by Alan Babbitt
Down 10 points midway through the second half, the Hope College men's basketball team charged back for a record-setting, 139-129, victory against Greenville College (Illinois) on Friday in Chicago.
The Flying Dutchmen scored the most points in the team's history - a span of 2,373 games since their first one in 1901.
Hope passed the old mark of 130 points from a 130-92 victory against Berea (Kentucky) on January 3, 1997.
After winning the season opener, the Flying Dutchmen will play for the championship of North Park University against Simpson College (Iowa) on Saturday, November 17 at 7 p.m. Central. Simpson defeated North Park 75-68 in Friday's second game.
"They force that style on you," head coach Greg Mitchell said of Greenville. "You have to be able to find a way to win regardless of the circumstance. I was really pleased with it. The biggest thing was telling them there were so many games within the big game. Our guys did a great job of showing that mental poise. We did a good job responding and switched to a zone in the second half, which we didn't prep for at all. That seemed to help."
Senior guard Jason Beckman of Shelby, Michigan (Shelby HS), pictured left, and sophomore guard Riley Lewis of Williamston, Michigan (Williamston), pictured right, shared game-high scoring honors against Greenville with 33 points apiece. It was a career-high for Lewis.
Greenville (0-3) utilizes a fast-paced, full-court pressure style of play that rotates players in and out of the lineup every couple of minutes.
Hope trailed 98-88 with 12 minutes, 47 seconds remaining but rallied with a 23-4 run over the next five minutes to take the lead for good.
Freshman guard Jason Dietz of Troy, Michigan (Troy) scored 10 of his 14 points during the decisive stretch.
Six Flying Dutchmen scored in double figures as they shot 69.9 percent from the field (51-73), including 61.1 percent from 3-point range (11-18). Hope also was nearly perfect the free-throw line with an 89.9 percent effort (26-29).
Lewis passed his previous career-best of 33 points. He finished at 76.9 shooting from the field (10-13), including 83.3 percent from 3-point range (5-6). He also was 88.9 percent at the foul line (8-9).
Beckman nearly posted a triple-double as he equaled the school record with 12 assists and grabbed eight rebounds. Greg Immink collected 12 assists during a 103-80 victory against Grand Valley State University on November 30, 2002.
Beckman played all but two minutes despite the frenzied pace.
Davis also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists off the bench. Hope finished with 30 assists.
Senior forward Dennis Towns of Flint, Michigan (Powers Catholic) added 12 points.
The Flying Dutchmen overcame 30 turnovers and a record for points allowed.
Greenville passed the 126 points Beloit (Wisconsin) scored during a 126-81 victory against Hope on December 30, 1954.
The 268 points combined is the most scored in a game involving the Flying Dutchmen. The previous high was 249 from a 127-122 overtime victory against Central (Iowa) on December 21, 1990.