Men's Basketball Claims 12th MIAA Tournament Title, Headed To NCAA Tournament

With the season hanging in the balance, the contributions came from up and down the roster for the Hope College men's basketball team.

Several resulted in postseason records. Others didn't but were no less important.

Together, they added up for a 106-94 victory for the Flying Dutchmen at Olivet Saturday in the championship game in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Hope (18-9) will learn Monday at 12:30 p.m. on where its third postseason appearance under head coach Greg Mitchell will begin.

"Our mantra all year has been grit. Grit comes in all shapes and sizes, defined in many, many ways," Mitchell said after his Flying Dutchmen won the MIAA Tournament for the 12th time in team history — tied for the league high — and for the first time under his guidance. "I am very happy, very proud of these guys, that they get to play another week. There is nothing like getting into the dance. We had to go about it the hard way."

Video: Hope Postgame Interview

The Flying Dutchmen scored the most points ever in an MIAA Tournament championship game 10 days after netting a season-low in points in a 70-49 loss at Olivet that gave the Comets home-court advantage for the MIAA Tournament.

Hope's highest-scoring game of the season also was its second-highest scoring game in the MIAA Tournament — trailing only the 110 points in a 2011 first-round win vs. Alma.

The 200 combined points between the two teams is an MIAA Tournament record.

Junior guard Jason Beckman of Shelby, Michigan (Shelby HS) topped the Flying Dutchmen with 32 points. NCAA Division III's second-leading free-throw shooters went 19-of-22 from the foul line to surpass Caleb Veldhouse's previous MIAA Tournament best of 14 free throws made.

Seventeen of Beckman's free throws were sunk after halftime in 20 second-half attempts as Hope battled to hold off Olivet (16-11). The Flying Dutchmen were outscored 62-60 after halftime.

Beckman became the fourth Hope player to reach the 600-point mark for a season. He has 602 — trailing Floyd Brady (712 in 1967-68) and Jesse Reimink (604 in 2008-09) and surpassing and Harrison Blackledge (601 in 2016-17).

Sophomore guard Riley Lewis of Williamston, Michigan (Williamston) delivered 21 points off the bench for the Flying Dutchmen. It was his third 20-point game of the season and second against Olivet.

Junior forward Teddy Ray of Fort Wayne, Indiana (Homestead HS) posted a double-double with 13 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.

Ray equaled the MIAA Tournament record for rebounds in a game shared by Calvin's Jeremy Veenstra (2003) and Olivet's Jalen Adams (Friday against Trine). Twelve of Ray's rebounds came in the first half to help Hope build a 46-32 halftime lead.

Junior forward Dennis Towns of Flint, Michigan (Powers Catholic) nearly had a double-double before finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds. The Flying Dutchmen outrebounded Olivet 46-32.

Freshman center Preston Granger of Lansing, Michigan (Lansing Christian HS) netted 11 points.

Despite foul trouble, senior guard Dante Hawkins of Holland, Michigan (Holland HS) chipped in nine points and a season-high 10 assists. He came within one assist of his career-high.

Senior guard Luke Dreyer of Zeeland, Michigan (West HS) added eight points off the bench. | PO Box 9000, Holland, Michigan 49422