CALEDONIA, Mich. - Calvin battled Division II Davenport to the wire before falling to the host Panthers 68-66 on a shot at the buzzer Monday night.
The game served as an exhibition contest for Calvin but acts as a regular season game for Davenport.
Calvin led by as many as 16 points in the first half, building a 31-15 advantage after a three-point basket by junior Tony DeWitte (Grandville, Mich./Calvin Christian HS) with 3:50 left in the first half. The Calvin first half run was aided by a dunk by junior Jason Walter (Coloma, Mich./Coloma HS) on a feed from freshman Carson Meulenberg (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian HS).
Calvin maintained a 16-point lead at 33-17 on a jumper by senior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich./Wyoming HS) but the Panthers ended the half on an 8-0 run to trail 33-25 at the break.
Davenport opened the second half on an 11-2 run to take a 36-35 lead.
The lead then changed hands six times in the second half with Davenport building a 60-54 lead with five minutes remaining.
Junior Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian HS) answered with a field goal and DeWitte followed with a rare four-point play as buried a three, was fouled and connected on the free throw to tie the game at 60.
A pair of free throws by Calvin sophomore Thad Shymanski (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) connected on pair of free throws with two minutes remaining to give Calvin a 62-61 lead. DeVries followed with a basket that gave the Knights a 64-61 lead with 1:35 remaining. The Panthers came back with a series of free throws to tie the game with under a minute to play.
A turnover gave the ball back to Davenport. The Panthers were then able to win the game on a shot at the buzzer by Delano Smith.
DeVries led Calvin in scoring with 21 points while Shymanski had 14 points and DeWitte 13. Senior Austin Bykerk (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian HS) had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Calvin held a 33-30 rebounding advantage but turned the ball over 22 times. Davenport was led by Dyllon Hudson-Emory with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
The Knights will now prepare for a weekend home slate of games against Division III opponents from the CCIW (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin). The Knights will host 19th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan on Friday at 7:30 and third-ranked Augustana on Saturday at 3 p.m.