by Alan Babbitt
A challenging week sends the seventh-ranked Hope College women's basketball team on the road for two games against the other Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association title contenders.
The Flying Dutch used their improving resolve to begin a season-defining stretch successfully with a 65-51 victory at Albion College Wednesday night.
Hope never trailed, leading for all but a 1-minute, 21-second stretch early in the first quarter when the score was tied at 4-4.
Four double-digit scorers and a defense that held the Britons to 33.3 percent field-goal shooting propelled the Flying Dutch to a 16-2 overall record and a 8-1 mark in MIAA play. Hope's next game is at first-place Trine University on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Head coach Brian Morehouse praised his Flying Dutch for how they played in a challenging environment.
"I thought our mental toughness and physical toughness were very important," Morehouse said. "I don't think we were a very tough team early in the season.
"It was a super physical game. We were on the floor the whole game. We did a great job of rebounding. We outrebounded them and had 16 offensive rebounds. The mental toughness showed in we were not turning the ball over. Thirteen turnovers sounds like a lot, but they were pressing the whole game and causing trouble."
Hope limited Albion (14-4, 7-3 MIAA) to a season-low 51 points while grabbing 49 rebounds to the Britons' 41. Albion committed 22 turnovers.
Voskuil equaled her career-high in single-game scoring. She shot 66.7 percent from the floor (6-9) and 3-point range (2-3).
Muller led Hope with seven made free throws and 10 attempts.
Two other Flying Dutch scored in double figures: guard Lauren Newman of Flushing, Michigan (Flushing) with 11 points and forward Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta) with 10 points. Buchanan also grabbed 13 rebounds.
With 1,336 points, Buchanan needs 43 more points to pass Karen Gingras (1982-86) for fourth place on the Flying Dutch's all-time scoring list.
Sophomore guard Kenedy Schoonveld of Zeeland, Michigan (Holland Christian) contributed a career-high matching seven rebounds, a career-high six assists and a career-high matching four steals in a team-high 32 minutes. She also chipped in five points while guarding the Britons' top two scorers.