Men's Basketball Drops Grand Rapids Sports Hall Of Fame Opener

By Greg Chandler

The Hope College men's basketball team scored the first basket of the game Friday night, but it was the only time the Flying Dutchmen led as they were defeated by Cornerstone University, 88-61, in the opening game of the 22nd annual Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame Tournament at Aquinas College's Sturrus Center.

Hope (1-2) took a 2-0 lead 14 seconds into the game on a jump shot by junior forward Rob McGivney of Burr Ridge, Illinois (Timothy Christian HS). The game was tied at 2-all and 4-all before the Golden Eagles (7-2), ranked No. 1 in the nation in NAIA Division II, went on a 9-0 run to take a 13-4 lead four minutes into the game.

After a timeout, Hope came back with a seven-point run, capped by a three-point play by junior guard Jason Beckman of Shelby, Michigan (Shelby HS), to cut the Cornerstone lead to 13-11 with 15:20 to play in the first half. The Golden Eagles responded with a 9-2 spurt to extend their lead to 22-13 midway through the half and pulled away from that point on.

Cornerstone led 45-28 at the half and maintained a double-digit lead throughout the entire second half, shooting 56 percent from the field (32 of 57) and outrebounding the Flying Dutchmen 51-20.

"Give credit to Cornerstone. They've got experienced players and a great front line," Hope coach Greg Mitchell said. "That said, I don't think the Hope team showed the effort that we needed to show. We're young, but we have to play with more emotion."

Jason Beckman was the lone Hope player in double figures with 21 points. Freshman center Sam Vree of Lansing, Illinois (Illiana Christian HS), pictured, came off the bench to score nine points.

Junior forward Teddy Ray of Fort Wayne, Indiana (Homestead HS) pulled down five rebounds while senior guard Luke Dreyer of Zeeland, Michigan (West HS) dished out four assists.

Hope shot 41 percent from the field (26 of 63), but made only 5 of 20 from 3-point range (25 percent).

Cornerstone placed five players in double figures, led by Holland native Sam VanderSluis with 17 points and eight rebounds. Michael Bradshaw also had 17 points.

The Flying Dutchmen take on tournament host Aquinas Saturday night at 8 p.m. in the final game of the Hall of Fame Tournament. The Saints defeated Calvin College 78-73 in Friday's other contest.