Women's Basketball Uses Fourth-Quarter Rally to Edge Albion

by Tom Renner '67
Sydney Muller poses for a portrait In a showdown of undefeated MIAA women's basketball teams, the nationally-ranked Hope Flying Dutch needed a fourth-quarter rally to edge Albion, 74-66, on Saturday at DeVos Fieldhouse.
The Flying Dutch, ranked second nationally among NCAA Division III teams, appeared to be en route to their sixth win of the season after holding a 12-point lead at halftime, but the gritty Britons (7-2) out-scored their host 25-9 in the third quarter, making five three-pointers.
"The halftime lead was just fool's gold," observed Hope coach Brian Morehouse. "They just plain whipped us on the glass in the third quarter."
Albion owned a seven-point lead with nine minutes left in the game, 50-43. Clutch three-point baskets by sophomore Sydney Muller (Grand Rapids Christian HS), sophomore Ashleigh Thomas (Shelby Lutheran North HS) and sophomore Kenedy Schoonveld (Holland Christian HS) put the Flying Dutch back into the game. Albion wasn't about to go away, though, leading 62-58 with 4:45 left. Again, Hope rallied to tie the score at 64-64 with 1:43 to go.
Back-to-back layups off turnovers by sophomore Lauren Newman (Flushing HS) and Muller put Hope ahead to stay. The Flying Dutch sealed the decision, making six consecutive free throws in the final minute. Hope scored 31 points in the fourth quarter, making 9-of-13 shots and a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line.
"At the beginning of the season, we talked about re-setting when facing adversity. We did that today." said Schoonveld.
Hope relied on their outside shooting in the first quarter, making four three-pointers in gaining a 19-14 advantage. Five Hope players had made a three-point basket before intermission as the Flying Dutch expanded their lead at halftime to 34-22. 
Senior Francesca Buchanan (Sparta HS) led Hope with 16 points while Muller, pictured above, had 15 and Schoonveld 11. Sophomore Olivia Voskuil (Holland Christian HS) blocked four shots.
Game-high scoring honors went to Albion's Evelyn Wischmeyer (Lake Orion HS) with 21 points while Rain Hinton (Woodland, Ind. HS) had a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds. Albion had a 41-35 rebound advantage.
Hope improves to 3-0 in the MIAA while Albion is 2-1 against conference foes. The Flying Dutch will next host their Post-Exam Jam tournament on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14-15