A timely scoring burst from Elizabeth Perkins, as well as a relentless and swarming defense, made the 116th edition of The Rivalry a winning one for the Hope College women's basketball team.
The Flying Dutch rolled to an 82-61 win over Calvin on Wednesday in front of a DeVos Fieldhouse crowd of 1,606. The matchup of nationally ranked and unbeaten teams was the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener for the two rivals.
Hope (6-0 overall) is ranked eighth in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association poll and 10th by D3Hoops.com. Calvin (6-1) is 24th in the D3Hoops.com rankings.
The Flying Dutch outscored Calvin 59-41 after the first quarter.
"We started using the energy of the crowd, the Hope-Calvin rivalry in a really good way," Hope coach Brian Morehouse said of his 21-13 second-quarter effort. "I thought our defense really shown at that time. Instead of playing frenzied, I thought we settled down and played a lot more under control. I thought that carried over into the second half."
Perkins scored a career-high 28 points off the bench for the nation's top-scoring team. The senior forward from Eaton Rapids, Michigan (Lansing Christian HS) matched the second-most points scored by a Flying Dutch player at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Only Maura McAfee has more points at DeVos Fieldhouse with 29 last season against Olivet.
Defensively, Hope forced 20 turnovers while committing only a season-low seven itself.
The Flying Dutch limited Calvin to 41.8 field-goal shooting (23-55), including 8.3 percent from 3-point range (1-of-12).
Leading scorer Ali Spayde netted a season-high 26 points but was forced into 10 of Calvin's turnovers.
Calvin coach Chuck Winkelman gave credit to Hope and Coach Morehouse after losing his first game against the Flying Dutch.
"They did an outstanding job of taking us out of everything we wanted to do offensively," Winkelman said. "I thought we were scrambling around for 61 points the whole night."
Senior forward Allison Hedrick of Naperville, Illinois (Neuqua Valley) chipped in 10 points off the bench for Hope.
Perkins is the 14th different Flying Dutch player to score at least 28 points in any game.
Perkins shot 58.8 percent from the field (10-of-17) to tie the team record for most field goals in regulation at DeVos Fieldhouse. She also shot 50 percent from 3-point range (3-of-6) and 100 percent from the foul line (5-5).
Perkins nearly passed her previous career best of 22 points with 20 in the first half alone as the Flying Dutch built a 44-33 halftime lead.
The Flying Dutch now have won 31 of the past 45 games against Calvin. The Knights lead the all-time series 70-46.
Hope returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 3 with a 3 p.m. game against Adrian at DeVos Fieldhouse.