by Alan Babbitt
Dennis Towns corralled the offensive rebound underneath the basket and fired the ball to an open teammate in the corner.
Riley Lewis took the pass from Towns buried the 3-pointer with 5 ½ minutes remaining to give the Hope College men's basketball team the lead for good.
The Flying Dutchmen then used an effective zone defense and perfect foul shooting to close out an 86-78 win at Anderson University (Indiana) on Saturday.
Hope, which finished non-league play with a 7-4 overall record, bounced back from a disappointing loss on December 19 at home to Mount St. Joseph University (Ohio).
"They didn't like the taste in their mouths," head coach Greg Mitchell said. "They know how we want to be. They realize when we focus, play hard, and play together, we're capable. Our next 14 games, we are going to have similar games. We're going to have to find ways to grind games out and make it a collective effort."
The Flying Dutchmen tip off Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play on Thursday, January 3 at Trine in a game that features the top two teams in the MIAA preseason coaches poll. Trine finished first, while Hope came in second.
Against Anderson, senior guard Jason Beckman of Shelby, Michigan (Shelby HS) led the Flying Dutchmen with a game-high 27 points and eight assists. He was 10-of-10 at the foul line.
Lewis chipped in 23 points. Sophomore center Preston Granger of Lansing, Michigan (Lansing Christian) added 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting from the field.
Hope finished the game on a 18-9 run that began with the third 3-pointer of the game from Lewis.
Twelve of the Flying Dutchmen's final points came at the foul line. Beckman, Lewis and Towns each hit all of their free-throw attempts.
Anderson missed six of its final eight shots from the floor. The Ravens (3-8) made only one of their 11 3-pointers for the game and missed five free throws during the final 5 ½ minutes.
Stanley Duncan's 26 points topped Anderson. He shot 75 percent from 3-point range (6-8).
"We went back to a zone, and it was helping us just refuse some of their actions that were bothering us," Mitchell said.