Calvin Women's Basketball Tops Lewis and Clark 58-44

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SANTA CRUZ, CA - The Calvin women's basketball team remained unbeaten on the 2014-15 season with a 58-44 victory over the Pioneers of Lewis and Clark College Monday afternoon.

Averaging more than 80 points a game heading into Monday's contest, Calvin (8-0) was slowed down by a rugged Lewis and Clark effort as the Pioneers came out aggressively, breaking Calvin's full-court pressure defense and hitting the boards in relentless fashion.

Calvin held a 23-16 first half lead but Lewis and Clark (3-6) closed out the half on a 10-2 run as the Pioneers held Calvin to just one field goal over the final 7:20 of the first half.

Calvin opened the second half on a 14-3 run fueled by six points in the paint by senior Hannah Acre to take a 39-29 lead.

Lewis and Clark closed to within six at 39-33 but Calvin bumped its lead back to double-digits with a quick run capped off by a three-pointer by senior Breanna Verkaik that gave the Knights a 50-36 lead with just under six minutes to play.

Calvin cruised from that point on, leading by as many as 18 points before settling on the final margin of victory.

"Give credit to Lewis and Clark for giving us a real battle," said Calvin women's basketball coach John Ross. "They've been to a strong run of NCAA III Tournaments over the last five years. They're in a bit of a rebuilding mode but that is also a proud program and they made us work for this one so hats of to Lewis and Clark."

Monday's game was played at the Kaiser Permanente Arena, home of the Santa Cruz Warriors - the D' League affiliate of the NBA's Golden State Warriors.

"It took us some time to get used to the arena," said Ross. "I think our players got a little confused with some of the three-point lines because this is a professional playing surface but once we got the kinks ironed out we were ok."

Calvin was led in scoring by senior Kayla Engelhard who tossed in a season-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Acre was also stellar with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Lewis and Clark was led in scoring by Ayisat Afolabi who collected 11 points and nine rebounds.

Calvin held a 36-31 rebounding advantage but allowed the Pioneers to snare 13 offensive rebounds.

"We have to do a better job of cleaning up the boards," said Ross. "We have a very tough game tomorrow night against a  9-3 UC-Santa Cruz  team that is big and athletic. Their three losses this year have all been to high-quality opponents and have come by a combined total of 11 points. We will have our hands full tomorrow."

Calvin's game against the host Banana Slugs on Tuesday is scheduled for a 9 p.m. (EDT) tip time.