by Alan Babbitt
For a night, a team-focused Hope College women's basketball team proudly celebrated an individual accomplishment, too.
During the eighth-ranked Flying Dutch's 78-52 win at Adrian College on Wednesday, forward Francesca Buchanan became the fourth player in team history to reach 1,400 career points.
The senior from Grant, Michigan (Sparta HS) scored a game-high 17 points to give her 1,411 points in 109 games at Hope.
Buchanan joins an elite scoring club that features Amanda Kerkstra (1,526), Carrie Snikkers (1,430) and Buchanan's former teammate, Maura McAfee (1,409).
"Fourteen hundred points is a big deal," head coach Brian Morehouse said after his team raised its record to 21-3 overall and 13-2 in MIAA play. "Frankie didn't even start her freshman year. She played 13 minutes per game as a freshman.
"To have that consistency scoring, even when she was coming off the bench her freshman year, and building on that each year, has been great. If she played 30 minutes per game tonight because she is our best player, she could have ended up with 25 points. Our team has always put the team above the individual. Frankie embodies that. Her teammates appreciate that."
Hope jumped out to a 16-2 lead and never trailed.
Buchanan totaled 10 points in the first quarter alone to fuel the Flying Dutch's surge to a 27-10 lead.
Fifteen different players netted points for Hope. Sophomore guard Kenedy Schoonveld of Zeeland, Michigan (Holland Christian) also reached double figures and finished with 11 points.
"We had some good balance," Morehouse said. "I was pleased we had only eight turnovers, but had 18 assists."
Hope concludes the regular season on Saturday, February 16 at home against Olivet College. Tipoff is 3 p.m. at DeVos Fieldhouse.
It will be Senior Day for the Flying Dutch. Buchanan is the lone senior.
"We'll find out what Frankie wants on Saturday: what color uniforms, what color warm-ups. What Frankie wants, Frankie gets. She deserves the accolades. We'll make sure it's a special day."