by Eva Dean Folkert
Two freshman guards recorded season- and career-scoring highs for the Hope College women's basketball team in their 79-37 victory over Birmingham Southern College on Friday. Newcomers Kasey DeSmit of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS), pictured left, and Jenny Beckman of Shelby (Shelby HS), pictured right, scored 11 points each to help the No.-5-ranked Flying Dutch notch their second victory in two days at the Oglethorpe University Quality Suites Holiday Classic in Atlanta, Georgia.
All of DeSmit's points came in the first half while nine of Beckman's 11 points came in the second.
The win moves Hope to 9-1 on the season while the BSC Panthers fell to 3-8.
In the game's first four minutes, the Panthers hung with the Flying Dutch, even taking a 7-6 lead at the 6:07 mark. But Hope then took command for the rest of the first quarter and into the second, going on a 18-2 run and leading 24-9 with seven minutes left in the first half after a Francesca Buchanan layup.
The Flying Dutch continued to distance themselves from BSC by applying their trademark pesky defense that caused 26 Panther turnovers. Hope capitalized on those miscues and scored 29 points off of BSC turnovers. Also, the Flying Dutch scored 21 second-chance points while the Panthers could not muster any putbacks.
All 17 Hope players got into the action against with Panthers with 13 Flying Dutch players putting points on the scoreboard. Hope's bench contributed 49 of the team's 79 points.
Buchanan of Grant (Sparta HS), the tournament's MVP, led the Flying Dutch in scoring with 13 points and in rebounding with eight on Friday. On Thursday, the senior forward scored 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds in Hope's win over host Oglethorpe.
Sophomore Mallory Gerber of Schaumberg, Illinois (Schaumberg HS) added nine points while sophomore Olivia Voskuil of Holland (Holland Christian HS) grabbed six boards. Voskuil joined Buchanan on the all-tournament team.
Also on the all-tournament team were Derienne Black of Birmingham-Southern, Bailey Charles of Oglethorpe and Gabby Timmer of Calvin.
Hope will now rest for a week over the holiday break and return to action on Friday, December 28 in the Ohio Wesleyan Bishop Classic in Delaware, Ohio. The Flying Dutch will take on UW-Oshkosh at 8:00 p.m.