by Alan Babbitt
Jason Beckman's second-half explosion propelled the Hope College men's basketball team to an important road win on Wednesday night.
The guard's performance during a 71-62 victory at Adrian College also made him a member of an elite scoring club.
Beckman, pictured, became the 41st player to score 1,000 points in a Flying Dutchmen uniform. The senior from Shelby, Michigan (Shelby HS) has 1,019 points in two Hope seasons.
The Flying Dutchmen raised their record to 13-9 overall and 6-5 in the MIAA standings. Hope remained in contention for a first-round home game in the league tournament. There are three league games remaining.
Against Adrian, Beckman totaled 23 points, including 20 during the second half. The Flying Dutchmen outscored Adrian 37-30 after halftime.
"It's remarkable," head coach Greg Mitchell said of Beckman's feat. "It's a credit to his hard work and his teammates trusting him and putting him in positions to score. I think it's well deserved. We couldn't be happier for him."
Beckman reached the milestone on a his first basket of the second half — a layup 56 seconds in on a bounce pass from center Preston Granger of Lansing, Michigan (Lansing Christian) from the free-throw line.
The play illustrated the better spacing on offense Hope used after halftime, Mitchell said.
"At halftime, we had a big adjustment to lift our offense," Mitchell said. "They were switching on everything and clogging the line. We worked real hard on back cuts and did a great job in the second half. We were much more efficient and harder to guard."
Forward Dennis Towns of Flint, Michigan (Powers Catholic) chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds for the Flying Dutch.
Guard Riley Lewis of Williamston, Michigan (Williamston) collected eight points and a game-high five assists.
Granger finished a game-high 10 rebounds and eight points. He equaled Beckman with four assists.
Despite playing for the third time in five days, the Flying Dutchmen shot 80 percent from the foul line (20-25).
Beckman, Towns and guard Calvin Hackert of Ludington, Michigan (Ludington) made six free throws apiece. Neither Beckman and Hackert missed from the line.
Hope's next game is Saturday, February 9 against Alma College. Tipoff is 3 p.m. at DeVos Fieldhouse.