It took the third 40-point performance by a Hope College men's basketball player at DeVos Fieldhouse — and a little more — for the Flying Dutchmen to outlast Alma College Wednesday night.
The Flying Dutchmen stayed in the thick of a wide-open Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association with a 99-88 victory against the Scots.
Hope (9-7 overall, 3-2 MIAA) moved within a game of the league lead after Olivet knocked off Adrian to join Adrian atop the MIAA standings. The Flying Dutchmen host Olivet on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Junior guard Jason Beckman of Shelby, Michigan (Shelby HS) scored a game-high 41 points for Hope that was the second most by a Flying Dutchmen player in a game since DeVos Fieldhouse opened in the 2005-06 season.
The Flying Dutchmen shot a season-high 61.7 percent from the field (37-60).
Video: Post-Game Press Conference
Beckman, pictured, joined as Hope's 40-point scorers at DeVos Fieldhouse: Will Bowser (46 against Kalamazoo on January 26, 2011) and Nate Snuggerud (40 against Illinois Wesleyan on March 2, 2012 in the NCAA Tournament).
Beckman equaled the DeVos Fieldhouse record for field goals scored with a 16-of-26 effort from the field. He equaled Bowser's total as well Snuggerud's output in a 37-point night against Westminster on March 2, 2012 in the NCAA Tournament.
Beckman tied for the seventh most points in a game by a Hope player ever. He also passed Floyd Brady for most points by a Flying Dutchmen player against Alma. Brady had 40 in 1968.
Beckman, who now has 989 points in his college career after playing his first two seasons at Alma, made his first six shots and scored 20 points in the first half to stake the Flying Dutchmen to a 46-36 halftime lead.
Alma (5-11, 2-3 MIAA) rallied in the second half to trail only 58-57 after Kevin Scheibert's layup with 12:18 remaining.
On the next possession, Beckman buried one of his three 3-pointers for the game and one of six the Flying Dutchmen used down the stretch to keep the Scots at bay.
Sophomore guard Riley Lewis of Williamston, Michigan (Williamston) hit two 3-pointers. One more 3 apiece came from Beckman, senior guard Dante Hawkins of Holland, Michigan (Holland) and junior forward Jeff Goral of Palos Park, Illinois (Amos Alonzo Stagg).
Hawkins finished with 15 points and three assists. Lewis had eight points.
Freshman center Preston Granger of Lansing, Michigan (Lansing Christian) added 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds in his first collegiate start.
The victory was Greg Mitchell's 74th as head coach of the Flying Dutchmen. He also won 74 games as a player from Hope over four seasons (1985-89).