by Eva Dean Folkert
A second-half comeback, marked by a stirring 24-point swing, spurred the Hope College men's basketball team past host Kalamazoo College on Wednesday night. Down by 10 points 34 seconds into the second half at 34-24, the Flying Dutchmen used a wide rebound differential and a wider shooting margin in the last 19 minutes and 26 seconds to defeat the Hornets, 75-61.
The win moves Hope to 3-2 in the MIAA and 10-6 overall, while the loss dropped Kalamazoo to 1-4 in the league and 4-12 overall.
Hope experienced first-half shooting and rebounding struggles and trailed Kalamazoo, 29-24, at halftime. The Flying Dutchmen shot just 30% from the floor in the first stanza while going minus-two on the boards, 19-21, against the Hornets.
When the second half opened, Kalamazoo quickly widened its lead over Hope to that ten-point lead. But the Flying Dutchmen used a 13-2 run over the next six minutes to take their first lead since midway through the first half.
They continued to build their lead in spurts to its final conclusion by shooting 50% from the field (to Kalamazoo's 27.3%) and rebounding plus-13 boards (26-13) in the last half. Hope more than doubled its first-half scoring output by putting up 51 points in the second half.
Junior center Preston Granger of Lansing (Lansing Christian HS), pictured right, recorded his third double-double in a row and fifth this season by scoring 26 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
Freshman guard Evan Thomas of Okemos (Okemos HS), pictured left, also tallied a double-double, the first of his career, by scoring 24 points and gathering 12 rebounds.
Also in double-digit scoring for the Flying Dutchmen was junior guard Calvin Hackert of Ludington (Ludington HS) with 12.
Kalamazoo was led by Tre Humes with 18 points, Ben Ruiter with 15 and Tanner Blyly with 10.
Hope shot 40.6% from the field for the game while Kalamazoo shot 30.9%. On the boards overall, the Flying Dutchmen had 49 total rebounds to the Hornets' 39.
The Flying Dutchmen return to DeVos Fieldhouse to play Alma College on Saturday, January 25 in a Purple Community game benefiting Van Andel Institute. Tipoff is at 3 p.m.