Four months ago, Brian Morehouse would have hesitated if told his Hope College women's basketball team — with six freshmen and a challenging schedule — would be 22-1 heading into the final week of the regular season.
Four determined and helpful seniors have made that a reality for the sixth-ranked Flying Dutch.
"These four are a huge reason that we're 22-1," Morehouse said. "Yes, it's how they play, but it's as much how they lead. They have led us and younger players 22-1. And, it's now over. We're just getting rolling."
Junior Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta HS) scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead a balanced effort for the Flying Dutch, who improved to 13-1 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play and remained one-half game behind Trine.
There are two regular-season games remaining for Hope: at home Wednesday vs. Adrian and Saturday at Olivet.
VIDEO: Game Highlights
Among 12 Hope players to score, Geers, a guard from Scottville, Michigan (Mason County Central), finished eight points.
Schwark, a forward from Fraser, Michigan (Lutheran North), contributed seven rebounds and four points.
Freberg, a guard from Chatham, Michigan (Superior Central), and Randall, a forward from Novi, Michigan (Northville), collected four rebounds and two points apiece.
The Flying Dutch limited Saint Mary's (6-17, 3-11 MIAA) to 16 second-half points and 24.2 shooting from the field.
The win was the 97th in 110 games for the senior class and 56th in 62 MIAA games.
"I'm just really proud of this group," Morehouse said of his seniors. "They've got an incredible record over four years. Their MIAA record is off the charts. I think it speaks to their consistency at practice every day. Those four are what you want walking into practice every single play. They are consistently getting after each other, getting after teammates, making each other better.
"Walking off the court, they're studying and getting ready for the next day academically. I'm just grateful to have these kids around myself, my family and our younger players."