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Hope College Sports Roundup

by Carolyn Binder

 MEN’S BASKETBALL

Flying Dutchmen Beat Kalamazoo, Clinch 37th MIAA Title

The Flying Dutchmen also secured the top seed for next week’s MIAA Tournament that will award the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Hope coach Matt Neil said the MIAA title is a testament to his players’ collective drive and effort.

“They have bought into everything we’re doing and understood the process of a tough nonleague schedule. This is the reward for that,” Neil said. “We have continued to work and work. It’s a total credit for all 14 guys, how we have played together and won together.”

The Flying Dutchmen are 18-6 overall and 12-1 in MIAA play after their 10th consecutive win. Hope can claim an outright league championship with a win Saturday at Adrian College.

Against Kalamazoo, six Hope players scored in double figures. Senior center Nate VanArendonk of Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS) netted a game-high 18 points, including 14 during a first half that saw the Flying Dutchmen take a 59-42 lead. It was Hope’s highest-scoring first half of the season.

Senior forward Caleb Byers of Allegan (Allegan HS) totaled 13 points. Senior forward Grant Neil of Holland (West Ottawa HS) scored 12 points.

Sophomore guard Alex Eidson of Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS) and freshman forward Harrison Blackledge of Canton, Ohio (Hoover HS), each added 11 points apiece. Blackledge also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for his first collegiate double-double.

Sophomore forward Sam Otto of Wheaton, Ill. (Wheaton North HS), had 10 points.

The Flying Dutchmen collected a season-high 26 assists. Seven Hope players had three assists apiece.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Flying Dutch Down Albion For Unbeaten MIAA Season

The Hope College women’s basketball team defeated Albion College 69-53 on Wednesday to complete an unbeaten run through the 2013-14 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association season.

Coach Brian Morehouse’s Flying Dutch improved to 24-0 overall and 16-0 in MIAA play.

It is Hope’s sixth unbeaten MIAA campaign. The Flying Dutch joined the 2009-10, 2007-08 and 2005-06 teams who went 16-0 and the 2002-03 and 2000-01 teams who went 14-0.

“Our first league game was November 19. That was four whole months ago with Calvin. It’s a long grind,” Hope coach Brian Morehouse said. “We stuck with it. I’m proud of this team.”

The Flying Dutch pulled away from Albion by outscoring the Britons 36-26 during the second half.

Senior guard Brittany Berry of Grand Rapids (Catholic Central HS) recorded game-highs with 18 points and five assists to lead Hope. She sank four 3-pointers in front of a DeVos Fieldhouse crowd of 717.

Sophomore forward Maura McAfee of Midland (Midland HS) posted her 12th double-double of the season for the Flying Dutch with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Senior guard Anna Kaufmann of Davenport, Iowa (Davenport Central HS), chipped in 13 points for Hope. Junior forward Hannah Doell of Center Valley, Pa. (Southern Lehigh HS) had 12 points for the Flying Dutch.

Hope will close out the regular season on Saturday by hosting Rochester College in nonleague action. Tipoff is 3 p.m. at DeVos Fieldhouse.