by Alan Babbitt
The third-ranked Hope College women's basketball team is thankful for a lot, but, on the court, a brief holiday break is near the top of the list.
The Flying Dutch head into Thanksgiving with a 3-0 record after defeating Concordia University (Wisconsin) 85-62 Tuesday at DeVos Fieldhouse in a matchup of unbeaten teams.
"We will practice tomorrow morning, then give our kids a couple of well-needed days off," head coach Brian Morehouse said. "We've been going hard for five weeks. We could use a couple days off on our legs."
Hope does not play again until the Wednesday, November 28 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener against Adrian College at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Photo of Kasey DeSmit by Tom Renner
It took a complete effort to turn away Concordia, one of NCAA Division III's most efficient offenses.
On defense, the Flying Dutch forced 22 turnovers and overcame 10 3-pointers by the Falcons at a 55.6 percent clip.
Concordia spread Hope out on defense but wasn't consistently successful outside of the 3-point line. The Flying Dutch minimized extra Concordia possessions by grabbing 23 defensive rebounds to the Falcons eight offensive boards.
On offense, Hope produced 14 more shots than Concordia while shooting 50 percent from the field (36-72).
The Flying Dutch outscored Concordia 62-22 in the paint and 18-0 on fast break points.
Senior forward Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta HS) scored a team-high 19 points on 75-percent field-goal shooting (9-12). She now has 1,116 points and passed Amy Baltmanis (1999-2003) for ninth most among Hope players.
Sophomore guard Kenedy Schoonveld of Zeeland, Michigan (Holland Christian) chipped in 15 points on 60 percent field-goal shooting (6-10).
Off the bench, the Flying Dutch received eight points from sophomore center Ashleigh Thomas of Shelby Township, Michigan (Lutheran North) and seven points from sophomore forward Mallory Gerber of Schaumburg, Illinois (Schaumburg).
"We were very efficient on offense," Morehouse said. "We shot 50 percent from the field tonight, which I was pleased with. We had 18 assists and only 12 turnovers — efficiency."