by Alan Babbitt
Teddy Ray started the ball rolling for the Hope College men's basketball team.
His fellow seniors — Jason Beckman, Jeff Goral and Dennis Towns — joined in on the fun, and the Flying Dutchmen soared to a record-setting, 107-78 Senior Day victory against Olivet College on Wednesday night at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Photo by Tom Renner
The Flying Dutchmen buried a DeVos Fieldhouse-record 18 3-pointers en route to their highest-scoring game of the season since the 139-129 winning effort against Greenville College (Illinois) in the season opener.
Owners of a four-game win streak, Hope (15-9 overall, 8-5 MIAA) remained tied for third place in the MIAA standings. Win at second-place Albion College on Saturday, and the Flying Dutchmen could earn as high as a No. 2 seed in next week's league tournament.
Against Olivet, Ray led the charge to even the score after an 89-62 loss at Olivet on January 19.
The forward from Fort Wayne, Indiana (Homestead HS) scored all 20 of his points during the first half as Hope raced to a 55-36 halftime lead. He sank six of the Flying Dutchmen's 12 first-half 3-pointers.
Each of Hope's four seniors made significant contributions in the victory.
Beckman recorded a team-high 28 points and five assists. The guard from Shelby, Michigan (Shelby) netted 14 points in each half.
Goral, making a special start on Senior Day, chipped in nine points with three 3-pointers. The guard from Palos Heights, Illinois (Amos Alonzo Stagg) took a charge in the closing seconds of the first half for Olivet point guard Tracy Edmond's fourth foul of the game.
Goral hit the second-half 3-pointer that broke Hope's previous DeVos Fieldhouse record for team 3-pointers of 16 that was accomplished twice previously. The Flying Dutchmen made 16 3s in wins against Kalamazoo College on January 31, 2018 and against Washington-St. Louis on March 4, 2017.
Towns added six points and seven rebounds. The forward from Flint, Michigan (Powers Catholic) made his first career 3-pointer in a Hope uniform on the Flying Dutchmen's final 3-pointer of the game.
"Awfully proud of my seniors," head coach Greg Mitchell said. "I love Senior Night, and I don't think I have loved it any more than this night. This is Hope Basketball. Everybody contributes.
"To see Teddy catch fire, JB will us to a lead, Dennis doing the dirty work and Jeff doing the dirtiest work of all, getting that charge at the end of the half, really cemented who we need to be. They created a special night for us."
The Flying Dutchmen also received 23 points from junior guard Riley Lewis of Williamston, Michigan (Williamston) and a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds from sophomore center Preston Granger of Lansing, Michigan (Lansing Christian).
Hope shot 54.1 percent from the field (33-61) and 56.3 percent from 3-point range (18-32).