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Hope College Friday Sports Roundup

by Carolyn Binder

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Flying Dutch Open NCAA Tournament With Win Vs. Wisconsin Lutheran

For the sixth year in a row, the Hope College women's basketball team is advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division III women's basketball championship.

Coach Brian Morehouse's nationally ranked Flying Dutch overcame a ragged first start by taking advantage of some clutch shooting en route to a 60-54 victory over Wisconsin Lutheran College in a first round game hosted by Carthage College on Friday.

The Flying Dutch (28-0) advanced to Saturday's second round game against Carthage, a 60-51 winner against St. Norbert (Wis.). Tipoff is 7 p.m. CST.

Click here for Carthage's tournament page.

Playing in the NCAA tournament for the 15th time in school history, the Flying Dutch have now advanced past the first round 10 times.

"We started very ragged," Morehouse said. "Playing in the NCAA presents a whole different group of pressures and it certainly showed early-on. I am so proud how the players were able to regain their composure. We had an excellent scouting report that once we settled down we were able to execute."

The 60-point Hope total was the team's lowest this season. The Flying Dutch came into the game averaging 84 points.

Hope trailed most of the first half. The Flying Dutch shot only 17 percent (3-for-18) over the first eight minutes and were 8-for-35 heading into the last three minutes of the first half.

Hope caused 14 Lutheran turnovers to keep the Warriors in check.

Maura McAfee's 3-pointer at 2:14 tied the score, 26-26. A steal and fast break layup byMegan Kelleygave Hope its first lead of the game, 28-26, with 1:56 remaining. Hope went into the locker room with a 31-26 halftime lead despite shooting only 29 percent.

The Flying Dutch never trailed after intermission but early in the second half Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association MVP Maura McAfee went down with a sprained ankle. A quick taping job by the Hope training staff allowed her to return just four minutes later and her play was key in calming down Wisconsin Lutheran center Kristen Schulz, who ended the game with 15 points and 18 rebounds.

McAfee ended with 13 points and three blocked shots.

The clutch shot of the game came with Hope nursing a 55-53 lead whenBrittany Berryhit a 3-pointer from the corner. Berry had struggled against Lutheran who the Dutch were playing for the second time this season.

Earlier in a regular-season overtime Hope victory Berry was held without a basket. Before her 3-pointer with 1:06 remaining in Friday's game she was a combined 0-for-12 from the floor, including 0-for-8 outside the arc, against Lutheran this season.

Hannah Doell finished with 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting. She grabbed nine rebounds and did not commit a turnover over 29 minutes of play.

"Hannah had the outstanding game of her season," Morehouse said. "She came through when we needed it."

The Flying Dutch committed just six turnovers in the game. 

Hope is ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Sports Division III Coaches Poll and No. 2 by d3hoops.com.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Flying Dutchmen Lose To Penn State Behrend In NCAA Tournament

It was a suspenseful, still nonetheless frustrating, exit for Hope College in the opening round of the NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament Friday night at DeVos Fieldhouse.

The Flying Dutchmen ended up tied at both halftime and regulation, but fell short in a disappointing overtime period against relentless Penn State Behrend, 70-66, in front of a crowd of 2,077.

"In this business, you don't get a second chance very often and we had one," Hope coach Matt Neil said after watching his team rebound from a nine-point deficit midway through the second half to force OT.

"We just didn't take advantage of it."

Hope (20-8) completed its season with a two-game slide on its home floor.

The Dutchmen claimed the 37th Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular-season title in school history, including a pair of definitive wins against rival Calvin College. In the MIAA tournament, Calvin shocked Hope, 78-53, last Saturday, sending the Flying Dutchmen into the NCAA tournament as an at-large selection.

"It's a game of runs," Neil said of the back-and-forth nature of the matchup against Behrend, resulting in 14 lead changes and 15 ties, including a 58-58 stalemate at the end of regulation. "We had 24 turnovers, that's unacceptable. This game, they deserved to win.

