Nationally-Ranked Calvin Comes Back to Bite the Bulldogs in the Second Half, 91-81

Photo Courtesy of Mike Dickie
Photo Courtesy of Mike Dickie

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--Visiting Adrian College surprised nationally-ranked Calvin College in the first half by taking a double-digit lead, but the Bulldogs couldn't sustain that momentum in the second during a heartbreaking 91-81 loss in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association women's basketball action on Wednesday at Van Noord Arena.

Adrian falls to 7-7 overall and 4-2 in the MIAA, while the Knights (No. T-14th USA TODAY/WBCA, No. 18 escapes to 11-3 on the season and 6-0 in the conference.

Senior Jorden York led the Bulldogs with a season's best 19 points while classmate Antoinea McElroy added 16 and junior Marissa Cotton matched her with 16. McElroy notched her eighth double-double this winter by grabbing 13 rebounds to help AC gain a 47-40 edge on the glass.

All five Calvin starters scored in double-digits including Ali Spayde with a game-high 26 points, Anna Timmer had 18, Bre Luurtsema netted 15, Kally Verkaik produced 12 and Abby Springer, 10.

The evening started well enough for the Bulldogs who led 22-17 after the first quarter and 36-21 on McElroy's 3-pointer with 5 minutes and 28 seconds left in the second stanza. 

Calvin was able to cut the deficit to 36-31 after going on a 10-0 run in a 2:20 span, sparked by Verkaik with a trey and two free throws. But Adrian tallied six of the next eight points to close the half up 42-33.

But in the second half, Calvin shot 55.9 percent (19-for-34) from the field while holding Adrian to 40.6 (13-32) and outscored the guests 58-39 to complete the comeback after trailing by 15 points midway through the second quarter.

The Knights began the third quarter on a 15-6 run to knot the score 48-all and took the lead for good on a free throw by Luurtsema to complete a traditional three-point play at the 3:57 mark.

For the contest, Calvin benefitted by going to the free throw line more (20-for-28 to 9-for-14) and forced 28 turnovers that translated to 22 points.

McElroy further stuffed the stat sheet with game highs of six assists and five steals, plus she blocked two shots.

Timmer pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds for Calvin, which scored 34 points in the paint.

Adrian will move forward and refocus for Albion on Saturday (3 p.m.) for another MIAA contest.