Women's Basketball Rolls Past Adrian in MIAA Opener

Olivia Voskuil poses for a portrait. by Alan Babbitt

The desperation 3-point attempt from the corner met Olivia Voskuil's long arm and resulted in a thud from the basketball that rippled through DeVos Fieldhouse.

A second later, the buzzer sounded for a shot-clock violation. The wow-inducing sequence illustrated Hope College's second-quarter dominance that paved the way for a 76-41 victory against Adrian College in Wednesday's Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener.

The nationally ranked and unbeaten Flying Dutch soared to a 25-point halftime lead after outscoring their foe, 25-4 during the second quarter. 

"Olivia's block got the spark, the energy, the mood back to where it should be for the entire game," said junior guard Lauren Newman of Flushing, Michigan (Flushing HS). "We expect her to do it. To see her do it – and do it so well — got everyone pumped up."

Hope (8-0 overall) remained fifth in this week's D3hoops.com poll and sixth in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association rankings.

Against Adrian (4-2), the Flying Dutch dominated the second and fourth quarters — outscoring their opponents by a 49-12 margin during those 20 minutes combined.

In the second quarter, the NCAA Division III's third-ranked scoring defense held the Bulldogs to 16.7 percent from the field (2-of-12) during the second quarter. Adrian did not make a trip to the free-throw line.

Offensively, Hope heated up during the second quarter and shot 56.6 percent (10-of-18) from the field and 100 percent from the foul line (4-of-4).

The 6-3 Voskuil, pictured, netted eight of her game-high 13 points during the second quarter.

Seven different Hope players scored during the decisive 10-minute stretch, including junior guard Sydney Muller of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Grand Rapids Christian), Hope's second double-digit scorer for the game with 10 points.

Junior guard Kenedy Schoonveld of Zeeland, Michigan (Holland Christian) finished the first half with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer off an assist from Newman.

Newman and sophomore point guard Kasey DeSmit of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) chipped in nine points apiece.

The Flying Dutch finished at 49.1 percent from the field (28-57). It was their second-highest performance of the season.

Head coach Brian Morehouse said the Flying Dutch overcome first- and third-quarter struggles against a good Adrian team that held the league's third-best record to start the season.

"I thought it was a little choppy. It looked like two teams coming off a longer Thanksgiving break," Morehouse said. "I thought we had a really good run in the second quarter there. I think we can play better, but Adrian came out in the second half and challenged us. Credit to them for finding some fire at halftime. Credit to us for righting the ship as we got deeper into the third quarter into the fourth."

Voskuil's block with 1 ½ minutes remaining in the first half came out of a zone defensive scheme Hope has been working on in practice, Morehouse said. 

"Ironically, Olivia's hasn't played much on the bottom of it, but we've really been on them to get to the corner shooter. She was on the bottom and had to get to the corner shooter. I think she knew how much time was left and that poor Adrian player had to shoot it. It was like Olivia was back in volleyball. That was an impressive athletic play."

Facebook video of post-game press conference

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