"I thought they were tough," he said of the Lions (24-4), "and we didn't respond. That's unfortunate because we talked all week long about how to handle (Behrend's defensive pressure). Over the course of the last six games, we didn't play together and we have to learn from that. The floor is a classroom."

Nate VanArendonk, a 6-foot-10 senior center from Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS), led the Flying Dutchmen with 17 points in what might've been his final collegiate game.

"I wouldn't trade my experience here for anything," said VanArendonk, who earned All-MIAA First Team honors this season. "I didn't expect me to fall in love as much with this team as I did. These guys were my brothers."

The high point of the night for VanArendonk against Behrend was going on a personal 7-0 scoring run to end the first half and forge a 35-35 tie. He had a strong inside post move, a tap of a Gardner miss as part of a three-point play and a mid-air jumper off an inbounds pass from Eidson with four-tenths of a second remaining that splashed through the net as the buzzer sounded.

VanArendonk led all scorers with 13 first-half points on 5-for-5 shooting from the field and 3-for-3 from the foul line.

Alex Eidson, a sophomore guard from Grand Haven and the Dutchmen's leading scorer, struggled from the field. He shot 2 of 10, including 1 of 8 from 3-point range, and finished with 12 points.

Cody Stuive, a freshman forward from Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS), made a pair of 3-pointers and contributed 10 points. Sophomore guardBen Gardnerof Carmel, Ind. (Carmel HS) had nine points and junior guardCorey McMahonof Glenview, Ill. (Glenbrook South HS), added eight, including a pair of deep 3-pointers during the overtime period.

Nick DeLisio led the Lions with 19 points and three blocked shots.

"It was everything," DeLisio said of the hustling style of play from the Lions. "It was a game of runs and we had to get every extra possession."

Behrend, the fourth-best defensive squad in the nation, limited Hope to 27.3-percent shooting from the field (6 of 22) in the second half and 39.6 percent for the game – right at its season average of 39.0 percent.

"I'm really proud of my team," Behrend coach Dave Niland said. "It's a tremendous team and a very difficult place to play. It was possession-by-possession. I think our guys really worked hard on the defensive end.”

WOMEN’S TENNIS

Flying Dutch Beat Ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater

The Hope College women’s tennis team won at Wisconsin-Whitewater 7-2 on Friday in a matchup of regionally ranked teams.

Coach Adam Ford’s Flying Dutch improved its dual record to 2-0 while handing Whitewater its first loss in 11 matches.

Hope entered the match ranked 16th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Central Regional Rankings. Whitewater was fifth in the region and No. 28 in the ITA national rankings.

Junior Carli Capestany of Hudsonville, freshman Paige Courts of Caledonia (Grand Rapids South Christian HS) and senior Mallory Smith of Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS) each picked up two points for the Flying Dutch with singles and doubles wins.

MEN’S LACROSSE

Flying Dutch Drop Season Opener at Denison

The Hope College men’s lacrosse team lost at nationally ranked Denison (Ohio) 24-2 Friday in the season opener for the Flying Dutchmen.

Junior midfielder Nicklas Raycraft of Brighton (Detroit Catholic Central HS) scored both goals for Hope, including an unassisted one late in the second period.

Senior attack Niko Pagkanlungan of Naples, Fla. (Barron Colier HS) assisted on Raycraft’s fourth-period goal.

Freshman Connor Miedema of Holland (Holland Christian HS) made 11 saves for Hope.

“Denison is ranked in top 10 for a reason — credit to them as they dominated in all phases,” Hope coach Michael Schanhals said. “Connor Miedema played well in goal. Matt Hemenway stood out on defense for us and held their top scorer to zero goals and two assists.”

Hemenway is a junior defender from Ionia (Ionia HS).

Hope returns to action at 3 p.m. Saturday at DePauw (Ind.).

“We are looking forward to DePauw tomorrow and getting back on the field,” Schanhals said.