A fast start set up the Hope College men's basketball team for a successful season debut.
The Flying Dutchmen claimed a 70-50 win at Wisconsin Stout on Friday after jumping out to a 25-point lead during the first half.
Senior forward Harrison Blackledge of Canton, Ohio (Hoover HS) scored a game-high 21 points for Hope, the 22nd-ranked team in the D3Hoops.com preseason poll. He also grabbed nine rebounds while shooting 8-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.
The Flying Dutchmen jumped out to a 13-2 lead 4 ½ minutes into the game. They pulled ahead as far as 36-11 after a 3-pointer from senior forward Zach Littleson of Rochester Hills, Michigan (Rochester Adams) with 3:43 remaining in the first half.
Sophomore Teddy Ray of Fort Wayne, Indiana (Homestead) chipped in 12 points in his first collegiate start.
Hope's starters outscored Stout's 47-26.
Junior guard Dante Hawkins of Holland, Michigan (Holland) finished with eight points, seven rebounds and a game-high six assists.
Senior forward Cody Stuive of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) added six points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Senior guard Mitchell O'Brien chipped in 10 points off the bench.
Hope returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 19 with a 1 p.m. Central game vs. Wisconsin-River Falls at Wisconsin Stout.
River Falls (2-0) beat Robert Morris, Illinois 103-98 in Friday's first game of the Wisconsin Stout Tournament.