GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Calvin used a dramatic buzzer-beating three-point shot to top East Beltline rival Cornerstone University 71-68 Saturday night at the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame Classic.
Senior Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian HS) beat the buzzer with a leaning three-pointer from the left side of the arc. The final play was ignited by senior Alex Bos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) who ripped down a rebound off a missed free throw attempt by Cornerstone with 4.7 seconds left. Bos quickly pushed the ball up the floor and tossed the ball back to DeVries after reaching the free throw line with a pair of defenders hawking Bos tightly. DeVries caught the ball and with a quick motion swished the ball through the net to give the Knights the win.
"I have to credit my teammates for that last play," said DeVries. "They played amazing defense to put us in a position to win the game. Alex got a huge rebound, moved the ball up the floor and found me with the pass. I was just trying to get the ball off before the buzzer. To see the ball go through felt pretty good."
DeVries finished the game with 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assissts, two steals and a blocked shot. He was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, marking the second straight year he has received the award.
Calvin (2-3) led 66-59 on a power move inside by DeVries with 5:15 remaining. The DeVries shot was part of a 7-0 Calvin run that included a three-ball from the right win by senior Tony DeWitte (Grandville, Mich./Calvin Christian HS) and a pull-up jumper from the right elbow by Bos.
Ranked 14th in the latest NAIA Division II poll, Cornerstone (8-3) scored six straight points to close to within 66-65. A layup by DeVries with 2:21 remaining put the Knights up 68-65 but Cory Ainsworth powered in a shot from the right block with 1:53 left to make it a one-point game. Calvin later came up with a defensive stop by misfired on its subsequent offensive series.
Cornerstone then moved the ball inside to Ainsworth who was fouled with 4.7 seconds remaining. After a Calvin timeout, Ainsworth connected on his first free throw to tie the game at 68 but missed his second attempt, setting up the frantic final push up the floor by Bos to DeVries.
The Calvin victory came on the heels of a disappointing 84-60 loss to Aquinas the night before.
"We had a lot of discussions over the last 24 hours because in my opinion what happened last night was not Calvin basketball nor should it ever be," said Calvin head men's basketball coach Bill Sall. "We had some really good discussions. We watched last night's film. I knew today we would be far better just because these guys are really invested and want to see us have success. I'm not sure I wanted it to come down to a last-second shot to win but it is super rewarding to get that win because of how much effort and 'all-in' attitude that our guys brought tonight."
Calvin, in fact, used a pair of buzzer-beating three-point shots to win Saturday's game as DeWitte connected on a three-point shot from the left wing just before the first half horn sounded, giving the Knights a 37-34 halftime advantage.
The lead then changed hands six times in the second half. Cornerstone's final lead of the game came at the 8:08 mark on a pair of free throws by Tyler Baker.
DeVries was one of four Calvin players to hit double-digits ins coring as Bos scored 15 points to go with six rebounds two assists and two steals while junior Thad Shymanski (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) had 12 points and junior Emmett Warners (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) 10.
Cornerstone was led by Ainsworth who dropped in 24 points of the bench with Christian Rodriguez scoring 13 points.
Calvin held a 37-33 rebounding advantage and shot 45-percent (27-60) from the floor. Cornerstone shot at a 44.6 percent clip and made good use of the free throw line, connecting on 16 of 20 (.800) at the stripe.
With his 22 point effort, DeVries boosted his career scoring total to 1,035 points, moving past Bill Wolterstorff and Matt Veltema and into 21st place on the Calvin career scoring list.
NEXT UP: Calvin will host Wisconsin-Whitewater next Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Van Noord Arena. The following afternoon Calvin will host defending Division III national champion Wisconsin-Oshkosh at 3 p.m. at Van Noord Arena.