A late comeback fell short for the Hope College men's basketball team in a 79-71 loss to Baldwin Wallace, Ohio on Thursday in the finale of the RDV Sportsplex Classic in Orlando, Florida.
The Flying Dutchmen nearly overcame a 14-point deficit with 5 minutes, 14 seconds remaining — pulling as close as two points before slipping to 4-5 on the season.
Senior guard Dante Hawkins of Holland, Michigan (Holland HS) topped Hope with a season-high 25 points.
Hawkins, pictured, also recorded six assists.
Junior guard Jason Beckman of Shelby, Michigan (Shelby) chipped in 21 points despite early foul trouble that limited him to 10 first-half minutes.
Junior forward Dennis Towns of Flint, Michigan (Powers Catholic) grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds.
Off the bench, freshman Preston Granger of Lansing, Michigan (Lansing Christian) scored 13 points.
Baldwin Wallace (8-2) used long-range shooting to take command in the second half.
The Yellow Jackets went 7-of-13 from 3-point range after making just two 3-pointers in the first half. The final 3 came from Jake Fetherolf with 5:14 remaining pushed Baldwin Wallace's lead to 65-51.
Hawkins fueled Hope's comeback with 10 points down the stretch. His steal and assist on a Beckman layup cut the deficit to 67-65 with 1:43 remaining.
Baldwin Wallace, however, made seven of its final eight free throws to secure the win. The Yellow Jackets finished 26-of-31 from the foul line (83.9 percent) to Hope's 9-of-11 (81.8 percent).
Guard Jay Battle led four Baldwin Wallace players in double figures with 18 points.
Hope split its two games in the RDV Sportsplex Classic and will return to action on Friday-Saturday, December 29-30 at the Russ DeVette/Holland Sentinel Classic at DeVos Fieldhouse.