by Eva Dean Folkert
The Hope College men's basketball team started off its game against 11th-ranked Wisconsin-Platteville by putting the Pioneers on their heels, but the Flying Dutchmen just could not make their fast start stick.
Though leading 7-2 after four minutes of play, Hope succumbed to several scoring runs in both halves by Platteville and lost to its Wisconsin host, 82-68.
The Flying Dutchmen's record now stands at 4-2 while the Pioneer's remain undefeated at 7-0.
As Platteville dictated the momentum for much for the first half, Hope cut into the Pioneer's lead twice to get within four points during the first 20 minutes of the game. At the 4:27 mark, sophomore Jeff Bikus of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois (Mundelein HS) scored a layup to bring the Flying Dutchmen closer, 30-26, Platteville would go on a 13-1 point run over the next three minutes. Hope scored the last six consecutive points of the half though, and the Pioneers headed into the locker room with a 10-point lead, 43-33.
By halfway through the second half, Hope was down by 20, Platteville's largest lead, 69-49. The Flying Dutchmen could only get as close as the final score.
Hope shot a respectable 50% (26-52), almost as well as the Pioneers' 53.3% (32-60).
Rebounding and turnovers, though, played a major role as Platteville grabbed 10 more boards (29-19) and turned Hope over 16 times. The result was a cumulative 17-point Pioneer advantage in points coming off of turnovers (18-9) and second chance points (11-4).
Hope was led in scoring by center Preston Granger of Lansing (Lansing Christian) with 18 points. Reserve guard Tyler George of Ada (Forest Hills Central HS) grabbed the most rebounds with five while freshman guard Clayton Dyhouse of Zeeland (Zeeland East HS) had another four for nine of Hope's 19.
Also scoring in double digits was freshman guard Evan Thomas of Okemos (Okemos HS) with 13 and George added 11.
The Flying Dutchmen remain in Wisconsin for a Saturday, December 7 game at Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Tipoff is 3 p.m. CST.