Women's Basketball Beats Benedictine For Tip-Off Classic Title; Francesca Buchanan MVP

by Tom Renner

The third-ranked Hope College women's basketball team capped a successful opening weekend by defeating a scrappy Benedictine University (Illinois), 69-50, on Saturday at DeVos Fieldhouse in the championship game of the Tip-Off Classic.
 
Senior forward Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta HS) ushered in her senior season by receiving Most Valuable Player honors. She scored 32 points over the two games to move into Hope's top ten scoring list.
 
Buchanan has now 1,089 points tying Nikki Mannes for 10th place among Flying Dutch players. Mannes scored 1,089 points from 1991-95.

Photo by Lynne Powe

On Saturday, Buchanan posted a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds. On the weekend, and over 45 minutes on the court, she had just one turnover.
 
Sophomore guard Kenedy Schoonveld of Zeeland, Michigan (Holland Christian HS) joined Buchanan on the all-tournament team. She scored 12 points on Saturday.
 
The Flying Dutch struggled against Benedictine's zone defense to open the game, making just 4-of-20 shots en route to a slim 11-10 after the first quarter. 
Hope warmed up offensively in the second quarter making 9-of-17 shots to move to a 34-24 halftime lead.
 
Sophomore guard Lauren Newman of Flushing, Michigan (Flushing) chipped in nine points. She also recorded three of the Flying Dutch's 14 assists.
 
All-tournament honorees from Benedictine were freshman Alex Fanning and senior D'Asia Williams. 
 
Williams topped Benedictine (2-1) with 13 points.
 
In Saturday's first game, Alma College defeated MacMurray College (Illinois) 82-71. All-tournament honorees were Alma junior Madison Hill of Midland (Bullock Creek HS) and MacMurray freshman Chassidy Hays of Heyworth, Ill. (Heyworth HS).
 
The Flying Dutch remain home for their next game entertaining Concordia University (Wisconsin) on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at DeVos Fieldhouse. It will be part of a doubleheader with the Flying Dutchmen hosting Ohio Northern immediately following.

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