« Anchored In Hope

Hope men, women's basketball roundup

by Carolyn Binder

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Flying Dutchmen Outlast Alma 93-82 On Road

Guard Alex Eidson scored a season-high 25 points, while center Nate VanArendonk netted a career-high 23 to lead the Hope College men’s basketball team to a 93-82 win at Alma on Wednesday.

Coach Matt Neil’s Flying Dutchmen moved back into a first-place tie in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association while improving to 10-6 overall and 4-1 in league play. Hope is tied atop the MIAA standings with Albion and Calvin.

Eidson, a sophomore from Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS), came within one point of his career high. He buried a team-high three 3-pointers.

VanArendonk, a senior from Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS), also matched his season-high with a game-high 10 rebounds. It was VanArenkdonk’s second double-double of the season.

“The Grand Haven connection really worked well,” Hope coach Matt Neil said. “We knew we had a size advantage inside. We tried to go inside and went inside a bunch. All those guys — Nate, Grant (Neil), Brock (Benson), Caleb (Byers) and Harrison (Blackledge) came up big.

“(Alex) stayed within himself, and that was good. He had three 3s. Cody hit one. Grant hit one. Corey (McMahon) hit one. We were 6-of-7 from 3 in the second half, which was great.”

Sophomore point guard Ben Gardner of Carmel, Ind. (Carmel HS), chipped in 15 points.

Hope outscored Alma 60-52 during the second half.

“(Alma) tied the score at 36-36 after halftime, and I challenged all of them not to let them go ahead the rest of the way,” Matt Neil said. “They didn’t. I give the guys a lot of credit for the way they played.”’

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Flying Dutch Win At Albion, Stay Undefeated

Forward Maura McAfee recorded her seventh double-double of the season as the nationally ranked Hope women’s basketball won at Albion 63-47 on Wednesday.

The sophomore forward from Midland (Midland HS) posted game-highs with 15 points and 14 rebounds. McAfee had 13 points and nine rebounds after halftime to claim her third consecutive double-double.

Hope improved to 16-0 overall and 8-0 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play.

The Flying Dutch never trailed and built a 28-10 lead with 3 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the first half. Albion never got closer than five points.

“We got off to a great start,” Hope coach Brian Morehouse said. “(Albion) closed the half really well. I thought we responded well out of halftime, played very solidly in the second half.”

Senior guard Megan Kelley of Rockford (Rockford HS) chipped in 13 points, while freshman point guard Angelique Gaddy of Caledonia (Grand Rapids South Christian HS) added 10 points and senior guard Brittany Berry of Grand Rapids (Catholic Central HS) had nine points.

Kelley and Berry each buried a team-high three 3-pointers.

Morehouse pointed to his team’s drive and determination paid dividends.

“We only turned it over eight times. We won the turnover battle 23-8,” Morehouse said. “I was really happy with the passion that our team walked in there with. Certainly some people had more points, but it was really special the camaraderie and the passion the bench showed. It was a very focused team that hit the floor tonight, and it showed in how we played.”

Hope is ranked No. 2 in the USA Today Division III Coaches Poll and No. 4 by d3hoops.com.