keep rolling."
Calvin improves to 13-6 and 8-3 in the MIAA while Trine falls to 4-15 and 1-9 in conference play.
The Knights now have a quick turnaround as they host Saint Mary's at Van Noord Arena on Wednesday.
Wednesday's contest is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.