by Alan Babbitt
Wins in The Rivalry aren't handed to you. They have to be taken.
Thanks to a ball-hawking defense, the eighth-ranked Hope College women's basketball team overcame its own shooting struggles to down Calvin College 56-48 on Wednesday at DeVos Fieldhouse and sweep the regular-season series.
Photo by Steven Herppich
The Flying Dutch (19-3, 11-2 MIAA) did not allow a point over the final 5 minutes, 57 seconds and finished the 123rd game in The Rivalry on an 11-0 run.
Head coach Brian Morehouse credited assistant coach Colly Carlson's defensive game plan and his players' execution on defense. The game was Hope's third in five days.
"(Colly is) our defensive coordinator. He had us dialed in," Morehouse said. "(He) really had people in the right spots. We know they want to go to Gabby Timmer. We did a nice job of pressuring enough but not getting beat off the dribble — and getting great help side on the back when we fronted the posts. Great credit to our coaching staff, especially Colly, for dialing this one up tonight and just really having our players prepared."
Hope reached the 20-steal mark for the fourth time this season and forced 26 turnovers. The Flying Dutch earned a 21-12 edge in points off turnovers against the Knights.
Calvin's final basket came on a Gabby Timmer jumper 1:45 into the fourth quarter that ended a 10-0 run. Timmer, the MIAA's leading scorer and rebounder, finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Knights (10-13, 5-9 MIAA)
Hope took the lead for good at 51-48 on a 3-pointer from guard Sydney Muller of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Grand Rapids Christian HS) with 3:38 remaining.
The Flying Dutch overcame their second-lowest shooting performance of the season. They were 33.9 percent from the field (21-62) and 30.8 percent from 3-point range (8-26).
Forward Olivia Voskuil of Holland, Michigan (Holland Christian) added eight points and eight rebounds.
Hope improved to 37-15 against Calvin since 2000. Calvin leads the all-time series, 71-52.
The Flying Dutch return to action on Saturday, February 9 at Saint Mary's College. Tipoff is 3 p.m.