There are a few more twists and turns coming this unpredictable Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association basketball season, but the Flying Dutchmen are gladly along for the ride.
Hope College earned its way back into a tie atop the MIAA standings with an 88-84 overtime victory at Trine on Saturday.
Behind a game-high 25 points from junior guard Jason Beckman of Shelby, Michigan (Shelby HS) and contributions from many others, the Flying Dutchmen upped their record to 11-8 overall and helped forge a four-way tie for first place.
With a 5-3 league record, Hope is even with Adrian, Olivet and Trine. All four teams are one game ahead of fifth-place Alma and Albion, which beat Olivet on Saturday. Calvin, which downed Adrian Saturday, trails the MIAA leaders by just two games.
There are three weeks and six games remaining in the regular season. The top four teams qualify for the February 23-24 MIAA Tournament.
Hope coach Greg Mitchell was proud of how his team bounced back from a loss at Albion on Wednesday and evened the season series with the Thunder.
"The most important thing is just trying to play with incredible passion," Mitchell said. "One through 15, our guys were amazing today."
The Flying Dutchmen outscored Trine 15-11 during the extra five minutes of play.
Junior forward Teddy Ray of Fort Wayne, Indiana (Homestead), pictured, sank a go-ahead 3-pointer for an 83-82 lead with 1 minute, 21 seconds remaining in overtime. He finished with 14 points.
Ray — who also collected a team-high 10 rebounds and five assists — then grabbed a missed shot on Trine's next possession. Hope capitalized, getting a 3-pointer from Beckman off an assist from senior guard Dante Hawkins of Holland, Michigan (Holland HS).
Trine closed within two points, but sophomore guard Riley Lewis of Williamston, Michigan (Williamston) sank two game-clinching free throws with 11 seconds remaining.
Hawkins finished with 17 points and four assists. Lewis totaled 11 points.
Junior forward Dennis Towns of Flint, Michigan (Powers Catholic) added 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Flying Dutchmen matched their second-highest total of the season with 20 assists.
Trine (9-10 overall) put five players in double figures. Forward Myles Copeland topped the Thunder with 19 points but was held to six points during the second half.