by Alan Babbitt
The Hope College women's basketball team tops the NCAA Division III statistical leaders in scoring defense and scoring margin through games played on Tuesday.
The Flying Dutch's next game is Saturday, December 14 at DeVos Fieldhouse against Albion College in a 3 p.m. clash of unbeatens.
Hope moved up to fourth in this week's D3hoops.com national poll and tied for fourth in this week's Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division III poll. The Flying Dutch received fourth first-place votes in the D3hoops poll and one in the WBCA poll.
Photo of Lauren Newman, right, by Steve Herppich
Under the direction of head coach Brian Morehouse, Hope is 9-0 on the season on the strength of stingy, turnover-producing defense.
The Flying Dutch are yielding only 40.3 points per game. No opponent has scored more than 48 points in a game this season.
Hope also is ranked in the Top 10 in scoring margin at plus-40.9, fourth in turnover margin at plus-13.22, eighth in steals at 16.6 and 10th in field-goal defense at 30.0 percent.
Offensively, the Flying Dutch are 15th in team scoring at 81.2 per game, even though only one player is averaging in double figures: junior guard Sydney Muller of Grand Rapids, Michigan (GR Christian HS) at 11.4 points per game.
Hope is ranked 17th in free-throw shooting percentage at 76.4, 19th in field-goal shooting at 45.8 and 21st in assist/turnover ratio at plus-1.11.
Muller and junior point guard Lauren Newman of Flushing, Michigan (Flushing) lead the Flying Dutch's unselfish play with 1.9 and 1.8 assists per game, respectively.