by Greg Chandler
The Hope College women's basketball team suffered its second loss of the season to Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association rival Trine University on Saturday, falling to the Thunder 78-72 in a matchup of top-10 ranked teams in Angola, Indiana.
The loss dropped the Flying Dutch, now 8-2 in the MIAA and 17-3 overall, two games behind Trine (11-0, 18-2) in the conference race.
The Thunder own the tiebreaker edge over Hope should the teams tie for the MIAA title and are in the driver's seat for hosting the semifinals and finals of next month's conference tournament.
"We came up a little short in the basketball game, but in the end, it was a great effort," head coach Brian Morehouse said. "It was a great college basketball game. We've got to go back to practice Monday and focus on us, what we need to do bet better. Every practice and every game is important."
Hope took a 62-59 lead with 8:51 remaining in the game on two free throws by sophomore forward Olivia Voskuil of Holland, Michigan (Holland Christian HS) and two additional foul shots by sophomore guard Sydney Muller of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Grand Rapids Christian HS) after a technical foul was whistled on a Trine player.
Trine then camped down the Flying Dutch, holding them scoreless for the next five minutes while going on a 11-0 run, capped off by a shot clock-beating 3-pointer by Shaely Duff, to take a 70-62 lead with 4:10 remaining.
Hope got no closer than four points the rest of the way.
Senior forward Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta HS), pictured, matched a career high with 27 points to lead the Flying Dutch. She also grabbed 10 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass, and dished out five assists.
Sophomore guard Kenedy Schoonveld of Zeeland, Michigan (Holland Christian HS) added 14 points and six rebounds.
Sophomore Mallory Gerber of Schaumburg, Illinois (Schaumburg) contributed 13 points in 16 minutes off the bench, including three 3-point baskets.
Muller chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The game was delayed by 20 minutes early in the first quarter because of a shot clock malfunction. The rest of the first half was played without the benefit of the players seeing how much time was on the shot clock. The Trine public address announcer kept time with a stopwatch and did an audible countdown when the shot clock reached 10 seconds.
A replacement shot clock was found during halftime and the teams played the second half with a working clock.
A 14-1 Trine run gave the Thunder a 29-16 lead early in the second quarter, but the Flying Dutch stormed back with a spurt of their own, outscoring Trine 19-5 over a five-minute stretch. Gerber's 3-point basket gave Hope a 35-34 lead with 2:55 to play in the first half. The Flying Dutch led 43-42 at halftime.
The third quarter saw the lead change hands five times before Trine ran off nine unanswered points for a 59-53 lead. But a basket by senior center Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta HS) and a 3-point bank shot by Muller as the buzzer sounded pulled Hope within one at 59-58 heading into the fourth quarter.
Brandi Dawson, the MIAA's most valuable player the past two seasons, led four Trine players in double figures with 18 points, while Cassidy Williams added 17.
Hope shot 39 percent from the field (25 of 64), and connected on 8 of 20 from 3-point range for 40 percent.
The Flying Dutch went 87.5 percent from the foul line (14-16) from the foul line, but was offset by Trine claiming 10 more opportunities at the stripe and making 75 percent (18-24).
Hope outrebounded the Thunder 42-35, including 16 offensive boards.
The Flying Dutch return to action on Wednesday with an MIAA game at DeVos Fieldhouse against Kalamazoo College. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m