Dante Hawkins picked up his pace and productive at an opportune moment for the Hope College men's basketball team.
The junior guard from Holland, Michigan (Holland HS) sparked the Flying Dutchmen to a 93-80 win over Aquinas Friday in the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame Classic at DeVos Fieldhouse by scoring 17 of his career-high 24 points after halftime.
Hope improved to 3-0 overall while setting up a championship showdown with Cornerstone University, an 83-55 victory over Calvin College in Friday's first game. Tipoff is 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26.
Hope coach Greg Mitchell said the Flying Dutchmen look for Hawkins to play fast when the game slows down.
"He's such a quick player," Mitchell told the Holland Sentinel. "We're a better basketball team when we're flying and moving and getting out in transition."
Hawkins shot 4-of-6 from the field and 9-of-11 from the foul line during the second half. He also dished out four of his six assists after halftime.
Two other Hope players joined Hawkins in double figures.
Senior forward Harrison Blackledge of Canton, Ohio (Hoover) recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior forward Cody Stuive of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) chipped in 15 points.
The Flying Dutchmen are bidding for their sixth Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame Classic title. They previously won in 2001, 2006, 2005, 2002 and 1997.
Both Hope and Cornerstone (6-1) are nationally ranked in NCAA Division III and NAIA Division II, respectively.