A second narrow Rivalry loss in eight days leaves the Hope College men's basketball team looking for an at-large berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Calvin College rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to top the 18th-ranked Flying Dutchmen 86-83 on Saturday in the championship game of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament.
In front of a DeVos Fieldhouse crowd of 2,835, Calvin (17-10) clinched the league's automatic berth to the national tournament. The 64-team field will be announced on Monday, Feb. 27 at 12:30 p.m. on ncaa.com/video.
Hope, the regular season MIAA champion, was ranked third in the Great Lakes Region heading into the MIAA Tournament. The Flying Dutchmen are now 21-6 on the season.
Calvin has won each of the past two Rivalry meetings by three points. The Knights denied Hope an unbeaten MIAA record on Saturday, Feb. 18 with a 65-62 overtime decision at DeVos Fieldhouse. The Flying Dutchmen lead the all-time series 101-95.
Junior guard Dante Hawkins of Holland, Michigan (Holland) scored a career-high and game-high 31 points and four assists. He tripled his previous scoring best against the Knights of 10 points.
Hawkins scored 19 in the first half alone as the Flying Dutchmen charged to a 46-34 lead.
Calvin cut the lead to four points at 47-43 three minutes into the second half. Hope remained ahead or tied until two Michael Wilks free throws gave the Knights a 66-65 lead with 6 ½ minutes remaining. Hope led the game just two more times and trailed the final four minutes.
Calvin sank all six free-throw attempts over the final 16 seconds to secure the win. The Knights finished the game 27-of-31 at the foul line and outscored the Flying Dutchmen by 14 points there.
Senior guard Chad Carlson of Rockford, Michigan (Rockford) contributed 10 points. His two 3-pointers gave him a school-record 86 on the season, passing Derek Van Solkema's previous single-season school record of 84.
Cam Denney led four Calvin players with 21 points.
This was the 13th Hope-Calvin game in an MIAA final. The Flying Dutchmen have won eight of those meetings.