Another heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat thriller developed in The Rivalry for the fifth-ranked Hope College women's basketball team.
Somehow. Someway. The Flying Dutch pulled out another unforgettable victory against Calvin College.
Hope outlasted the Knights for a 63-58 overtime victory on Friday at DeVos Fieldhouse — its 50th in The Rivalry. This time the prize in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament semifinals was advancing the Flying Dutch to Saturday's 7:30 p.m. championship game.
Hope (25-1 overall) will play sixth-ranked Trine (24-2) for the MIAA's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. The loser will wait for an at-large berth in Monday's 2:30 p.m. announcement of the 64-team field.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at DeVos Fieldhouse Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at this time.
"Happy to being moving on," head coach Brian Morehouse said after a dramatic finish to Friday's game that mirrored a 70-69 victory at Calvin 16 days earlier. "The whole story is win and advance."
Photo by Alan Babbitt
On February 7, Hope won at Calvin when junior Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta HS) took a near half-court pass from sophomore Arika Tolbert and made a game-winning layup before the buzzer sounded. Tolbert inbounded the ball with 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation.
On Friday, the Flying Dutch overcame an eight-minute stretch without a field qoal and only one made free throw during the fourth quarter with a score-tying jumper from Buchanan in the paint with 15 seconds remaining in regulation.
Hope survived a go-ahead jumper from the Knights and nearly put in a game-winner before regulation ended, but could not get off a shot in time — with 0.4 seconds left for a halfcourt inbounds pass.
Freshman Kenedy Schoonveld of Zeeland, Michigan (Holland Christian) buried a jumper for the first basket of overtime and never trailed. The Flying Dutch outscored Calvin 13-8 during the extra five minutes of play.
A 3-pointer from senior guard Madison Geers of Scottville, Michigan (Mason County Central) and two free throws from Buchanan were among the key plays for Hope.
Buchanan finished with a team-high 14 points and nine rebounds. Geers and Schoonveld totaled 13 points apiece.
Calvin (16-10) was led by Ali Spayde's 21 points.
The overtime game was the fourth in the history of Hope-Calvin women's basketball. The Flying Dutch how has won three of them.
The victory was Hope's third of the season against Calvin. The Knights lead the all-time series 71-51.
Hope advanced to the MIAA Tournament championship game and is seeking its 14th title.