Men's Basketball Hits Century Mark Vs. Johnson & Wales In DeVette/Sentinel Classic Finale

Holiday cheer? Oh, yes, there was plenty inside DeVos Fieldhouse for the Hope College men's basketball team five days before Christmas.

The 15th-ranked Flying Dutchmen hit the century mark for the 150th time on Tuesday to close out an unbeaten performance at the Russ DeVette/Holland Sentinel Classic. They defeated Johnson & Wales, R.I. 100-75 for Hope's highest-scoring game of the season.

Led by a charitable Russ DeVette/Holland Sentinel Classic Most Valuable Player in guard Dante Hawkins and a milestone-achieving forward in Harrison Blackledge, the Flying Dutchmen raised their record to 7-2 overall and 147-3 when they reach the 100-point mark. Hope joined Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association foe Olivet in going undefeated during the two-day tournament.

Head coach Greg Mitchell enjoyed seeing everyone getting in the spirit.

"That was a good energy game," Mitchell said after his team won a DeVette Classic for the 20th time since 1989 and a Sentinel tournament for the 11th time since 2000. "I loved to see the ball being shared like it was. To see Dante finding double figures in points and assists - those are big-time numbers. But the energy piece is the control, and that is what we are trying to focus on.

"It was the best 80 minutes consecutively that we played. Great teams aren't going to find excellence accidentally."

Hawkins totaled 20 points and a career-high 10 assists to earn Tournament MVP honors. The junior from Holland, Michigan (Holland HS) came within one assist of matching Hope's DeVos Fieldhouse record shared by David Krombeen and Colton Overway.

On Monday, Hawkins scored a game-high 23 points against Spalding, Kentucky.

Blackledge finished with a game-high 23 points to become the 39th Hope player to reach 1,000 career points. He has 1,002 points after 90 games.

Credit shared for scoring milestone

Blackledge joined Hawkins and teammate Cody Stuive of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) on the all-tournament team. The group of honorees included Johnson & Wales center Jarell Lawson, Olivet's Eric Ewing and Spalding's Nick Trisko.

Stuive added 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Senior guard Chad Carlson of Rockford, Michigan (Rockford) also totaled 12 points — on four 3-pointers.

The Flying Dutchmen shot a season-best 60.3 percent from the field (33-of-58) and buried a season-high 12 3-pointers against Johnson & Wales (2-7).

"When we play fast, we are lethal," Hawkins said.

Hope returns to action on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 29-30 at the Mount Union M-Club Classic.

Click here to watch post-game comments from Greg Mitchell and Dante Hawkins.

Click below to watch highlights. | PO Box 9000, Holland, Michigan 49422