Chad Carlson Sets Career 3-Point Record In MIAA Tournament Semifinal Win

Chad Carlson took the pass from Harrison Blackledge, and in rhythm, released a 3-pointer in front of the Hope College bench.

The left-handed shot swished through the net like so many before them. The latest — a school-record 182nd 3 — punctuated a 63-45 win against Alma in Friday's Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament semifinal.

No. 18-ranked Hope (21-5 overall) advanced to Saturday's 7:30 p.m. championship game against Calvin (16-10). The winner receives the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

It is the second time in a week Hope and Calvin have met in The Rivalry. Calvin won last week's meeting 65-62 at DeVos Fieldhouse to spoil the Flying Dutchmen's bid for an unbeaten MIAA season. Hope leads the all-time series 101-94.

Tickets gon on sale on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at DeVos Fieldhouse ticket office. Remaining tickets will be sold when doors open at 6:30 p.m. Call (616) 395-7890 between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for more information. All seating is general admission.

Carlson, pictured, made three 3-pointers against Alma to pass Joel Holstege's previous career record of 181. The senior guard from Rockford, Michigan (Rockford HS) also tied Derek Van Solkema's single-season Flying Dutchmen record of 84 3s.

"It's incredible, all the shooters that have come through Hope, even the head man was a great shooter back in the day," Carlson said, patting coach Greg Mitchell's shoulder during the post-game interview. "It's a great honor but it's time to focus forward and focus on Calvin."

Carlson's record-setting 3 came within 3:14 remaining in the second half. He finished with nine points.

Carlson buried his first 3-pointer of the game at the halftime buzzer, energizing the Flying Dutchmen as they sprinted into the locker room with a 31-24 halftime lead after some offensive struggles. Blackledge's block gave Hope possession with enough time for Carlson to dribble up court and get off a shot.

"I'll be honest, I'm not really known for my shot blocking," said Blackledge, named MIAA MVP on Thursday. "The fact it was a clean block I was pretty pleased with, but just wanting to be in the right place at the right time. I know that if we get the ball in Chad's hands moving north and south, I feel pretty good about any shot that's going to go up."

Hope overcame a season-low 32.3 percent shooting from the field with a game-high 30 points from Blackledge and the second-fewest points allowed in an MIAA Tournament game by the Flying Dutchmen.

The Flying Dutchmen came within one point of matching the 2015 MIAA semifinal defensive effort in a 55-44 win against Trine.

Blackledge set a DeVos Fieldhouse record with 12 made free throws against the Scots, hitting all 12 attempts. He finished within two made foul shots of equaling the MIAA Tournament record.

Blackledge raised his career total of 1,333 points and passed Jesse Reimink (1,321) for 16th play among Flying Dutchmen players.

Blackledge also upped his single-season total to 535 points - putting him in an eighth-place tie with Eric Elliott's output in the 1989-90 season.

Blackledge also grabbed eight rebounds - second to a team-high 10 from senior forward Cody Stuive of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville).

Carlson contributed five steals and four assists.

The Flying Dutchmen will meet Calvin, a 75-64 winner in Friday's first semifinal.

This is Hope's 18th trip to an MIAA Tournament final. The Flying Dutchmen are seeking their 12th tournament championship and first since 2012. | PO Box 9000, Holland, Michigan 49422