GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Calvin women's basketball fell in a close contest to Albion by a score of 77-69 at Van Noord Arena Wednesday night.
Calvin started the contest out by connecting on three triples in the first three-and-a-half minutes, giving the Knights a 9-4 lead. Calvin had six assists in the first seven minutes of the game. Albion was scoring right with the Calvin, but the Knights hit their fourth three of the quarter which gave them a 18-15 lead after the first quarter of play.
The Knights continued the scoring by going on an 11-5 run which was capped off by a jumper from sophomore Gabby Timmer (Caledonia, MI / South Christian). The Timmer basket gave Calvin a 29-20 lead with 4:45 left in the first half. The Britons didn't back down, countering with a 12-1 run to close the quarter to take a 32-30 lead at halftime. In the first half, the Knights were 6 of 13 from the three-point line and shot 36.7% from the field. Calvin also had 10 assists at the half and seven steals.
The game became a see-saw match throughout most of the third quarter. Freshman Sydney Cleary (Middleville, MI / South Christian) was a huge spark for the Knights in the 3rd quarter as she went on an 8-0 run by herself and finished with 11 in the quarter. Albion remained ahead of Calvin with some good offensive possessions of its own. The Britons hit a three with 18 seconds left in the quarter and took a 58-47 lead heading into the final quarter of play.
Albion was in control for most of the 4th quarter and had a 69-54 lead with 5:06 remaining after hitting back-to-back threes. Calvin got back into the game with a quick three by sophomore Abbie Cooley (Castle Rock, CO / Castle View) and then a steal and bucket by sophomore Stephanie Coors (Evergreen, CO / Valor Christian) on the inbounds to make it a 69-66 game with 1:33 left on the clock.
The Britons responded with a quick basket to stem the Calvin tide. Senior Kara Minderhoud (Grand Rapids, MI / Covenant Christian) made a three-point shot to make it a 73-69 game with 33 seconds left. Albion converted another quick bucket and made key free throws in the closing seconds to seal the win.
Gabby Timmer lead the Knights in scoring with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists while Stephanie Coors had 16 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Also, Sydney Cleary finished with a career-high 14 points while shooting 4 of 6 from three. Senior Kara Minderhoud (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian HS) hauled down nine rebounds and was credit with five assists.
Calvin shot 40.3% from the field and 41.9% from the three-point line, and also had 22 assists on the night.
Evelyn Wischmeyer led Albion with 23 points while Emily Bernas had 20. Wischmeyer was 5 of 7 from three-point range. Albion held a 42-33 rebounding advantage.
COACHES COMMENT: "First I want to thank our Calvin community for creating a great atmosphere tonight," said Calvin women's basketball head coach Mark Christner. "Even though the result wasn't what we wanted I thought our effort was really high and we got better tonight. Albion hurt us on the glass and I though their seniors were the difference. Both Evelyn (Wischmeyer) and Emily (Bernas) made huge plays for them. We'll take a breath this weekend and keep growing."
NEXT UP: Calvin heads to Trine University on Wednesday, January, 29 with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.